Tags: China | Coronavirus | masks | ppe | diplomacy | ccp | public relations

China Launches PR Effort to Help US Cities Amid Pandemic

man in a mask carrying a box with more boxes in the background

Funeral service employees unload boxes containing sanitary material donated by the city of Beijing. (Oscar Del Pozo/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 15 June 2020 11:07 AM

As many Americans are blaming China for the coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese government has been deploying a donation-based outreach effort to keep relations between the two countries smooth, NBC News reports.

In May, hospital workers in a small Louisiana town were invited to enjoy a free lunch from a local steakhouse. The Chinese government footed the bill, according to NBC News.

When a truck pulled up with the meals, media was on hand to snap a photo and cover the donation from the Chinese Consulate in Houston, which teamed up with a local World War II museum, to donate meals to the staff of Monroe's St. Francis Medical Center.

According to a NBC News investigation, all five of China’s U.S. consulates and its embassy in Washington, have coordinated medical supply donations and provided food to U.S. communities in need during the pandemic.

Some say the donations are all to put on a show for Chinese propaganda. The giveaways are all documented by Chinese state-run media outlets and promoted on social media.

“We are absolutely being manipulated by the Chinese Communist Party," Wisconsin state Senate President Roger Roth told NBC News. "We're in the middle of a crisis, and we're looking for whatever we can to help us through it, but there is a hidden agenda."

He said he became aware of China’s motives when Chinese diplomats asked him to pass a resolution lauding China's response to the pandemic. He said he declined the request.

China’s consulate in Chicago donated 10,000 masks last month. The San Francisco consulate made a large donation of personal protective equipment. China has gone on the offensive to donate masks, ventilators and PPE to U.S. cities in need. The effort has been nicknamed “mask diplomacy.”

The donations came in as many U.S. lawmakers said they would hold China responsible for the virus outbreak. 

A senior official said Beijing's donations of protective equipment reflects the narrative that the Chinese government is trying to show people that the country is "rescuing people from a fire they started.”

"There are several well-documented examples of the Chinese Communist Party exploiting its aid for propaganda purposes," a State Department official told NBC, adding that the U.S. welcomes "high-quality, transparent, no-strings-attached contributions from foreign donors."

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., agreed the donations are an attempt by China to sell a "pretend narrative."

"Its current effort to provide aid to U.S. cities and counties is part of a broader global strategy to portray China as a leader on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic they caused," Rubio told NBC News.

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As many Americans are blaming China for the coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese government has been deploying a donation-based outreach effort to keep relations between the two countries smooth, NBC News reports. In May, hospital workers in a small Louisiana town...
masks, ppe, diplomacy, ccp, public relations, donations
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2020-07-15
Monday, 15 June 2020 11:07 AM
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