It’s been one year since the current wave of pro-democracy protests started in Hong Kong, and it was marked with flash mobs, a week after a Tiananmen Square anniversary vigil successfully defied a police ban. And while Hong Kong’s last British leader calls China’s agenda for it “Orwellian,” further preparations appear to be well underway.
While the public commemorations in Hong Kong of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing were technically restricted due to COVID-19 congregation regulations, China’s planned security laws threaten the future of the annual event. Residents have been asked to light candles instead, and share their thoughts online.
Hong Kong’s chief administrator Carrie Lam thinks other countries shouldn’t interfere with China’s proposed national security legislation against so-called “terrorist activities.” However, the eruption of new protests, and how police responded to it, made it impossible for others to ignore.
The growing international popularity of short-video app TikTok increasingly raised concerns due to ownership control based in China. But its quest for global domination now comes with new clout: Kevin Mayer, a former top executive at Disney, was recruited to run it. His job will no doubt involve having to defend the company to US lawmakers
While cutting its maximum capacity from 80,000 to 24,000 visitors a day, along with installing anti-virus controls, the re-opening of Shanghai Disneyland told a story in pictures of how China is attempting to revive daily life after its peak of COVID-19, through symbols of American pop culture. Masked workouts have also become a new normal:
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 propaganda effort. The clip seemed to offer just another set of toys in Beijing’s approach to propagandizing social media to criticize U.S. policy.
Former Microsoft chairman Bill Gates defended the communist Chinese response to COVID-19 saying that the regime’s “did a lot of things right in the beginning.” He made this statement during an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and went on to say that criticizing China’s handling of the pandemic response is “a distraction.”
The lawsuit filed by the state of Missouri, alleging China lied about COVID-19, followed Wuhan raising its related death toll by 50 per cent. Beijing called for a stronger testing regime to test the coronavirus, amid re-emerging local transmissions. But at least one country is pressing to find past answers
whether you believe it or not. “Normal life is a distant dream” reads the New York Times headline on the story about the end of the 76-day lockdown of the coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan, amid masks everywhere. Movement requires a green symbol on a surveillance-based smartphone. And there are fears of a major relapse, even after daily COVID-19 deaths allegedly touched zero.
The outbreak of COVID-19 provided much insight into the workings of Chinese propaganda efforts on social media. Questions are also being raised about faulty coronavirus tests now being exported to Europe. Beijing has seemed to back off spinning conspiracy theories, which only contributed to a legacy of disinformation.