Building the blocks of war

Xinhua News Agency’s animated video mocking the American response to the coronavirus earned enough attention that the Lego Group issued a statement denying any involvement with the sad Chinese state media effort. The clip seemed to offer just another set of toys in Beijing’s approach to propagandizing social media to criticize U.S. policy.

But there are efforts to counter the communist narrative: Matt Pottinger, a former China-based journalist who now works for Donald Trump, hailed the “brave” doctors in Wuhan who first sounded the alarm regarding COVID-19, one of whom died due to it:

The poll recently conducted by the Pew Research Center highlighted the increasingly negative views of Americans toward China. As the nations race to find a coronavirus vaccine, the blame game goes on, which now extends to warnings of military conflict:

Calls for an inquiry into the virus have further deepened the rift between China and Australia. Britain is also getting louder in its calls for answers about a cover-up. The Americans maintain that there’s “a significant amount of evidence” that COVID-19 came from a laboratory in Wuhan.

China’s new tech solutions

The manufacturing of vehicles that claim to provide the same level of protection as a face mask are being touted as a way to revive China’s ailing auto industry. COVID-fighting smart glasses have also garnered attention as a personal screening method. But recent history has shown that the majority of innovations involve surveillance:

Business as not so usual

The World Economic Forum is wondering how the pandemic might impact China’s global development strategies, with five possible scenarios for the next decade. One view is that the belt and road initiative may require more international collaboration.

Another jailed journalist

Chen Jieren once worked for the party mouthpiece newspaper, People’s Daily. But he was convicted for subsequent political comments on social media platforms. Being sentenced to 15 years is seen as symbolic of the growing crackdown on free speech.

The last words, for now

The number of young Chinese citizens affected by job losses, furloughs and salary cuts prompted Reuters to report on a trend, with the hashtag #ditchyourstuff. Malls aren’t seeing the same crowds as prior to the lockdown, as once-enthusiastic shoppers have turned to purging rather than binging:

Thank you to our donors

The China Letter has benefitted through the generous donors of the Canadian Freedom Institute. Our fundraising seeded initial growth for our newsletters in order for them to expand to more audiences on a shorter timeline. Continued donations to CFI will be put toward paying writers to research and provide education on free and fair trade principles via our newsletter and website. Donations be put toward expanding our newsletter’s subscriber base even further and in the execution of our educational campaigns.