There seems to be an information war going on regarding the causes and responsibility for the coronavirus pandemic with the main battle being between the western media on one hand and Chinese state, official media on the other hand. So, it's a very difficult moment when the world needs truthful reporting. Why should people believe in China's official media? How do you respond to accusation that China's official media are apparently engaging in misinformation and propaganda that promote China's image in an attack on the West? Thank you.
Since the outbreak of the epidemic, Chinese media workers together with their international counterparts have undertaken in-depth interviews and delivered reports in a timely manner. They have told stories of fighting COVID-19 in China and all over the world, spread knowledge of epidemic prevention and control, exchanged experiences with other countries, and responded to concerns from society and the public. Their efforts not only help the international community to learn more about China's fight against COVID-19, but also enhance the Chinese people's understanding toward other countries' efforts to contain the virus. In particular, a total of 480 Chinese journalists resolutely went to the front and risked their lives to carry out in-depth reporting in Wuhan, Hubei province, hardest hit at one time by the epidemic. They made a true record of the Chinese people's hard battle against the virus, timely reported problems, and promoted the settlement of these issues. Chinese media workers fully adopted a scientific attitude while reporting on this fight. They are professional and dedicated, and fully deserve our respect. Chinese media's reports about COVID-19, based on facts, are objective. Allegations that Chinese media are making so-called "false propaganda" are not grounded in fact and so are totally untenable.
We have seen that some foreign politicians and media created a presumption of guilt regarding the origin of the virus, attached a stigma to it, politicalized the outbreak, and even fabricated and spread the so-called theories that "the coronavirus originated in China," "China concealed the facts about COVID-19," or "China should be held accountable for the outbreak." These accusations are groundless, unreasonable and show no respect to science. They have aroused strong indignation of the Chinese people. Chinese media have no interest in the so-called "information war." In fact, in the face of many rumors, slanders and attacks against their country, Chinese media felt bound to respond. Of course, our response does not aim to form part of any "rhetorical war," but aims to tackle problems at the root, make a clear distinction between right and wrong, restore the facts and establish the full truth, spread justice and legal evidence, and uphold morality and conscience.
As you mentioned, it's now a very difficult moment when the coronavirus is still spreading across the world. In our joint battle against COVID-19, we need unity and cooperation, rather than "playing a blame game," provoking stigmatization, or turning it into a political virus. This virus is the common enemy of humanity, so is misinformation. Now, what the people need most is true, comprehensive and objective information, as well as strength and confidence. The media should show their responsibility in and commitment to reporting global solidarity and achievements in the fight against COVID-19. They should take the initiative to exchange the practices and experiences of various countries in epidemic prevention and control, convey the warmth and strength of all peoples in helping each other in times of difficulty, and inject more confidence and hope into the current global fight. Chinese media have already done this, and will continue to do so. Thank you.