Wan Lik Hang

China News – 20th April 2020

Just as in the West, the media in China both studies and reports on its global counterparts.  In some respects, they have the advantage.  Western news is in English.  China is the largest English-speaking country in the world!  More than that, the West has put it about that its media is open and honest.  The implication being that Chinese media is not.  But that discounts the bias that Western media exhibits to any news or views that do not conform to Western expectations.  Both sides are biased.

So, the media in China is full of reports from Western media and, relatively politely, questions the veracity of them.   This blog will continue to discount this unnecessary tit-for-tat that adds nothing to the global debate on almost any topic.

However, there are gems that Western media misses in the dross.  This week, Chinese media is full of stories from Chinese students wondering if they should come home or not.  They must take sad, often confusing, decisions.

Nfcmag.com highlights the dilemma.  On the one hand:

I usually avoid homesickness, but now I want to go back to a safe and familiar place. In foreign countries, some countries do not provide testing, and testing does not provide treatment.  Even if there is treatment, medical resources may not be open to us fairly. When returning to China, the country will definitely take care of you.

On the other hand: 

These days, Chinese returning to the country have become a hot topic.  There is much negative news. For example, an Australian Chinese woman refused to quarantine after “returning” to Beijing.  Those with fever overseas concealed their illnesses and returned to China.   International students hardly enter the community. For a time, irrational netizens accused these returning people of “poisoning thousands of miles”

Two personal stories highlight their dilemmas.   Jamie works in the UK and is a native of Wuhan.  He returned to China in early January for the Chinese New Year and returned to the UK before the closure of the city.  Before the closure of Wuhan, there was no epidemic news.  After returning to the UK, Jamie and his company began to isolate themselves. 

I told them at the beginning.  But they felt that I had overreacted. The local media said it was flu, and they thought I was alarmist.

The overall situation in Europe is not optimistic. Li Qing, who is in the Netherlands, is currently working from home. The first case of COVID-19 in the Netherlands was diagnosed on February 27. 

Li Qing’s company is near the airport. She takes a train to work every day and transfers to the bus at the airport.

I just thought about going to work at 6 o’clock and avoiding the morning rush hour.  I am wrapped in a thick scarf every day to cover my mouth and nose, I’m suffocating at work. I even want to live in a hotel near the company.

She struggled to wear a mask to go out.  Some Korean girls were asked to get off the train because of wearing masks. Li Qing thought about it.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is junho-chak-aDF2WcvGfkU-unsplash.jpg
By Junho Chak

They think that people who are sick wear masks. Since they are sick, they should not go out and stay at home. Wearing masks is to protect other people rather than themselves. I think this is not discrimination, but a matter of opinion.

Fortunately, the Dutch government soon called on everyone to work from home, and Li Qing was finally relieved. 

Sun Yuwei is studying in the United States. She wanted to return to her country, but she “failed”. Many parents of freshman students formed a group, hoping that a charter flight would take the children back to their country. More than eighty people signed up, but the flight was cancelled. 

Sun Yuwei is also swinging from side to side.

A lot of people around me have gone back, and many people are considering it. International students are embarrassed in the United States, and medical resources may not be given priority to international students. Students have online classes anyway, and they will feel more secure with their families.

by Nathan Dumlao

Tang Xiaomao from the same school as Sun Yuwei was also undecided about whether to return to China or not.

I usually miss home, and now I want to go back to a safe and familiar place. Then I am afraid that I will get sick. The medical resources will not be opened to us fairly.

Tung Jun, who teaches at an American university, said that returning to China also involves a series of problems such as temporary change of schedule, check-out, and replacement of tutors for elective courses. It is not easy to pack luggage and find direct flights in a short time. 

Wang Fang, who was working in Germany, originally wanted to return to China with her husband. Her husband is British and needs a visa to go to China. They were all ready to submit their visas. The embassy told them that they will not approve any visas and can submit them.

But I don’t know when they will be approved. It is recommended not to submit them now, otherwise the passport may not be returned.

by ConvertKit

In the company, Wang Fang is also the one who is regarded as “overreacting”. 

They will come to ask me about the virus, but they will not believe me completely and will look at my reaction. They are really calm.” A colleague from the company went to Dubai from Venice and returned to Germany and did not check for fever. Because of the negative test done at Dubai Airport, he assumed that he was not sick. “Our company is basically gambling.

However, Wang Fang dared not wear a mask when she went out. She was afraid of attracting attention. Second, she was afraid of the outbreak in Germany and would have to go out to buy vegetables. The mask was not enough.

If there is an outbreak in Germany, I will discuss annual leave with the manager. If I am not allowed to take it, I will resign.

Although the Germans seemed calm, the supermarkets were sold out. Wang Fang said that toilet paper and eggs are basically empty, and rice and pasta were not available. 

Panic is still there. One group thinks that you should go out as little as possible, and one group thinks it’s okay.

Faced with different national conditions, anti-epidemic policies, and cultural differences, overseas Chinese are extremely confused about whether or not to wear a mask.

Making the decision of whether to return to China or not is even more difficult. 

wanlikhang

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