In the blink of an eye, the world has completely changed. Humankind is now facing a global pandemic which will continue to expand. The world is grappling with both human and economic devastation caused by COVID-19, a disease that was previously unknown before making an appearance for the first time in the city of Wuhan last December of 2019. However, at a time when international cooperation is needed the most, the relationship between the United States and China continues to drift apart even further since the trade war that has happened in the past year.
Josh Rogin in his article, “Don’t Blame ‘China’ for the coronavirus – blame the Chinese Communist Party” published in The Washington Post concerned about the effort puts by the Chinese government in rewriting the history of the coronavirus pandemic and how important it is for us to avoid triggering racism and discrimination against their people. Unfortunately, neither the CCP nor the US leadership seems willing to resist slinging at each other. Donald Trump and other elected officials have called COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” while one of the staff at the White House reportedly called it the “Kung Flu”.
Calling the virus based on where it was originally found is indeed damaging. It is not only putting blame on the people living there, but it is also distracting the main focus from the real problem, which is the spread of the pandemic itself. Furthermore, the CCP’s effort to hide the pandemic and torture their own people who are trying to tell the truth about the virus to the world must also be revealed. The Chinese Communist Party or well known as the CCP is a founding and ruling political party of the People’s Republic of China. Meanwhile, it is worth mentioning that China, officially the People’s Republic of China, is a single-party state which means that the CCP has an unquestionable power in the country.
In order to tackle both the CCP’s false propaganda and anti-Chinese discrimination, people must realize that behind the silence of the Chinese people, they have fought for the truth to be told. The fault lies in the CCP rather than the Chinese. They are not to be blamed at all for this pandemic that is happening recently. Instead, some of them have endangered their own lives in order to warn the world about the dangers of the virus.
On the other hand, the CCP is the one hiding the truth and delaying the spread of coronavirus information, as written in the article published on National Review. It is stated that “Three Chinese citizen journalists have gone missing in recent months. They are presumed to have been detained by Chinese authorities after posting videos on social media documenting the reality of the ongoing pandemic.” From their behavior, it is clear that the CCP has committed atrocities not only against the Chinese people but also against humanity. Therefore, it is not fair to discriminate against the people of China by calling the coronavirus as “Chinese virus”.
What is more, the efforts made by CCP to inhibit the spread of information about the coronavirus did not stop there. Michael Fuchs, a writer of an article on The Guardian, “The US-China Coronavirus Blame Game is Undermining Diplomacy”, stated that the Chinese foreign affairs ministry spokesman has lied in suggesting that the US military could be blamed for the virus. The Chinese government proclaimed the sentiment while the CCP’s propaganda machine was busy promoting their conspiracy theories. This blame game undoubtedly undermines diplomacy between the two countries. Fuchs also declares in his writing that instead of calling his Chinese counterpart to coordinate responses to the global pandemic, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, called China’s Senior Foreign Policy Official, Yang Jiechi, to object to “PRC efforts to shift blame for COVID-19 to the United States”.
It is important to state the right facts. CCP’s initial response to the virus might have made this pandemic far worse. The actual role of the Chinese government where they should tell people the truth rather than lies is being ignored. Instead, they should be transparent in disseminating facts so as not to cause misleading information. This might be unlikely due to China’s political ideology as a single-party socialist republic. Part of their strategies is to divide us along politics, ethnic, and racial lines, as said in Rogin’s article. Their behavior is problematic and unacceptable. They are willing to defame the name of their own people. So, what about the free societies around the world? Mankind thus should be aware of libel and slander action like this as well as other provocative influence. After this global emergency is over, there will be enough time to figure out the ways in which CCP’s actions endangered the world by covering up the initial outbreak.
Another problem people must focus on is the terms that used to call the coronavirus: the “Chinese virus” or the “Wuhan virus”. It is indeed problematic because the people that hear the term might perceive it as a weapon of blame, a tool to channel their frustration as they grapple with this pandemic. In addition, the real-life situation shows that it is common for East Asian people to be discriminated against in public due to the coronavirus because Western governments kept on calling it “the Chinese virus”. Society must dare to put themselves in the shoes of the Chinese people. Most individuals would likely be offended by how people are using their homeland as the name of the virus. Instead, we can call it by what it actually is: the coronavirus.
Putting the blame on the Chinese people by calling the virus by its geographical terms is not only unfair towards them, but it is also turning a blind eye towards the atrocities committed by the Chinese government. As of right now, the priority of every nation is to save as many people as they can, helping the medical practitioners in the frontline by flattening the curve, and gradually recover. That is also why the tensions between the two of the world’s top economies must not get in the way. Us all as a human being should protect ourselves and others from this deadly disease rather than dragging each other down for politics. Societies must emphasize on the world’s collaborative effort to find the cure for coronavirus and help doctors and nurses to flatten the curve by staying at home. By doing so, we are helping our world to heal from negativity and treat it with our love.
– Rogin, J. (2020). Don’t Blame ‘China’ for the coronavirus – blame the Chinese Communist
– Party. The Washington Post. Retrieved March 31, 2020, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/dont-blame-china-for-the-coronavirus–blame-the-chinese-communist-party/2020/03/19/343153ac-6a12-11ea-abef-020f086a3fab_story.html
– Raleigh, H. (2020). Coronavirus and China’s Missing Citizen Journalists. National Review.
– Retrieved March 31, 2020, from https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2020/04/06/coronavirus-and-chinas-missing-citizen-journalists/
– Fuchs, Michael H. (2020). The US-China Coronavirus Blame Game is Undermining
– Diplomacy. The Guardian. Retrieved April 1, 2020, from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/31/us-china-coronavirus-diplomacy