Kathmandu: The ambassador of Germany to Nepal Dr Thomas Prinz said on Friday that China was behind spreading fake news against MCC Compact. He said so while urging CMR-Nepal Journalism Academy to take on fake news. Ambassador Prinz was chief guest at the opening ceremony of CMR-Nepal Journalism Academy. Citing examples from his own home country Germany, the US and Taiwan, the German ambassador said that journalism in Nepal is also under threat of fake news.
“I remember the campaign against MCC last year. There were a lot of fake news reports. It was even written that MCC coming to Nepal was a kind of American occupation and that soldiers would come here to Nepal and Nepal would lose its independence,” said the ambassador.
He also said that a lot of journalists in Nepal are paid by the outsiders for the purpose. “There are a lot of journalists here who are directly paid from your big neighbor, printing news which is formulated in Beijing,” he said.
China faces the allegations of spreading fake news against MCC in Nepal. In July this year, Dean Thompson, currently the US ambassador to Nepal, had told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee that China was behind running disinformation campaign against MCC.
Chinese embassy in Kathmandu had taken strong exception to the remarks by Thompson calling it a “true disinformation” by the US and stating that China firmly rejects it.
While urging journalists to fight the fake news, the German ambassador also cited a story of purported rape case of his country: “There was a story about a rape of a Russian speaking German girl in Germany. The accused were the refugees from the Middle East. The journalists went to find who that girl was. The reality was it was a fake story. That girl did not exist. It was a Russian propaganda story in order to undermine the liberal refugee policy in Germany and to steer up nationalistic feelings against the refugees.”
German ambassador also cited example from Taiwan. “Taiwan is under permanent aggression from China. They work with all kinds of fake news stories there,” he said. He also said that fake news was spread by China on the eve of presidential election in Taiwan in 2020.
Stating that such threats of fake news, misinformation and disinformation are everywhere, including in Germany and the US, he asked Nepali journalists to look for the roots of those stories. “We have to constantly look into what is the roots of those stories. Who share those fake stories? We all are living in the digital society so it is easy to produce fake news,” he said.