China mounted a huge campaign on the medical aid and teams sent to Italy in March to help fight the coronavirus. State-media and prominent Chinese political figures worked tirelessly to depict China as Italy’s saviour.
According to Investigative Data published by Italian news outlet Formiche Between March 11 and 23, – 46.3% of tweets on the hashtag #forzaCinaeItalia, which means “come on China and Italy,” were bots.
The other hashtag was #grazieCina, which means “Thank you China.” 37.1% of tweets using this hashtag were bots.
Also the Chinese diplomatic Twitter accounts and Chinese state media , were found to spread fake news, such as the video showing Italian citizens chanting “Thank you China” from their windows on March 14th .
Amid the Chinese anthem playing out in Rome, Italians chanted “Grazie, Cina!”. In this community with a shared future, we share weal and woe together. pic.twitter.com/HYwrheCUEo
— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) March 15, 2020
In Rome, with the Chinese anthem playing, some Italians chanted “Grazie, Cina!” on their balconies, & their neighbors applauded along. Against #COVID19, humanity lives in a community with a shared future! Italy is a heroic nation. At this trying moment, Chinese #StandWithItaly! pic.twitter.com/S0hdVQTqzG
— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) March 15, 2020
“Grazie Cina” 🇨🇳🇮🇹
National anthem played in a “balcony concert” in Rome as gratitude to China’s aid to Italy
Over 30 tonnes of medical supplies and nine experts arrived from Shanghai to Rome to help fight against the virus pic.twitter.com/VLrFq2e3i7
— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) March 15, 2020
- The original event was initiated by the Italian people , they applauded at the balcony at 12 noon on March 14th to pay tribute to the Italian medical staff, not to sing Grazie Cina (Thank you China).
- Event video was uploaded by the Italy’s “AGTW Media“ on his Facebook page dated 14 March,2020 .
Coronavirus, si applaude dai balconi della Capitale
تم النشر بواسطة AGTW في السبت، ١٤ مارس ٢٠٢٠
- Searched on YouTube with the keywords “Italy”, “Roma”, “applaud” and “balcony” in Italian, found that the Italian news website “Alanews” uploaded this video on YouTube March 14th with the caption “Coronavirus, gli applausi di Torino: “La gente come noi non molla mai” means – Coronavirus, the people applause and they never give up .
- None of the Italian news media reported any news regarding the event where the Italian people applauded at the balcony praising China on March 14th
“Thank you China” Video ran by various Chinese twitter users is fully edited and later added voice and there are seven video clips combined together from different video.
China’s medical donations to countries fighting the coronavirus have been accompanied by a massive propaganda campaign aimed at improving China’s image in recipient countries.