In 2019, Trump ordered the CIA to begin a covert operation against China

A spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the alleged CIA operation showed the US government was using "media platforms as a weapon to spread false information and manipulate international public opinion."

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Trump, Photo: Reuters
Trump, Photo: Reuters
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

In 2019, former US President Donald Trump ordered the CIA to begin a covert operation on Chinese social networks with the aim of turning public opinion there against its government, according to former US officials with direct knowledge of the highly classified operation, Reuters reports.

According to the three officials, the CIA assembled a small team of operatives who then spread negative narratives about Xi Jinping's government through fake accounts on social networks and sent fake news to foreign media.

The CIA team thus spread allegations that members of the ruling Communist Party were hiding ill-gotten gains abroad and called China's Belt and Road initiative corrupt and wasteful, the sources told Reuters.

While U.S. officials declined to provide specific details about the operations, they said the stories were based on fact despite intelligence operatives covertly publishing them under false identities.

The efforts inside China were intended to fuel paranoia among top officials there.

CIA spokeswoman Chelsea Robinson declined to comment on the alleged existence of the operation, its goals or consequences.

A spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the alleged CIA operation showed the US government was using "media platforms as a weapon to spread false information and manipulate international public opinion."

Reuters could not determine the impact of the covert operations or whether President Joseph Biden's administration continued the CIA operation.

Trump, now the Republican nominee for president, has announced that he will take an even tougher approach to China if he is re-elected president in November.

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