The Pentagon does not deny the report discrediting Chinese vaccines

AP Photo/Charles Darpak/TASS

The US Defense Department did not deny a Reuters report of a campaign to discredit Chinese COVID-19 vaccines organized by the US military and said it was opposing China in the information space.

Reuters said in a report published on Friday that the US military in particular has been conducting a campaign to discredit China's Sinovac coronavirus vaccine on social media in order to reduce China's influence in Southeast Asian countries. The campaign, carried out most proactively in the Philippines, aimed to cast doubt on the efficacy of Chinese vaccines and other items supplied by China, including face masks and testing kits.

"The Department of Defense conducts a wide range of operations, including operations in the information environment, to counter adversary malign influences. Department of Defense activities conducted outside areas of armed conflict are coordinated and do not conflict with other departments and agencies, as appropriate, this process is deliberate, methodical and comprehensive," he told TASS Department of Defense spokeswoman Lisa Lawrence.

"Several state and non-state actors are using social media platforms and other media to spread disinformation and conduct malign influence campaigns against the United States," the spokesperson noted. "DoD uses a variety of platforms, including social media, to counter those malicious attacks targeting the United States, allies and partners," Lawrence added.

As for the disinformation about COVID-19, China [in 2020] initiated a disinformation campaign to falsely blame the United States for the spread of COVID-19, Lawrence says.

"In line with the US National Defense Strategy, the Department of Defense continues to build an integrated deterrence against critical challenges to US national security, including deterring the spread of disinformation from the PRC under the scrutiny of the Department's coordination and deconfliction process," she said.

Reuters reported in its publication that journalists of the news agency have identified at least 300 accounts on the X platform created in the summer of 2020, with provocative messages calling to distrust China posted there. formerly Twitter, which matched descriptions shared by former U.S. military officials familiar with the operation in the Philippines.

The anti-vax effort took place from spring 2020 until mid-2021, Reuters reported.

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