Human Rights and
International Democratic Solidarity

Research Reports

International Relations and Human Rights Observatory

May 11, 2020

Chinese propaganda for a post-Covid-10 scenario

With more than 280,000 official deaths and a large recession looming, the world is tragically suffering the health and economic consequences of Covid-19. In this context, voices from abroad pointing to China’s alleged responsibility for trying to cover up the disease and therefore, for having contributed significantly to the global spread of the pandemic, are multiplying. To neutralise criticism and deflect its responsibility, Beijing has launched a propaganda offensive to position China not as the authoritarian country where the pandemic was incubated, but as an effective, responsible and generous international leader. Amid Beijing’s politicisation of aid provided to affected countries, the crisis has also shone light on China’s over-reliance on certain strategic sectors. Questioning China’s role in globalisation should be one of the lessons of Covid-19.
By Juan Pablo Cardenal


First act: Divert attention and evade responsibility 4
Second act: Chinese overseas communities are mobilised 7
Third act: International gathering: From Australiaand Europe to Latin America 10
Fourth act: Chinese altruism: donations or business? 12
Fifth act: Towards a more complex post-Covid-19cohabitation 16


Juan Pablo CardenalJUAN PABLO CARDENAL is a journalist and a writer. He co-authored “China’s Silent Army” (Penguin, 2013) and two other books on China’s internationalisation, translated to 11 languages, amongst other books and chapters. He is an author of several studies on the “sharp power” of China and Russia in Argentina and Peru, published by the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL). He was a correspondent in China between 2003 and 2013 for two Spanish newspapers. He researches the Chinese presence in Latin America, lectures and publishes articles on this subject in some of the main international headlines. He is an Associate Researcher at CADAL. His latest book about the political crisis in Catalonia is “La Telaraña: la trama exterior del procés” (Ariel, 2020).