Members of a Chinese Anti-Epidemic medical expert team stand after landing at Milan - Malpensa airport on March 18, 2020 in Ferno, near Milan, Italy.

China’s increased influence has come along with new efforts to prompt Beijing’s preferred narrative — on COVID-19 and otherwise.

China’s Disinformation Campaign in Italy

Valbona Zeneli and Federica Santoro

June 2020, Number 001

In Italy, the COVID-19 crisis has brought a health, economic, and social toll unseen since the end of World War II. As the country is slowly opening up after three months of complete lockdown, one aspect of the crisis that needs more attention is the active role of external players during the pandemic. A recent report of the Italian parliamentary committee for security (Copasir) has certified the existence of a massive “infodemic” during the COVID-19 crisis, and more specifically the role of Russian and Chinese propaganda in the country. The pandemic and its negative repercussions have created ample opportunities for influence operations, and the European Union and the wider neighborhood have been targeted by disinformation and conspiracy theories by various governments, including Russia and China. . .

Excerpt from The Diplomat, June 9, 2020.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.