US whining over China’s zero-COVID policy is dumb, mean
Published: Jan 27, 2022 09:26 PM
US whining over China's zero-COVID policy is dumb, mean. Illustration:Chen Xia/GT

Illustration:Chen Xia/GT

The US mainstream media never disappoints, in that it always find a way to be so arrogant and mean - especially when it comes to China. Recently US media outlets have waged what appears to be a concerted and callous smearing campaign against China's dynamic zero-COVID strategy. 

The New York Times, in particular, has gone to the extreme to charge tens of thousands of Chinese frontline workers fighting the virus of "the banality of evil." It has also wishfully declared that "China's zero-COVID policy is a pandemic waiting to happen."

More than 800,000 Americans that have lost their lives to the US' complete policy failure in fighting the virus. On social media, such claims have been widely mocked by many in the US, and around the world. In China, most people just laughed at such lurid and ridiculous claims. Frankly, these types of "news" articles and "guest essays" only deserve to be discarded into the rubbish bin. 

But in their broader smearing campaign against China's highly effective policy, some US media outlets have raised one issue that might resonate with some in China - the impact of strict anti-virus measures on businesses. To be absolutely clear, no serious person in China, or anywhere for that matter, would question the effectiveness of China's dynamic zero-COVID strategy, let alone advocating for a major policy shift. 

The discussions in China have been focused on implementation of the dynamic zero-COVID strategy in certain areas and how to improve the process to minimize the negative impact on businesses. Such discussions have also been fueled by growing downward pressure on the Chinese economy amid shrinking global demand, supply chain disruptions and heightened uncertainty. On a micro level, many small businesses have also inevitably been affected by the strict measures as multiple places across the country are fighting new waves of the COVID-19. 

Such issues on the implementation do warrant attention and indeed improvement. However, declaring that China's dynamic zero-COVID strategy will drag down not just the Chinese economy but also the global supply chain is pure hyperbole and fear-mongering - apparently aiming to ease the embarrassment of the US government's complete policy failure to handle the pandemic.

While cases of a negative impact on businesses do exist, that is far from a common phenomenon across the vast Chinese economy. China's impressive economic recovery from the COVID-19 over the past two years would not have been possible, if that's the case. And renewed downward pressure on the Chinese economy has very little to do with the strategy, but much to do with the global condition, including drastic monetary policy shifts in the US and other economies.

As the number of deaths and infections in China and the US left no room for comparison, the US mainstream media is focusing on potential risks and economic costs, which are harder to reject - because they are just predictions, regardless of how ridiculous they sound. 

Still, the US mainstream media may be able to come up with vicious and fear-mongering predictions and headlines to attack China's dynamic zero-COVID strategy, but their credibility and influence are plunging further and further and their attempt - to discredit China's battle against the virus and hide the US government's failure - is simply futile. 

One small example would make that much clear. In mid-January, a milk tea shop, which is about 20-square meters big, in Shanghai's bustling Jing'an District became the smallest area that was designated to be medium risk after a confirmed patient visited the shop. 

The shop was closed down following the designation; however, what impressed millions of social media users across the country was the fact that businesses and residential areas near the shop carry on as usually. The shop, whose risk levels was lowered on Thursday, became the symbol of Shanghai's precision in battling outbreaks, containing the virus as well as minimizing the impact on businesses. 

It is precisely such anecdotes that rally the public behind the dynamic zero-COVID  approach - and evidently inspire mockery of hatchet jobs by the New York Times and other US mainstream media outlets. 

The author is an editor with the Global Times.