Proceedings of The 6th World Conference on Social Sciences
Understanding China’s Public Information Control about COVID-19
Ramon Angelo Pereyra and Leo Vicentino
The People’s Republic of China has always done well with its information control due to its threat to its political and social stability. This was evident during the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in Wuhan from late December 2019 to early January 2020. Such patterns are consistent with previous outbreaks originating from mainland China. The researcher’s concern is with the Chinese government’s underlying monopoly of information through their Foreign Ministry as a consequence of heavy restrictions on independent media outlets. This lone perspective lends itself to faults that, in the end, are incapable of grasping the depth of their own accountability when it is unwilling to recognize their own shortcomings. For this reason, this study has collected articles from the Chinese government outlets from December 2019 to February 2020. Transcripts of past press conferences held by the Foreign Ministry and its associated spokespersons are held under scrutiny through the use of a particular thematic analysis tradition, which resulted in the observation of their beliefs, attitude, and intentions each organized into categories: (1) vague non-answer responses, (2) deflecting statements, (3) accusatory remarks against third parties, and (4) referral responses. In conclusion, the researcher has determined the zero level of accountability of the People’s Republic of China for the worldwide spread of COVID-19 as a consequence of their reluctance to transparency and politicization the event.
keywords: accountability, governance, information, media, politics