In the last few months, the Chinese state media has made all-out efforts to divert the anger of the people around the world against the Chinese government and its people. There is no question that making racist comments on the Chinese people because the virus originated in China is wrong, but, at the same time, the Communist government must be held responsible for holding back the information on the virus till it became a pandemic.
Chinese state media and the government is using every tool at their disposal to force the world to not call the novel Coronavirus as ‘Chinese virus’ or ‘Wuhan virus’. While on one hand, Chinese state media has taken an aggressive stance against those who call it Chinese virus and labels those doing the same as ‘racist’, but the Chinese government is also is playing on the defensive and ‘requesting’ the governments of the countries around the world, especially the powerful ones like India, Russia, to not to join the USA in defaming China for the mismanagement of virus outbreak.
“China has neither created the virus nor intentionally transmitted it. The so-called ‘Chinese virus’ is wrong,” said Ji Rong, spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy. “Those people who are trying to stigmatise China’s efforts have ignored the huge sacrifices the Chinese people made in safeguarding the health and safety of all mankind,” he added.
So far, the Chinese government has propelled the conspiracy theory that the Chinese virus has come from the United States Army which was in Wuhan a few months ago.
Previously China has blocked the attempt by United Nations Security Council to discuss the Chinese virus. The UNSC has not met in the last few days, and the council wants to hold a virtual meeting to discuss the global pandemic. But China and its allies have repeatedly blocked the proposal as China fears that many countries like the US might propose economic sanctions on the country.
“South Africa [a non-permanent council member] rejected [the proposed declaration] first. Russia and China engaged earlier, but later on also blocked it,” reported AFP.
China has maintained that the country responded in the early stage of the outbreak and took all possible steps to prevent the spread. “At the early stage of the outbreak, China took a decisive decision to lock down Wuhan and cancel outbound tourist groups to prevent the spread of the epidemic,” said the Chinese spokesperson.
However, most of the experts on the subject think otherwise. “In suppressing information about the virus and allowing it to spread unchecked in the crucial early days and weeks, the regime imperilled the more than 100 nations now facing their own potentially devastating outbreaks,” said Shadi Hamid, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.
“By pushing for this narrative, China is avoiding the blame and successfully dodging culpability for its role in spreading the coronavirus,” he added.
China is using all the means to make sure that the global community does not blame the Chinese government for its delayed response and its efforts to cover up the truth. The Chinese government is playing on the defensive with the countries like India to convince them to not blame China for disaster because if India is on its side; it will leverage the Chinese narrative in the global community.
But at the same time, the Communist government is very assertive in the institutions where they have leverage. For example, China blocked discussion on the virus in USSC because it has a veto; it forced WHO to not name the virus after the place it originated because it enjoys clout in the institution. Similarly in the countries where China enjoys clout like Pakistan, Iran, or Italy, China is exercising coercion to mould the narrative in its favour.