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30 Mar, 2020 15:00

This ‘dictatorship’ just beat pandemic & you’re just JEALOUS, Chinese embassy in France tells the West

This ‘dictatorship’ just beat pandemic & you’re just JEALOUS, Chinese embassy in France tells the West

Western media and governments refusing to give China credit for battling Covid-19 in Wuhan simply envy its efficiency, the Chinese embassy in France said as it took a jab at how the West was coping with the pandemic.

Naysayers “envy the efficiency of our political system and hate the inability of their own nations to perform as well. So they try to stick the ‘dictatorship’ label on China,” the embassy argued in a provocative essay published over the weekend.

These very same detractors instead praise the “Asian democracies” such as South Korea, Japan and Singapore, the article noted, adding that China’s quarantine measures were more drastic because it has a much larger population and faced a bigger challenge in fighting the coronavirus.

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Either way, the Asian countries have been more successful in containing the pandemic than Western nations, and the virus ultimately doesn’t care whether it is ravaging a “democracy” or an “autocracy,” argued the embassy, in the essay titled “Political systems and the fight against the epidemic: The great dilemma.”

China officially claims to have largely succeeded in containing Covid-19, which was first recorded in its Hubei province in December. Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, has recorded no new cases in a week and has been lifting the restrictions that helped quash the pandemic – again, according to the official information.

Beijing sees the outcome as a success story and finds it irritating when commentators in countries currently overwhelmed by the virus – such as France and the US – insist they have nothing to learn from the Chinese experience. With the threat of coronavirus diminishing at home, China has been busy building goodwill and sharing expertise with other nations affected by the pandemic, sending doctors and aid supplies to those in need.

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China has also embarked on a war of words with Western detractors – most notably US President Donald Trump, who at one point called the pathogen the “Chinese virus.” One of its Foreign Ministry spokespeople went so far as to suggest that the virus is American in origin and may have been brought to Wuhan by a US military delegation last fall – an accusation Trump bristled at, and official Beijing has not disavowed.

This kind of ill will has also infected China’s aid efforts, with many Western pundits accusing “mask diplomacy” of coming with potential strings attached, undermining European solidarity, and damaging European relations with the US.

A number of US officials have accused Beijing of flat-out lying about coronavirus statistics, with one senator citing reports of 2,500 additional cremation urns recently delivered to a funeral home in Wuhan as evidence. Links to the story inevitably popped up in responses to the Chinese embassy in France, after it tweeted excerpts from its article.

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