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China Criticizes Foreign Media’s Use of Locals in Covid Coverage

  • State media attacks Chinese nationals with overseas media
  • Beijing has been restricting critical coverage of policies

China blasted foreign media organizations’ use of Chinese staff to report on issues such as Covid-19 and Xinjiang, in an apparent escalation of Beijing’s efforts to restrict critical coverage of the world’s second-largest economy. 

The official Xinhua News Agency criticized “Western media” for recruiting Chinese nationals “as pawns to propagate their China-bashing rhetoric” in a commentary Tuesday, without naming the media outlets or providing specific examples. The piece cited their involvement in coverage on the origins of the first known Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan and criticism of Beijing’s rigid “Covid Zero” policies.