For quite some time, China has been trying to undercut the foundation of American global power. Unlike Moscow’s often coarse, brutish efforts, Beijing has been stealthier than an F-35, using public diplomacy initiatives to subtly buy its way into schools, civil society and the private sector.Now, however, the mask — and the gloves — are coming off.In the last few days, the Chinese Communist Party has changed its propaganda tactics. Party officials, government representatives and state media are now overtly attacking the U.S., spreading deliberate lies about the COVID-19 outbreak.HANS VON SPAKOVSKY: CAN TRUMP USE CORONAVIRUS TO DELAY 2020 ELECTIONS?This dramatic shift leaves experts pondering: What’s up?More specifically: Why are Chinese government officials now publicly denying that the coronavirus started in Hubei province and citing conspiracy web sites that claim the U.S. is responsible for the virus?More from OpinionRecently, Lin Songtian, the Chinese ambassador to South Africa made both those claims.Lin is no loose cannon. He does, however, know Africa well. Apparently he has judged that Africa will be receptive to more aggressive propaganda efforts.Lin’s conspiracy charge may well get traction in Africa, where there lingers a deep distrust of CIA activities from the Cold War. The old Soviet disinformation campaign claiming that the CIA created AIDS took root in the continent and remains to this day.Moreover, the Chinese have been peppering Africa with anti-American messages for years now — all part of its

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