OPINION / OBSERVER
Gloating over new outbreaks in China, West risks repeating anti-virus failure
Published: Aug 05, 2021 08:48 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

China is currently facing the outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant, the severest ever since the Wuhan outbreak early last year. With past experiences in hand, Chinese authorities in various cities affected swiftly conducted massive testing for local residents and applied close-off management on communities, in a bid to put the new outbreaks under control as soon as possible.

However, as China is coping with the new challenge, the Western media do not sit still, even when their own countries are facing worsening epidemic caused by Delta variant. They behave as if they have waited this moment for so long - they finally get a chance to claim that China's approach of stamping sporadic outbreaks by mass mobilization to trace infections as well as locking down communities is looking increasingly fragile and unsustainable. 

The Western media's malicious will toward China has not changed even if in the past year China played the most formidable role in the world's anti-pandemic fight. In China, its people trust the government and strictly abide by anti-virus rules, which is in stark contrast to the scenario in the West where politicians chase after political gains rather than caring about the wellbeing of the people. 

Nonetheless, the Western media did not collectively reflect on the West's shortcomings in fighting the pandemic and show no shame toward the fact that they are dragging the world's virus fight. Instead, they are taking pleasure in China's latest endeavor to fight Delta. 

As Zhang Tengjun, an assistant research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, put it, being tart and mean is the Western media's same old trick toward China. 

In the face of the Delta-driven outbreak, China has challenges. It has been more than a year since Chinese society kept alert on the virus and cooperated with government measures to tame the every possible rise of the virus. As the situation eased, people gradually lowered their guard, possibly leaving a loophole for this round of outbreaks. The challenges are no less tough than those China tackled during the initial outbreaks in the country last year.

Still, Chinese society is poised to overcome them with the advantage of its system, the respect for science and the collective spirit of its people, all of which are "killers" of the virus. And Western media once again behaves like an onlooker, gloating over China's dealing with difficulties. One and a half years ago, China's experience sounded the alarm for the West, and it was the West's prejudice and arrogance that made it deliberately neglect or even demonize China's experience and led to its miserable result in the pandemic fight. As a result, the world is still stuck in the dire suffering of the pandemic and sees new waves of outbreaks from time to time.

If Western media could truly play their role of serving the public interest, they should help trigger a deep reflection among Western countries and advocate them to learn from China's experience that has proven to be effective, instead of living in the fear of being surpassed by China with its systematic advantage and fast economic recovery. 

Song Luzheng, a research fellow at the China Institute of Fudan University, told the Global Times on Thursday that the Western media always sees the pandemic fight in China and the West through the lens of strategic competition. 

"When a country or a system loses the ability to learn from others, it will not face up to its own problems, and is bound to lose in the competition," said Song.
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