China’s Cautious Stance Towards COVID-19 Doesn’t Make It “Isolated”

From the Chinese perspective, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and the Chinese people support their government’s proactive and cautious stance towards this issue.

CNN ran another hit piece against China late October claiming that “China grows more isolated as Asia Pacific neighbors start living with Covid-19”. The information warfare narrative being propagated by that article is that other regional countries’ changing policies towards COVID-19 supposedly mean that China’s comparatively more cautious stance towards the virus risks making it “isolated”. The intent is obviously to misportray the People’s Republic as a regional outcast that isn’t following emerging norms on epidemiological policies.

The reality is altogether different, as it almost always is whenever it comes to CNN’s reporting. It’s true that there’s a contrast between China’s approach and that of other countries, but that doesn’t make the former “isolated”. Every country has the right to promulgate pertinent policies in line with the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO) and their own experts. What works for one country won’t automatically work for another. Every country should deal with this however they want so long as they don’t endanger others.

China’s stance is currently very cautious, and with good reason. The country doesn’t want to risk an uncontrollable outbreak that could damage its economy and lead to social problems for its people. Proactive responses to even the most minimal of outbreaks ensure that the virus isn’t allowed to spread. This keeps the Chinese people safe and should reassure the rest of the international community about the country’s responsible approach to containing the pandemic.

Unfortunately, China won’t ever be praised by the West no matter what it does. Its consistently cautious stance towards the virus has always been criticized. One needs only recall the false narratives that were spewed during the onset of the pandemic when the West accused China of overreacting to the first reported outbreaks in ways that allegedly violated its people’s human rights. They were wrong then and they’re wrong now. China prevented the large-scale loss of life of its citizens that the US is nowadays unfortunately suffering from.

In fact, it increasingly appears as though these efforts to castigate the country’s cautious stance towards the virus are intended to deflect criticism away from the US’ ineffective policies. Washington doesn’t want to remain the center of the international community’s attention after it failed to contain COVID-19. It therefore has a self-interested stake in pushing forth the perception of “new norms” whereby it’s presented as acceptable for countries not to completely eliminate the virus’ spread. In this false paradigm, China is seen as an “outlier”.

Its success is misrepresented as a “failure” that doesn’t align with seemingly emerging trends. The reality is that US is actually the global outlier and that China set the global standard in terms of what should be done to contain the pandemic. No amount of information warfare by CNN or others can detract from this objective fact. It’s important for the international community to always remember this since more attacks against China’s reputation are expected ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics that will begin in February.

From the Chinese perspective, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and the Chinese people support their government’s proactive and cautious stance towards this issue. The situation is different in other countries though like the US where such policies have proven to be politically polarizing. The US seems to actually be jealous of the solidarity shown across Chinese society. It can never accept whenever another country, let alone one that it officially regards as a so-called “peer competitor”, does better than it.

By Andrew Korybko
Source: OneWorld

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