Chinese envoys have been especially aggressive on Twitter, which they are using to attack, intimidate and silence Western journalists, lawmakers and think tank scholars — essentially anyone who contradicts China's official version of events.
Under pressure from Chinese officials, Esther Osorio, a communications adviser to Josep Borrell, the head of the EU diplomatic service, personally intervened to delay the release of the initial report. The EU was reportedly hoping to get better treatment for European companies in China. On April 25, however, the South China Morning Post, which also obtained a copy of the original report, revealed that Beijing had threatened to withhold medical supplies from Europe if the section on China was not removed.
On April 15, Germany's most popular newspaper, Bild, published an article titled, "What China Owes Us So Far," which suggested that China should pay Germany €150 billion ($162 billion) in reparations for the coronavirus pandemic. The article included an itemized list of economic damage, including €50 billion for losses to small businesses and €24 billion for lost tourism.
"You rule by surveillance. You wouldn't be president without surveillance. You monitor everything, every citizen, but you refuse to monitor the diseased wet markets in your country." — Julian Reichelt, editor-in-chief of Bild, "You Are Endangering the Entire World," addressed directly to President Xi Jinping.