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.
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.”
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.
VICE compiled a review of reported incidents of China probing social media for posts about the outbreak of COVID-19, and then tracking down dissenters. Expert observers note how more of it came after president Xi Jinping’s first public comments on the coronavirus on January 20. The effects have seemingly spread to news outlets.
Two months after the outbreak was first identified, and a month after it was first reported from Wuhan, the World Health Organization has put the coronavirus on its global map. It’s made China a topic in more ways than ever in the social media age