China's efforts to rebrand itself as a global leader focused on humanitarian relief amid the coronavirus outbreak has hit a major snag and perhaps revealed Beijing's true intentions behind their public relations blitz.
After telling the world that it would donate masks, face guards and testing equipment to Italy, China quietly backtracked and sold the Mediterranean country desperately-needed medical equipment, according to a report.
What's worse is that the personal protective equipment (PPE) China forced Italy to buy was actually the same PPE Italy donated to China before coronavirus rushed its own shores and killed nearly 16,000 people.
"Before the virus hit Europe, Italy sent tons of PPE to China to help China protect its own population. China then has sent Italian PPE back to Italy -- some of it, not even all of it ... and charged them for it," a senior Trump administration official told The Spectator.
Beijing taking advantage of Italy's generosity and then flipping it into something more sinister is just the latest example of the country's misdeeds amid the global outbreak.
Thousands of other supplies and testing kits China has sold to other countries at marked-up prices have turned out to be defective.
Spain had to return 50,000 quick-testing kits to China after discovering they weren't working properly. Last week, the Netherlands also rejected China-made coronavirus testing kits and protective gear, calling them substandard and questioning the quality of supplies Beijing is selling to the world.
Turkey, Georgia and the Czech Republic have also spoken out about kits it purchased from China as being less than adequate. In some cases, instead of fixing the issue, China has blamed user error.