On April 13, China’s Foreign Ministry lashed out at the Yomiuri Shimbun for a news commentary blaming the Communist Party of China for the COVID-19 crisis. The Global Times followed suit with an editorial to criticize the article, stating that the writer should “be spiritually and mindfully independent and morally integrated as a Japanese.”

Censuring other parties for dissenting opinions is nothing new for Chinese government spokespeople and state media. Still, China has lately been stepping up its effort to counter global criticisms of its government for the outbreak of COVID-19.

After Peruvian Nobel laureate Mario Llosa blamed the Chinese government for covering up the epidemic without proper handling, China’s Foreign Ministry told Llosa to “discard his prejudice and look at the issue in an all-round, correct manner and view China objectively and fairly.”