By Shi Tian Source:Global Times
Tom Cotton Photo: Screengrab of a New York Times report
There’s a clamor around the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic.
Just after the Wuhan Institute of Virology denied Sunday the raging rumors claiming that the first person infected with the novel coronavirus came from the institute, another false information became rampant on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo, saying that a senior researcher of the institute, as a real-name “whistleblower,” reported the virus was released by the institute’s director general Wang Yanyi.
On Monday, in addition to the institute’s new statement dispelling rumors, Weibo also confirmed that the rumormonger’s internet protocol address was outside the Chinese mainland.
In fact, since the beginning of the epidemic, such ridiculous rumors have been flooding China from abroad. In particular, some US politicians have exploited the virus outbreak to attack the Chinese government and system, which has worsened the public opinion environment and fueled the spread of rumors.
For instance, since the outbreak of this epidemic, US Senator Tom Cotton has constantly claimed that the coronavirus came from a “super laboratory” in Wuhan. Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai has refuted this absurd allegation, saying conspiracy theories also exist about the coronavirus originating from the US. But Cotton, and many anti-China people like him, have never ceased their hostility against China.
They have viewed the epidemic a “golden opportunity” to stir up trouble. Their evil intentions are so obvious that everyone with rationality can clearly see that.
When the Chinese government and people are going all out to curb the spread of the virus, they either spread fear by alleging the epidemic is getting out of hand, or launch groundless attacks, saying that China’s prevention and control measures are a violation of human rights.
When China interacts with the international community well, they either turn a blind eye, or alleged that the praises China earned from other countries and even the World Health Organization were due to China’s pressure on them.
Cui has already proven that speculation and rumors are “dangerous.” “For one thing, this will create panic. Another is that it will fan racial discrimination and xenophobia, and all these things will really harm our joint efforts to combat the virus.”
But these ill-disposed people will never listen. Perhaps, these consequences are exactly what they are glad to witness. The epidemic for them is not a crisis which needs the entire world’s cooperation to resolve, but a political tool for them to contain China, just like the Huawei issue, Hong Kong riots, Taiwan question, and Xinjiang governance. All they want is to drive a wedge between the Chinese government and people, disrupt China’s social order, and tarnish the country’s image in the international community.
In the face of these sinister people and their malicious rumors, China should on the one hand resolutely fight back, showing people both abroad and at home what is really happening in the country; on the other, the country must keep focusing on its own development, growing strong enough until they shut up.