Western media’s baseless slander of China’s COVID policy for Winter Games against Olympic spirit
Published: Jan 31, 2022 07:17 PM
Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

With the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games around the corner, some Western media outlets seem to have ramped up their attempts to slander China's efforts made in honor of the Games.

In relation to China's COVID-19 prevention and control measures, such as "closed loop" management system of the Games, for instance, a report on Sunday by the Guardian cited Victor Cha, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, as claiming these rules seem to be a metaphor for how China's Communist Party leadership wants the Games to play out overall - in a closed system fully under their control. Cha said, "Covid has really given them the excuse to completely lock down everything. They want to have complete control over the picture of the Olympics and that helps."

This is another manifestation of the West's interpretation of China through "conspiracy theories."

In the West, "conspiracy theories" are popular and such a notion is widely exploited to interpret Western countries' own political and social phenomena. Now, as they regard China as their main rival, they morbidly view the country's actions through conspiracy-tinted glasses to maliciously interpret China's legitimate policies. 

China has insisted on being transparent and open in hosting the Winter Olympics. Furthermore, technological advancements enable the global audience to know what is happening even in the "closed loop" system by way of social media platforms and the internet. In this context, Cha's rhetoric that China wants to "have complete control over the picture of the Olympics" is illogical.

In addition, the Chinese version of the Voice of America (VOA) on Saturday, once again criticized China's dynamic zero-COVID strategy when reporting on China's reported "jump" in COVID-19 cases among Olympic athletes and officials. Its report claimed China's COVID-19 policy caused discontent among participants. 

Against the backdrop of the US' own COVID-19 epidemic currently out of control, with over 74.3 million confirmed cases, such disingenuous rhetoric by the VOA embodies the US' sour grapes mentality.

Security is the most important factor for the successful hosting of the Games, protecting the health of international athletes and all participants in the Games as well as for the continuation of the Chinese people's normal way of life. China's strict measures against the pandemic are precisely based on the intent to protect people's lives and public health, and to ensure a smooth holding of the Winter Olympics. And these steps are in line with the rules and regulations of the International Olympic Committee. It would be a safe assumption that no athlete wants to be infected with the virus through participating in the Winter Olympics. Therefore, China's measures to strictly control the pandemic are also responsible for the health of the athletes and officials, the Chinese people, as well as the international community.

Slander against China's dynamic zero-COVID policy from some countries in the West, especially the US, is unconvincing. In the face of the pandemic, some countries in the West have already laid down arms, and are unqualified in assigning blame and pointing fingers at China regarding China's rational anti-epidemic efforts, which actually have been proven to be more effective in curbing the spread of the virus. This kind of critique of "underachievers" against the successful one is ironic and blatantly malicious. It seems that there is a joint hope among some in the West for China's failure similar to the West's own, in a bid to reduce domestic pressure.

The Olympic spirit of solidarity is urgently needed within the international community to address the global COVID-19 pandemic and arising geopolitical tensions, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a written interview with the Xinhua News Agency on Friday.

However, the West, especially the US, has maliciously interpreted China's policy on dynamic zero-coronavirus case and subsequent prevention and control measures. This will exacerbate the division of the world, which will harm others without benefiting themselves.

Public opinion in the West, in particular the US, sees China's hosting of the Winter Olympics from the perspective of strategic competition. Therefore, any practice that will help China increase its influence, demonstrate China's achievements in fighting the pandemic, and increase its global appeal will be slandered. The Winter Olympics are a sports event, calling for a spirit of peace and mutual respect between people of all cultures. It has however been hyped by some Western media as a restricted event. But the West's baseless slander inevitably goes against such a spirit, as well as the common mission of major countries to cooperate and jointly tackle the challenges facing all humankind.

The article was compiled based on an interview with Li Haidong, professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn