Chinese Media: Coronavirus Fight Doomed by ‘Western Lifestyle’

FIEL - In this Aug. 26, 2019, file photo, a computer screen shows images of Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and U.S. President Donald Trump as a currency trader works at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. China will lift punitive …
Ahn Young-joon, File

China’s state-run Global Times newspaper warned Europe that purchasing American-made Chinese coronavirus vaccines was “risky” and that, without significantly transforming “the Western system and lifestyle,” policies to contain the pandemic would fail.

China is the origin nation of the Chinese coronavirus; many scientists have speculated that the mutated coronavirus may have originated in a “wet market” in Wuhan — a traditional Asian outdoor meat market known for its unsanitary conditions. The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) approved of China reopening its wet markets in April despite animal rights groups and concerned scientists urging their permanent closure.

“Wet markets” did not make an appearance in the Global Times‘ editorial on Tuesday, titled, “Risky for Europe to Bet on U.S. COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] Vaccines.” The article instead condemned alleged “lifestyle” choices in the free world for, the writers claimed, unnecessarily extending the life of the pandemic.

“The Western system and lifestyle have exposed their public health loopholes during the epidemic, but Western society is unwilling to face the loopholes, whether in terms of politics or public opinion,” the Global Times alleged. “The West also lacks the initiative to fix the loopholes. COVID-19 has afflicted Western society for almost a year, but the West has shown very limited improvement in organizing the COVID-19 fight.”

The article goes on to criticize the United States for moving too slowly to develop a vaccine against the Chinese coronavirus. The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two vaccines at press time — by the American pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna — for widespread public use. Prior to these approvals, no vaccine existed for any known type of coronavirus.

The Chinese Communist Party claims to be developing several Chinese coronavirus vaccines, but none have received widespread approval. Experts have expressed concern about the safety of the most advanced Chinese vaccine candidate, “CoronaVac,” from the Chinese firm SinoVac.

Belying concerns in Beijing, Chinese companies began signing deals with Pfizer partner BioNTech last week to import the American vaccine.

“It seems that Washington does not really care that more people would be infected and die due to its slow distribution of vaccines,” the Global Times accused. “For the U.S., the results are more important than the process, regardless of how cruel the process can be.”

The Times appeared to blame the United States for the growing number of coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom.

“But the situation in the UK shows that the US’ vaccines cannot solve the urgent problem. Although the UK was the first country to start using American vaccines, the amount of vaccines was too few to work,” the propaganda outlet claimed. “This time, in addition to being isolated by other countries, the UK has not even received messages of support from leaders of its allies. … The UK has become a lonely island in the raging epidemic.”

“It would be very dangerous if European countries put all their hopes on U.S. vaccines,” the Global Times warned. “If European countries completely depend on US vaccines, then an order of vaccine will be formed and it will fully embody ‘America First.’”

The editorial concludes, ironically, with a call not to “make the [Chinese coronavirus] fight ideological.”

Elsewhere in the pages of the Global Times on Wednesday, the newspaper claimed that Christians in China — an atheist state that violently represses Christian populations — would enjoy their Christmas holiday more in China because lockdowns would not limit their mobility. The newspaper cited a significant drop in orders for Chinese-made Christmas decorations as a sign that the West’s Christians would have a “dark Christmas season.”

“The rare decline in China’s Christmas exports also reflects the reality of out-of-control epidemic prevention and control in Europe and the U.S.,” a Communist Party-approved “expert” told the Times. “This year, Europe and the US will have one of their worst Christmas in years.”

“In another indication of how life is getting back to normal, many foreign nationals may have a better Christmas in China than in their home countries. In Shanghai, many foreigners have already started celebrating,” the newspaper proclaimed.

The Chinese Communist Party regularly disparages other parts of the world for having inferior cultural values to those of the Han Chinese. Party propaganda outlets have blamed the United States, for example, for the opioid crisis, dismissing China’s role as the world’s largest manufacturer of fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid responsible for a large number of deaths in America.

In 2017, Chinese state media similarly blamed Russian culture, and not the failed ideology of communism, for the fall of the Soviet Union, claiming the Chinese Communist Party could never endure the same fate.

A year later, a column in the Global Times asserted that, “it may sound racist,” but Brazilian people are inferior to Han Chinese and will never be able to compete on the global market because of their culture.

Brazil has become a key player in the development of CoronaVac, creating a wrinkle for the Global Times’ proposition. Brazil has allowed some of the largest vaccine candidate tests to take place on its soil, helping Sinovac get its vaccine approved on the market. Anvisa, Brazil’s Health Regulatory Agency, announced last week that China was being “not transparent” about the results of its studies and that, if approached, it could not currently offer emergency use authorization for the biological cocktail.

“This vaccine has already received emergency use authorization in China since June of this year. The Chinese criteria to issue authorization for emergency use in China are not transparent and there is no information available over the criteria currently used by Chinese agencies to make this decision,” Anvisa asserted.

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