OPINION / COLUMNISTS
Indian media’s smear of China-made oxygen concentrators is shameless
Published: May 15, 2021 12:50 PM
<em>People wait to refill oxygen cylinders for COVID-19 patients at Jangpura area in New Delhi, India, on May 5, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)</em>

People wait to refill oxygen cylinders for COVID-19 patients at Jangpura area in New Delhi, India, on May 5, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)


India Today
on Friday slammed China for a surge in prices while sending sub-standard oxygen concentrators to India in an "exclusive" report. The report not only criticized Chinese companies, but also directed anger against China. "It is a matter of life and death, but China is choosing to make profits at the cost of people's lives," the report says.

I have to say that this report is extremely unprofessional and the malicious incitement in this report is shameless. The editors of India Today probably have got their conscience eaten by a dog.

India is now suddenly purchasing equipment such as oxygen concentrators and ventilators on a huge scale. This has caught the global industry by surprise. China has the strongest ability in producing such equipment at a fast pace. But it has also been overwhelmed by India's huge demand. This has inevitably led to a shortage of components and raw materials, forcing prices to go up. 

Such price fluctuation is a natural reaction of the market. China is not a planned economy and the Chinese government does not have the ability to control price increases at every point in the supply chain.

At the beginning of the epidemic in China in late January last year, a shortage of face masks sent prices of the much-needed item soaring in the Chinese market. The price of a mask has not only doubled or tripled, but gone up several times or even more than 10 times. These masks are produced for the Chinese people's own use, but the government could hardly stabilize the prices.

India Today gives specific examples of how the price of oxygen concentrators has risen from $340 to $460 and claims that "the increase in price is nearly three times the actual rate of the product in many cases." They should rather compare the current situation to the skyrocketing prices of face masks in China when the epidemic was intense.

At present, medical compressors are out of stock. I believe that China's regular enterprises will not use a compressor with less power in oxygen concentrators. If any company did so, it must have been in consultation with the Indian purchaser. Deliberately selling sub-standard products is not the basic rule that normal Chinese  enterprises follow nowadays. Chinese society understands that a case involving human life is to be treated with the utmost care. The level of moral self-discipline in the Chinese market today is by no means what some Indian reporters with a limited vision imagine.

It is worth noting that we are not encouraging the price increase of oxygen concentrators exported to India. But Indian media outlets should by no means use the price fluctuations to smear Chinese companies. 

It must be pointed out that Chinese enterprises as a whole have made the top contribution to deliver anti-epidemic supplies to India, both in aid and exports. No matter who the supplier is, most of the oxygen concentrators that are being urgently delivered to India are manufactured in China. For this reason alone, the Indian society should respond positively to China's role in India's fight against the epidemic.

We don't demand India to be grateful, but some opinions coming out of India, as exemplified by the report of India Today, have shown a serious lack of self-respect in their attitude toward China's support to their epidemic fight. Such behavior to requite kindness with resentment breaks the line of modern civilization.

Some Indian media outlets, regardless of facts, have been stirring up nationalist sentiment against China in the Indian society for a long time. They have seriously misled some audiences' understanding of China. Actually, despite the border friction causing antagonism between Chinese and Indian societies, ordinary people have simple common sense and views of the common rules. The ordinary Indian people will not detest everything from China, just like the ordinary Chinese people will not detest everything from India. It is a few people in the Indian media and some Indian politicians who continue to poison the relationship between China and India. They are the evil forces of this era.

Let's hope that these people, at least for the time being, will refrain from the desire for hype and demagoguery as they are taking advantage of their own people's misfortune who died of COVID-19 epidemic. They should be ashamed of themselves. 

Last but not least, oxygen concentrators are lifesaving products, and some Indian people who tried to stir things up should not think that they are the real gods as they placed the order at this moment. China's encouragement to Chinese companies to work overtime to export much-needed equipment to India is motived by moral standards rather than economic considerations. Chinese people are doing this with goodwill. We hope that the cooperation between China and India will continue and the effort to save more people severely affected by the pandemic won't be disrupted by a few Indian media outlets. 

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


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