Pompeo makes it a habit of blaming China, but politicizing virus is not good for the US

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/1 15:08:40 Last Updated: 2020/3/2 0:17:21

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Editor's Note:

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday accused China and Iran of censoring information about the outbreak of COVID-19, and of placing other countries at greater risk. Are his accusations fair? Why is Pompeo still politicizing the epidemic at this critical stage? Global Times reporter Li Qingqing talked with two Chinese experts on this issue.

Ni Feng, deputy director of the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

This is Pompeo's customary practice. He is an extreme anti-China politician. His understanding of China comes almost entirely from an ideological standpoint, rather than trying to make judgments based on facts.

Indeed, in the beginning, there were problems with China's initial response to the COVID-19 outbreak. But we did not know the severity of the epidemic at that time. We came to understand the virus as the epidemic developed, and effective measures were implemented in a timely manner. People need time to understand an unfamiliar issue. However, Pompeo has been putting labels on China and criticizing the country's system, which shows that he views China from a narrow-minded perspective.

There have been different voices on COVID-19 in the US. For example, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday contradicted a previous CDC warning of the "inevitable" spread of COVID-19 in the US. This reveals a dispute between the US executive office and the professional prevention and control agency. US politicians may not want to create panic, or they are prioritizing the US economic situation and the upcoming presidential election.

Countries have their own approach when dealing with COVID-19. Pompeo is trying to benefit the US from China's misfortune. But there are many Americans who believe such a public health crisis is a threat faced by all humans, and countries should join together to fight it. There remain such rational voices in the US, despite Pompeo's extreme statements.

Pompeo and his likes regard China as a strategic rival. They say whatever they want as long as it hurts China. They have made it a habit to blame China regardless of what the country does. Their attitude remains the same even when facing the epidemic, a challenge that has confronted all human beings. Such politicization of COVID-19 has hindered international cooperation and led the US into a passive situation to deal with the virus.


Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai

Pompeo blames everything on the political system of any country that the US deems a rival in order to hype public opinion, create excuses for US suppression, and win support politically at home and from US allies. However, Pompeo's attacks distort facts.

The world sees clearly whether China is concealing the outbreak of the epidemic. We have to admit that when facing the completely new and unfamiliar COVID-19, there were problems with the local governments' response. However, in general, China has adopted an open and responsible attitude toward the epidemic. Besides releasing information on the epidemic in a timely manner, China has locked down the epidemic center and adopted strict quarantine measures to stop the virus from spreading beyond its border, which would cause short-term economic damage but are effective in containing the virus. China has also been sharing information on COVID-19 with and providing prevention supplies for the WHO and other affected countries and regions. Pompeo has turned a blind eye to this. He is missing no chance to distort the facts and blacken China.

Pompeo said in July 2019, "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole... It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." Indeed, his acts are in line with his former status and professional habit as a CIA director. As the US secretary of state and an important member of the Trump administration, Pompeo is taking all measures to suppress and contain countries like China which the US regards as rivals. This is consistent with the Trump administration's foreign strategy, and Pompeo is going all out to tout such strategy and rope in more allies.

We shouldn't care too much about Pompeo's smearing words. China's hard work is self-evident, and we don't need the US to make a final judgment. Other countries do not believe everything Pompeo says. China's victory over COVID-19 will be the best weapon to fight against such slander.

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