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Subject European Union censors Covid-19 report to appease the Chinese Communist Party
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Original Message BRUSSELS — Bowing to heavy pressure from Beijing, European Union officials softened their criticism of China this week in a report documenting how governments push disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents, emails and interviews.

Worried about the repercussions, European officials first delayed and then rewrote the document in ways that diluted the focus on China, a vital trading partner — taking a very different approach than the confrontational stance adopted by the Trump administration.

...China moved quickly to block the document’s release, and the European Union pulled back. The report had been on the verge of publication, until senior officials ordered revisions to soften the language.

“The Chinese are already threatening with reactions if the report comes out,” Lutz Güllner, a European Union diplomat, wrote to colleagues on Tuesday in an email seen by The Times.

The sentence about China’s “global disinformation” campaign was removed, as was any mention of the dispute between China and France. Other language was toned down.

The delay and revisions incited anger and frustration among some diplomats and government disinformation analysts. At least one analyst formally objected, writing to her bosses that the European Union was “self-censoring to appease the Chinese Communist Party.”

[link to www.nytimes.com (secure)]
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