Chinese embassy: Estonia's Foreign Intelligence Service spreading fake news

  • 2021-02-18
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The Chinese embassy in Tallinn has dismissed the annual report of the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service published on Wednesday as unprofessional and spreading false information, Postimees reported. 

"We noticed that the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service issued its annual report of security on February 17, and the content concerned China maintains its unprofessional style as before. It is full of hearsay and patchwork, and smears China by citing sources which 'can not be commented,' spreads fake news publicly, and misleads the public with ulterior motives," the embassy said in a statement published on its website.

"This is an extremely irresponsible act which tries to harm China-Estonia relations. China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to it," it said.

The statement went on to say that "China firmly follows the path of peaceful development and has been working hard to promote the healthy and stable development of China-Estonia relations. China has no intention or interest in threatening any country."

"We once again urge a few Estonians to discard ideological prejudice and view China's development in an objective and fair manner, stop slandering China and work to promote the China-Estonia relations, bilateral practical cooperation and the feelings between our two peoples," the statement said.

The Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service said in its annual report that the Chinese propaganda machine uses Western information channels to spread its narrative and China is following Russia's example in spreading propaganda.

Since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, the amount of biased and fake news produced in China has increased, and its content has become more aggressive. China's influence operations aim to weaken Europe's open society by promoting its own propaganda messages, the intelligence service said in its report.

"During the pandemic, the main objectives of Chinese foreign influence operations have been to improve China’s image, spread the message of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and shape the discourse around it, as well as to sway the political decisions of countries and international organizations in China's favor," the report says, adding that in order to spread its ideology more vigorously, China has turned its focus on the social media channels popular in the West, having opened numerous official and fake accounts in the last year to spread its message.

The report also says that China's ambition to become the world leader in technology poses major security threats.