May 24, 2022
Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell i Fontelles on behalf of the European Commission
1. The EU has raised its concerns over disinformation and propaganda activities with the Chinese authorities in Beijing, most recently in the context of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine including through a demarche to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 30 March 2022. On this occasion, the EU called on the Chinese authorities to address the unquestioning dissemination of Russian disinformation and information manipulation by Chinese media outlets and cease censorship of pro-Ukrainian voices. The EU also addresses issues of media freedom and access to information as part of its engagement with China on human rights.
2. The accreditation of journalists, including those working for Chinese state-owned media outlets, is primarily a Member State competence.
3. Addressing disinformation is a multi-pronged task. The EU has a number of policy documents in place, including the Strategic Compass, and the December 2020 European Democracy Action Plan /1 , which adds to the priorities identified in the 2018 Action Plan on Disinformation. The EU and Member States are currently looking into stepping up capacities to counter disinformation, by calling for more obligations and accountability for online platforms, and empowering citizens to make informed decisions. In parallel, the EU is working on enhancing its toolbox for countering foreign influence operations and interference, including by adding new instruments that allow for the imposing of costs on perpetrators and strengthening existing cooperation structures to fight disinformation.