BEIJING, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Friday slammed reported "vile" U.S. practice of hiring paid posters to spread rumors to discredit China.
Zimbabwe's media have revealed that the U.S. government, through such means as funding relevant agencies in hosting seminars, is paying private media journalists 1,000 U.S. dollars for every story they publish to discredit Chinese companies who invest in Zimbabwe.
In response, spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a daily press briefing, "1,000 U.S. dollars could have been spent in funding a poor Zimbabwean student or helping Zimbabwe purchase 100 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. But the U.S. government chose to hire paid posters to spread rumors with the money, which is vile, as media outlets put it."
Zhao said that for some time, the United States has gone to great lengths, including paying for lies, to discredit China and hurt China-Africa relations.
"The reports fully show that African countries and the whole international community are clear-eyed about the United States' flagrant dissemination of disinformation, and revolt at the United States' despicable and unscrupulous fabrication of lies and smears," the spokesperson added.
Noting that China and Zimbabwe enjoy a long-standing friendship, Zhao said Chinese companies' investment in Zimbabwe has played a positive role in promoting the country's economic recovery and development and improving people's livelihoods. "Our practical cooperation has delivered tangible benefits to the two peoples," he said.
"What stands in clear contrast is that the United States has long been imposing illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe, and using funds to corrupt the media and fabricate negative reports on China at their behest," Zhao said, adding that such a comparison makes the situation all too clear.
"We urge the United States to stop shouting empty slogans and speaking falsehoods, and do more concrete things for African people, including those in Zimbabwe, so as to play a constructive role in Africa's economic recovery and development," Zhao said.