(Minghui.org) Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tweeted on March 12 that the U.S. army may have brought the virus to Wuhan. While many western countries have dismissed Zhao’s claim as an unfounded rumor, many people in China have fallen victim to these Chinese Communist Party lies due to its omnipresent propaganda.

Illusory Truth Effect

Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister in Nazi Germany, once stated, “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.” 

This phenomenon, referred to by psychologists as the illusory truth effect, has existed for a long time. Jing Hua Yuan (Flowers in the Mirror), a novel from the 1800s Qing Dynasty, described a country called Bo Lu. People there were afraid of going to sleep, since they had been told that sleep was the same as death. Anyone who saw other people sleep would wake them up. Those who eventually collapsed and died resulting from sleep deprivation were used to validate the view that “going to sleep was the same as dying.” People would say, “See, I told you sleep would cause death.”

Propaganda Aims to Turn Lies Into Truth

Modern China under CCP rule is no different than the country of Bo Lu mentioned above. The CCP has propagated lies since its founding in order to maintain power. 

During the Great Leap Forward campaign in 1958, the CCP claimed that grain production had reached thousands of kilograms per acre and disaster relief offices were thus disbanded, because with so much grain for consumption, the relief office was no longer needed. Many people, including CCP officials, came from farmlands and they knew exactly how much grain an acre of land could produce. But under the totalitarian rule of the CCP, they went along with the lies against their conscience and common sense and turned a blind eye to what was going on. As a result, tens of millions of people died from starvation during the Great Famine that soon followed in the same year.

In order to eradicate Falun Gong, a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, the CCP has manufactured numerous lies targetting Falun Gong, including the staged 2001 self-immolation incident on Tiananmen Square.

On January 23, 2001, a year and a half after the CCP launched the suppression of Falun Gong, five individuals allegedly set themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The entire scene was caught on camera from multiple angles. Beginning just hours after the event, state-controlled media broadcast a flood of reports stating that the self-immolators were Falun Gong practitioners. These reports included grisly footage of the victims and portrayed Falun Gong teachings as directly responsible for the tragedy.

In the weeks following the event, a wealth of evidence was uncovered (including a Washington Post article finding that two of the self-immolators had never practiced Falun Gong) which indicated that the entire incident was staged. Yet, while people inside China had no access to this information, the Chinese state-run media continued a blitz campaign to portray the “self-immolators” as Falun Gong practitioners. People across China changed from respecting and sympathizing with Falun Gong, to becoming infuriated with and attacking the practice. Hate crimes targeting Falun Gong practitioners increased and the CCP escalated its persecution with increased arrests, torture, killing, and forced organ harvesting.

The same tactic of spreading lies to brainwash the citizens has been used by the CCP in its handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Between the first patient’s hospitalization on December 1, 2019, and the lockdown of Wuhan on January 23, 2020, municipal officials repeatedly informed the public that the disease was not infectious, and it was “preventable and controllable,” even after the first patient had infected over ten healthcare workers, and some patients had spread the virus to their entire families. The officials even punished eight physicians and other citizens for raising awareness of the epidemic.

Do Not Fall Prey to CCP Lies

The CCP cover-up was followed by an explosion of cases in Wuhan, the rest of China, and now almost every other country around the world. As other nations fight to contain the pandemic, China has launched a new campaign to shift blame to others and cast itself as a global leader in the battle against the virus.

By combining government-controlled media inside China and massive propaganda overseas, “Beijing is working very hard to create an alternative universe of information,” reported Quartz in an article on August 21, 2019.

While some Chinese people question the CCP’s lies, many others still believe the propaganda. I’d like to refer the latter to the observation that countries with close ties to China were hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, Baibuting residents' ordeals serve as another warning that believing the CCP lies only brings harm. 

On January 18, 2020, Baibuting residents in Wuhan attended an annual New Year celebration banquet, with more than 40,000 families sharing a total of 14,000 dishes. Days later, many in the community began showing symptoms of the coronavirus infection. The city of Wuhan was locked down on January 23. 

To reduce the number of reported infection cases, officials have now abandoned Baibuting. A netizen wrote on a blogging site, “I am a resident of Baibuting community in Wuhan. I write this in despair. Baibuting Garden is now in an unmanned situation, with no one in charge. Many people have been infected with this virus. But the leaders in Wuhan gave us only one testing kit per day per grid, each of which contains about 4,000 families.” The post was soon deleted.