When Covid hit, China was ready to tell its version of the story

In the fall of 2019, just before global borders closed, an international journalists’ association decided to canvass its members about a subject that kept coming up in informal conversations: What is China doing?
What it found was astonishing in its scope. Journalists from countries as tiny as Guinea-Bissau had been invited to sign agreements with their Chinese counterparts.
The Chinese government was distributing versions of its propaganda newspaper China Daily in English — and also Serbian.
A Filipino journalist estimated that more than half of the stories on a Philippines newswire came from the Chinese state agency Xinhua.
A South African media group raised money from Chinese investors, then fired a columnist who wrote about China’s suppression of its Uyghur minority.
Journalists in Peru faced intense social media criticism from combative Chinese government officials.