China has been doing a PR overdrive both inside and outside as it strives to improve its image in the backdrop of the Wuhan coronavirus. Expectedly, China’s propaganda is ending up backfiring massively as the country finds no takers for its outreach and hollow diplomacy. This time around, when China produced a music video to spread the message about China’s support to its neighbouring countries fighting the virus, the Filipinos greatly roasted China and called for the removal of the video.
It seems that everything that China tries to do to spread its propaganda is massively backfiring as recently the country produced a music video, titled, “Iisang Dagat”, or “One Sea” which featured Chinese diplomats, singers and an actor in the Philippine language which has become a subject of ridicule in the Philippines.
The amount of backlash was so severe that the video had more dislikes than likes on YouTube. The video which was posted last week on YouTube along with the hashtag #CNPHHealAsOne has garnered 173,000 dislikes as compared to just 2,800 likes. The lyrics are written by Chinese Ambassador H.E. Huang Xilian, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines.
The video which is nothing but a false advertisement of the supposed “unity” between the countries is filled with pictures of how China is helping the Philippines battle the pandemic.
“We have to stop the evil of China spreading”, wrote , Leonard Anthony Arcilla. “We do not unify with China”, said Elna Lynda Acuerdo, whereas Venus Liwanag said the video was “slapping the faces of each Filipino”. One user wrote, “I dislike this video. China, stop bullying us. If you’re sincere, get off our sea and lands” while another user wrote, “This video is a big joke. The title itself is kinda funny, our countrymen are not allowed to navigate our sea as CCP claimed some of the islands and created an artifical land to build a base,” a reference to China’s growing aggression in the South China Sea which it falsely claims as its own.
China being true to its characteristics has delivered faulty medical supplies to countries across the world. Health officials in the Czech Republic and Spain had reported that the Wuhan virus rapid tests their respective countries received from China were faulty and had an unmanageably high error rate.
The 6,40,000 faulty testing kits delivered by China to Spain had only 30 per cent accuracy as against the 80 per cent demanded by the Spanish doctors. And then several others had joined the bandwagon of countries that rejected ‘Made in China’ supplies. The Dutch government had ordered a recall of around 6,00,000 masks which failed to meet standards out of the 1.3 million masks that had been shipped from China.
The Philippines too had ordered 1,00,000 testing kits from China but discarded them after they turned out to be only 40 per cent accurate. Low accuracy defeats the purpose of testing with positive cases missing the scrutiny of the authorities doing more harm than good.
Over the past few weeks, there has been a sharp rise in Beijing’s aggressive expansionism against other stakeholders in the maritime region- Vietnam, Taiwan, Philippines and Malaysia in the South China Sea, and Japan in the East China Sea.
China has been threatening Taiwan with clear attempts to corner the island with its naval assets even in the backdrop of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Recently, a strike group, consisting of two 052D guided-missile destroyers – the Xining and Guiyang – two 054A guided-missile frigates – the Zaozhuang and Rizhao – and supply ship, the Hulunhu accompanying China’s first operational aircraft carrier, Liaoning sailed in waters East of Taiwan and further towards the Southern direction of the island, carrying out exercises.
Admittedly, China’s claims on geographical features in the region are in gross violation of international maritime law. Yet Beijing has gone ahead renaming 80 geographical features in the South China Sea- standard names for 25 islands and reefs, and 55 geographic locations in a move that reeks of China’s clear attempts to establish its territorial sovereignty upon the disputed geographic sites.
Last week, the Philippines filed diplomatic protests as it claimed that China locked radar on a Philippine navy boat and rejected its formation of an administrative unit in the disputed area.
China doesn’t understand that the only way they can improve the country’s image and change the global narrative would be by mending its ways and for once behave like a responsible superpower. At a time when the world is fighting a China made pandemic, China cannot get away with propaganda filled music videos.