China accuses U.S. of ‘malign intention’ to discredit its COVID vaccines

June 18, 2024 - 5:30 PM
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Sinovac
Dr. Mai Osama (IPC Manager) holds a vial of China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in the visual inspection unit of the Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines "Vacsera" in Cairo, Egypt August 31, 2021. (Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo)

 China’s embassy in the Philippines accused the U.S. military of “hypocrisy, malign intention and double standards” in response to a report of secret U.S. campaign to undermine confidence in a Chinese vaccines and other aid during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The remarks made by the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Manila on Tuesday were in response to a Reuters investigative report that said the U.S. military launched a clandestine program during the COVID pandemic to discredit China’s Sinovac inoculation in the Philippines.

READ: Pentagon ran secret anti-vax campaign to undermine China during pandemic

The investigation found the U.S. military aimed to sow doubt about the safety and efficacy of vaccines and other life-saving aid supplied by China. Through phony internet accounts meant to impersonate Filipinos, the military’s propaganda efforts morphed into an anti-vax campaign, according to the report.

“People around the world are indignant about the U.S. military’s actions which lay bare the hypocrisy, malign intention and double standards of the United States,” an embassy spokesperson said in a statement.

“While talking about respecting human rights, the United States does just the opposite regarding the fundamental human rights of life and health of the Filipino people.”

The U.S. Embassy in Manila referred a request for comment to its Department of Defense. In the Reuters report, a senior Defense Department official acknowledged the U.S. military engaged in secret propaganda to disparage China’s vaccine in the developing world, but the official declined to provide details.

A Pentagon spokeswoman was cited in the report as saying the U.S. military “uses a variety of platforms, including social media, to counter those malign influence attacks aimed at the U.S., allies, and partners.” She also said China had started a “disinformation campaign to falsely blame the United States for the spread of COVID-19.”

—Reporting by Mikhail Flores and Karen Lema;Editing by Ed Davies