In the Chinese media this week, the stories are less about COVID-19 and more about oil prices, economics and China’s place in the world as the global economy recovers. As always, the Chinese media are well informed about Western views and the views of their media counterparts elsewhere. Chinese journalists’ views are carefully expressed, only rarely ‘sensationalising’ news.
The post-COVID economy
Opinion.huanqiu leads with a thought piece about neo-liberalism and globalisation. The author has similar views to socialist writers in the West and other parts of the world. The days of unfettered capitalism are numbered. Social needs demand that Governments intervene more to nurture and protect all citizens. Capitalism, left free, has failed to respond adequately to the virus threat because there was no money in doing so.
The author appears to draw heavily on the recent book – Pandemic! by Slavoj Žižek. He even quotes Zizek:
We must learn to think outside the coordinates of the stock market and profits, and directly look for other ways to produce and distribute essential resources.
Hidden from Chinese readers, though, are Zizek’s views on China:
That said, Žižek has an inner liberal that stops him from praising China’s leaders – pioneers of the lockdown – for their handling of the crisis. If China valued free speech, there would be no coronavirus crisis.
Selfishness among Western freedom-loving people
Compared with authoritarian China, Western society generally advocates freedom, but this does not mean that freedom cannot be reasonably restricted. When German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a national television speech on March 18, she emphasized that in order to save lives, restrictions on freedom of travel and freedom of movement are necessary. The reason the situation in the United States is particularly worrying is that many people in the local area lack dedication and display selfishness. If they refuse to rein in behaviour and just talk about the individual and ignore the society, the number of diagnosed cases in the United States may continue to soar, and it will be too late to regret it.
Source of the virus
Hk01 also has a long story widely quoting Western media and Politicians who appear to be naming the Wuhan laboratory as the source of the virus.
Therefore, in summary, in the United States, the US government represented by Trump and Pompeo has sometimes thrown controversial remarks around the “source of the virus” and “laboratory leaks”. Convergence, suspected of speculation; officials and experts such as Milley and Fuchs are very cautious; American media have different positions, and the “Washington Post” selects more reports on “virus leaks” or “biochemical viruses” through topic selection “Hawkes News, while pro-Trump, is more rigorous. As for CNN and other media, it has consistently selected issues to criticize the US government’s current epidemic prevention measures.
This sums up the situation admirably. In conclusion:
Nowadays, all parties have their own calculations, or fight for merit, or blame, or they are forced by their status and pressure, and they are even adhering to ethics and conscience. However, everyone knows that the source of the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that caused the pneumonia epidemic (COVID-19) has not yet been confirmed, and further scientific research is yet to be done.
Realistically speaking, it is understandable that the political leaders of many countries “scramble for merit”. Life is a matter of life. In the face of this epidemic that has not happened for hundreds of years, thousands of people have died of illness, and the national economy has been shut down, even the authoritarian government cannot bear this heinous guilt, and all need to be accountable to the people.