Western attacks on China’s media sound like sour grapes

By Yu Ning

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections has risen sharply worldwide, particularly in the US and some other Western countries, and in a handful of worst-hit cities, the virus is killing people at a rate of one in every 10 minutes or so.
At this critical, tragic moment in history, some Western media outlets seem to care more about attacking China and China’s media with lies and groundless accusations, than the importance of saving lives and protecting people.
China and its media were recently targeted for launching a “fake news” campaign to blame the US for the coronavirus outbreak. An op-ed article published by the South China Morning Post on Saturday accused Chinese state media of producing “fake news” to suggest “it was the United States that was responsible for the virus.” The US magazine Politico later reposted the article with a headline “How China’s fake news machine is rewriting the history of COVID-19, even as the pandemic unfolds.”
No scientific conclusion has yet been reached on the source of the novel coronavirus. In fact, serious doubts have been raised that people in Hubei were the first humans to have been infected. These doubts were not first raised in the Chinese media, making allegations of “fake news” preposterous. At a time when so much remains unknown about the coronavirus, how can China’s media be accused of “rewriting” history?
No Chinese official or media outlet have ever presumed to call the novel coronavirus the “American virus.” Still, some US senior officials, politicians and Western pundits frequently use the deliberate racist slur “Chinese virus.” Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, many Western political figures and media outlets have launched critical attacks on China and China’s media. In their narratives, China should be held responsible for the novel coronavirus.
They have even made such ludicrous claims that conclude the virus was leaked from a Chinese laboratory and China has concealed the extent of the outbreak. None of the accusations have been backed by reliable evidence.
How can Bloomberg cite a classified report, that failed to provide detailed content, and quote three anonymous officials to blast China for “under-reporting both total cases and deaths it suffered from the disease?” How can the Washington Post assert the death toll in Wuhan is about 42,000, or 16 times the official number, simply by drawing from photos posted online showing “long lines have been forming at funeral homes in Wuhan?” Western media outlets seem more determined than ever to launch fake news campaigns to blame China.
Many Western media outlets seem to refuse to grasp the science regarding the origin of the virus, and refuse to acknowledge the achievements China has made in containing the coronavirus epidemic. This stems from their long-held prejudice and distrust of China’s political system. Their sense of superiority prevents them from admitting that an “authoritarian” system – as they perceive it – under the leadership of Communist Party of China has done a better job in making the correct moves to contain the virus.
The relationship between the Communist Party of China and China’s state media outlets should not be characterized as an “original sin.” Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Chinese media have covered the crisis from all angles, detailing the hardships, sadness and honor among the people. Chinese journalists make thousands of reports daily that fairly present the country’s epidemic situation and control measures. Their role shouldn’t be minimized or demonized.
Western media outlets should stop taking advantage of the coronavirus to attack China and the professionals who work in China’s media. In the face of the mishandling of the pandemic in their own countries, their offensive and empty accusations simply sound like sour grapes.
–The Daily Mail-Global Times news exchange item