With more than 102,000 cases and the sad record of 12,000 deaths as of March 31, 2020, Italy was the European country most affected by Covid-19 at that time. It is also one of the countries that are keeping the Chinese authorities most busy through a vast operation involving sending masks, respirators, diagnostic tests as well as visits by Chinese experts to Italy, including the vice-president of the Chinese Red Cross, Sun Shuopeng, who in March advised Italian people to ”work harder” to stop the epidemic. For his part, Jack Ma, the founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, offered a million masks and tests through his foundation. All these actions are relayed by a propaganda campaign via the Chinese embassy in Rome and the official press.

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This article was originally published by Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique