Western media outlets, particularly those in Australia, have lost their self-proclaimed journalistic professionalism and independence, as they rushed to hype up an unverified “Five Eyes” intelligence report that clearly seeks to smear China’s handlining of the coronavirus outbreak, a Chinese expert said on Sunday.
The latest development out of Australia could also further exacerbate rising tensions between China and Australia over the latter’s call for an investigation into China’s handling of COVID-19, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Sunday.
“Australian media, in hyping up such an unverifiable research dossier to smear China, has lost journalistic professionalism and objectivity. Some Australian media reports are always full of ideological bias against China and show their lack of confidence,” Li said.
The Daily Telegraph, an Australian media outlet, reported on Saturday that it learned from an investigation dossier by the Five Eyes intelligence agencies that China deliberately suppressed or destroyed evidence of the coronavirus outbreak in an “assault on international transparency.”
The report said that the 15-page research document they obtained showed that the Chinese government covered up news of the virus, destroyed evidence of it in its laboratories and denied of human-to-human transmission.
After the Daily Telegraph report, other Western media outlets also joined in hyping up the so-called dossier. But US intelligence is not confirming the existence of the 15-page document, US media outlet Fox News reported on Sunday.
The Five Eyes alliance consists of intelligence agencies from the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“Even if there was such a dossier, the Five Eyes alliance was established for the political aim of the five countries. Its investigation reports will only meet their political demands, instead of scientific truth,” Li said.
Chinese officials have repeatedly criticized some western media and politicians for playing up the so-called “China concealing the epidemic” theory, calling such efforts are attempt to cover up their own failures in containing the virus in their countries.