Pandemic fight calls for Western elites to drop absurd arrogance toward China
Published: Jan 22, 2021 07:38 PM

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Chinese people's collective memory about the fight against the epidemic outbreak that mobilized the whole nation one year ago is more about the continuous success of that battle rather than the initial problems and difficulties. Now there have been sporadic cases in many areas of China, but the country has formed a strong system to tamp them down. The contrast between China and the outside world - especially Western countries that have long been admired but are now deeply mired in outbreaks - has renewed our understanding. We can clearly feel how this new understanding impacts our thoughts. To a considerable extent, it has subverted our original knowledge about the US.  

The virus is the same, and information has flowed rapidly between countries over the past year. This has formed an unprecedented opportunity to compare China with Western countries like the US, inevitably leading to changes in many Chinese people's understanding. 

In recent days, I have read some Western media outlets' reports on China's performance in the anti-pandemic fight over the past year. They all admitted that Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, is not what it was a year ago and has returned to normalcy. They also acknowledged that the US and other Western countries are still in a mess. However, they distorted the interpretation of China's success. They refused to recognize the victory China achieved but created false narratives to smear China, such as "China violated human rights" and "China suppressed free speech." 

It's astonishing that the US and Western elites are so narrow-minded and biased. How can Western societies face up to their own problems while being misled by such an elite group? Will they realize their mistakes and make a remedy to develop a significant improvement in governance? 

China's reaction to local outbreaks has become swifter over the past year. Facing the ferocious virus, Chinese society has increased coordination. Some countries like the US have changed their leaders, but the public is not optimistic about the institutional adjustments the new leaders have made to fight the pandemic. I wish these countries good luck in the New Year. But, first of all, they need to improve their elites' understanding. They should avoid comparing their countries with China, or they should draw their shortcomings from a comparison, if there must be one, instead of showing a ridiculous arrogance. 

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn