China's strength to self-correct evident as Texas freezes and blacks out
Published: Feb 18, 2021 11:53 AM

A gas station is closed due to power outage in Houston, Texas, the United States, on Feb. 15, 2021. Up to 2.5 million customers were without power in the U.S. state of Texas Monday morning as the state's power generation capacity is impacted by an ongoing winter storm brought by Arctic blast. (Photo by Chengyue Lao/Xinhua)

The extreme cold weather in the central and southern US has caused at least 31 deaths, leaving million families to endure days without electricity. Texas, a US state with huge resources, has been severely hit. This is not supposed to be the scenario in the US - the world's most developed country. But what kind of scenarios are supposed to happen there? COVID-19 has taken nearly 500,000 lives in the country.  Was that supposed to occur? Yet it is happening. 

The US has once again fallen down from the altar. The Chinese people care about this because we used to treat the country as a standard of modern governance. Since the 1980s, many Chinese intellectuals idealized the US, and took it for granted that the US-style system could effectively eliminate various drawbacks that the Chinese people hate to see in our own country. 

But China has developed to a level where we no longer need to look up to the US. The internet has brought us more information. And a growing number of people have gone to the other side of the Pacific, and we seem to have "rediscovered" the US. 

This allows us to see that the country has acted very poorly in many aspects. For example, the US did not act as well as China in terms of certain disaster relief services and the fight against COVID-19.

There used to be grassroots Chinese officials who would talk about "stupid things." They caused online public outcries every time they did so. Those officials have been severely punished with dismissals. But no matter how serious the matter, there has not been any Chinese official that would act like Tom Boyd, the mayor of Colorado City, Texas. He directly scolded all people of his city. Shockingly, he said, "Sink or swim, it's your choice!" He also said that, "no one owes you or your family anything." He said he was "sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout" and blamed "a socialist government" for the dire situation.

Boyd has resigned. But if he were a Chinese official, this would not only be a question of resignation. He would at least suffer a "social death" from society. 

We used to believe that officials who come into power through elections would not speak to common people in such a way. But the fact is, even elections failed to stop such an unscrupulous official from seizing power. Worse, perhaps he thought he was elected to the position and thus can ignore some people. As a result, he was treading on their toes with such a harsh statement. 

It is a severe natural disaster after all, and we cannot say that the US is an ugly country just because many Americans are also suffering from man-made calamities. But what is happening there has undoubtedly shown that the US is an ordinary country with serious shortcomings. Actually, every country has its own problems, so the US should focus on solving its own woes rather than denouncing other countries. 

China is precisely the country that invests in more efforts to improve and adjust itself. Chinese society and government attach great importance to drawing lessons from any mistake or misconduct. In the past, we thought the West had better capabilities of self-correction, but now this is proving to be false. We have overestimated them. 

China is doing better and better than them in correcting its own problems. This is why China has made rapid progress in recent years.

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