Though China is in the midst of battling the coronavirus crisis, the government already has another campaign on its mind. According to Foreign Policy, the new focus is not only convincing the Middle Kingdom that the deadly disease was handled well by the Communist Party, but also supporting conspiracy theories that claim the virus originally started in the United States.
This is at odds with the otherwise universally held belief that the disease originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where scientists voiced their concerns about the virus as far back as early January. The Hubei region -- which encompasses Wuhan -- remains the epicenter of the crisis, making up a vast majority of the nearly 81,000 cases and 3,098 deaths in the nation.
Nevertheless, new propaganda seeks to lay the blame at the feet of the U.S. The claims erupted on social media and on websites such as College Daily.
One of the biggest arguments is that COVID-19 is similar to the flu and that the U.S. has around 12,000 people die from influenza each year, while China only has a few hundred. However, health experts have slammed the Chinese flu stats, claiming that the true number is between 84,000 and 92,000 people.
Another popular claim is that the vaping deaths of approximately 52 Americans were actually cover-ups for the coronavirus.
The fact that the outlandish claims have remained on social media suggests that the misinformation is being quietly supported by the government -- highlighted recently when top Chinese epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan made the assertion at a televised press conference that the virus may not have originated in China.
In addition, the new propaganda push will also focus on the idea that China did an "exemplary" job in handling the crisis. Though the regime has been accused of silencing and even arresting health care professionals and reporters that originally sounded the alarm, a new book titled A Battle Against Epidemic: China Combating COVID-19 in 2020 lauds the "superiority of the Chinese system in fighting the virus."
Published by the Central Committee Publicity Department -- which was formerly known as the Propaganda Department -- the book also highlights the "heroic leadership" of President Xi Jinping and the "vital role" of the Communist Party.
The media, which answers to the Central Committee Publicity Department, has unsurprisingly given the new release rave reviews. Moreover, the book will soon be translated to a number of languages in the hope that other countries will not blame the Middle Kingdom as the source of the disease.
Meanwhile, the epidemic continues its spread, both in China and beyond, with over 90,000 cases worldwide.
As the crisis has deepened, the head of the World Health Organization has warned that "we are in uncharted territory," as was previously reported by The Inquisitr.