On April 19, 2020, CGTN Arabic TV (China) aired a segment about Western media coverage of China's coronavirus response. The presenter criticized what she said are accusations by the Western media that China has been engaging in "facemask diplomacy" in light of the coronavirus pandemic, that China has been enforcing a siege rather than quarantines, that China has been lying about the spread of the coronavirus, and that international organizations have only been praising China's efforts to fight the virus in order to please it. She said that the Western media has been using manipulative terminology in order to distort or conceal the truth about China's coronavirus response, and that Western news reports have been filled with "misunderstandings and prejudice" against China. In addition, the presenter said that this highlights that CGTN Arabic TV is necessary in order to enable Arab viewers to get to know the "real China" and see "the other side of the facts."
Presenter: "Do the following words sound familiar? Have you read them in the news? 'China did not use private hospitals in keeping with the law in order to fight the coronavirus. Rather it took over these hospitals.' Took over! 'China has not provided medical aid to other countries. Rather, it is engaging in facemask diplomacy.' Facemask diplomacy! 'Countries and international organizations have lauded China's efforts only in order to please it.' Only in order to please it! 'China does not employ a policy of quarantine. Rather, it imposes a siege.' It imposes a siege!
"These are the manipulative words and expressions used by Western media in order to distort China's efforts to fight the plague. The Western media outlets have given every reasonable explanation for the underreporting of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Western countries, but at the same time, they have been using manipulative expressions like 'hiding the truth,' 'lying' and lack of transparency in reporting, in order to accuse China of hiding its real condition when the coronavirus was spreading.
"These stories circulated by Western news outlets have greatly influenced viewers' image of China. However, it is the job of the media to provide facts and explore the truth rather than serve as a political weapon in the face of human crisis. Many of the news and reports in the Western media are filled with misunderstandings and prejudices about China. This highlights why we are needed. We need to speak in our own voice and tell our stories in earnest and with dedication. We hope to open a window for Arab viewers, so they get to know the real China. Perhaps your view of China will not be changed in a short time, but you will be able to understand the others side of the facts."