In the strongest possible terms, Florida’s senior Senator on Friday took aim at Chinese agitprop from the Wall Street Journal.
Sen. Marco Rubio denounced a Wednesday op-ed by China’s Foreign Ministry Commissioner Xie Feng as “the latest attempt in the Communist Party’s blatant effort to sow chaos through conspiracy theories, spread propaganda and rewrite history amid a global crisis.”
“Mr. Xie writes that Beijing made ‘tremendous sacrifice against all the odds, it created a strong first line of defense for China and the world.” These lies may work within China, where the Communist Party’s authoritarian grip on the media and censorship of social media gives the party full control of the narrative, but the world knows better,” the Senator thundered.
Xie’s article includes airy self-justifications for its coronavirus dealings.
“While China never intends to export its system or model, its efficiency, spirit and sense of responsibility in the lifesaving battle against COVID-19 should be obvious. But some have started rumors that the coronavirus was produced synthetically in China,” Xie wrote.
Rubio, who has rejected those rumors, seems to have understood them as a straw man argument, as he plowed through it and continued his assault on perceived perfidy from Beijing.
“The truth is that China covered up the outbreak of the virus, forcefully silenced medical professionals like the late Dr. Li Wenliang, lied about the number of infections and withheld information about the virus from the global community. Undoubtedly, the failure of the Chinese Communist Party to be transparent and disclose critical information from the beginning led to increased deaths around the world, a higher rate of infection, and caused the pandemic to spread faster and further than it otherwise would,” the Senator contended, before going on to cast aspersions once more at the probity of Chinese communications.
“Mr. Xie claims that the Communist Party wants to work with the international community and that ‘[i]dentifying the virus’s origin is a serious scientific issue.’ I agree wholeheartedly, and if Mr. Xie’s written words are sincere, the Communist Party will cooperate with an international investigation to find out exactly how this global pandemic began in the first place. I won’t hold my breath waiting,” Rubio added.