NYT’s biased report on Shanghai’s COVID fight betrays its ignorance of China

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BEIJING: Once again, The New York Times (NYT) betrayed its ignorance of China.

In a recent report on the COVID-19 fight in Shanghai, the American newspaper jumped to a conclusion that the legitimacy of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is being tested, because residents in Shanghai are volunteering to help each other out during “lockdown” in recent weeks. Such an argument is as ridiculous as it is malicious.

In a stunningly far-fetched manner, the article tried to equate natural and warm-hearted mutual assistance with some kind of expression of discontent towards the CPC. Apparently, its authors were hardly touched by the love and care expressed by ordinary Chinese towards one another in their hours of difficulties. Perhaps that is because of US media’s die-hard habit of smearing China in every possible way.

Indeed, Shanghai has been experiencing its most severe COVID-19 wave in the past two years. Its residents’ life and work have been impacted by strict measures to contain the highly contagious Omicron variant. And at the early stage of the outbreak, some people encountered various kinds of inconveniences to get food supply and medical treatments.

After all, meeting the daily needs of more than 25 million residents in China’s biggest city in highly restricted conditions with no precedent to follow has posed a strenuous challenge. That is why the local authorities have on many occasions acknowledged their problems, and vowed repeatedly to improve their services.

And instead of hurting the CPC’s legitimacy, the fact that hundreds of thousands of local citizens volunteer to lend each other help and support testifies to the strength of the Party.

In fact, many of the volunteers are either organized by the local authorities or working closely with neighborhood committees. And among those tens of thousands of volunteers the NYT mentioned, a large portion of them are CPC members.

“Wherever there is a need, there must be a Party member,” the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee said in a recent open letter to CPC members in Shanghai. “Our Party members must go deep into the community and the masses, stand by and work with cadres and the people in the front line.”

Official statistics show that more than 700,000 Party members in Shanghai have registered to join the city’s anti-COVID fight, and a large number of CPC members have been working as volunteers in districts, towns and villages. In some communities, 90 percent of community volunteers are Party members.

Anyone with some basic knowledge of the CPC’s history would know that mobilizing the public to work with the Party in joint efforts to tide through hard times is both a tradition and a strength of the CPC, as the CPC has pledged that “everything is for the people and everything relies on the people.”

Today, there are more than 95 million Party members in all walks of life across China. They are both members of the big Chinese family and representatives of their fellow countrymen. According to a report by Harvard University, the Chinese people’s overall satisfaction toward the central government has been above 90 percent for years. Any attempt to sow discord between the Chinese people and the CPC would be futile. The NYT’s attack on China’s dynamic zero-COVID policy would be no different.

At the moment, the dynamic zero-COVID approach to containing the virus remains the most optimal choice for China.

“If we are not firm about the dynamic zero-COVID policy, China may miss the best time to stem the resurgence of cases, which may lead to higher costs and unbearable consequences,” said China’s leading epidemiologist Liang Wannian. -The Daily Mail-China Daily News Exchange Item