19 reporters from 8 foreign media outlets including AFP, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal as well as domestic journalists go to Tanhualin community in Wuhan to learn about the COVID-19 epidemic prevention story on Friday. Photos: Cui Meng/GT
Seiichiro Takeuchi, head of the China bureau of Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, published an article headlined “Parties which refused to apologize will shoot themselves in the foot.” The article echoed the extreme ideas that China should be responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic and claimed that the view of Beijing is “dwarfing.” The article also asserted that the Chinese regime did not bear the weight of public trust, while accusing the Chinese government of fanning nationalistic sentiment to tighten its control.
Takeuchi has been working in China for a long time. At the end of the article, he said he felt pitiful as a witness of China’s development.
Don’t behave like a righteous person. Takeuchi observed the whole process of China’s fight against the epidemic. If he has a conscience, how would he evaluate China’s performance compared with that of the US and Europe?
More than 20,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. The most affected European countries, except for the UK, have seen a death toll of more than 10,000 or almost 20,000. The US population is only one-fourth of that of China, and the European countries each have populations similar to China’s Hubei Province. Nonetheless, the epidemic caused 3,300 casualties in China altogether. May we ask Mr. Takeuchi whether it is the US and European governments that should apologize to their citizens, or the Chinese government?
Washington has launched a propaganda war that aims to shift the blame to China. This is not only a trick by the current US administration to duck responsibilities for its failure in handling the outbreak, but also a plot to strategically smear China. Some US allies seem to act in concert with Washington and Takeuchi just rushed to pick a side.
Wuhan did not act timely in response to the initial outbreak, but China didn’t avoid the problem. Relevant officials in Wuhan and Hubei have been removed from position. Isn’t this the appropriate attitude? But the West deliberately ignored the fact that it refused to draw from China’s bitter lesson and despised China’s anti-virus experience. China need not apologize for the fallout of any of these governments. As a Japanese media professional, Takeuchi displayed his political stance, but showed no respect for facts or truth.
As for the legitimacy of the Communist Party of China (CPC), this isn’t something Takeuchi should be bothered about. The Chinese people support the leadership of the CPC. If a Japanese journalist who has spent years in China could not figure this out, his time in China would have just been wasted.
The Chinese people are generally satisfied with the national fight against the pandemic. Residents in Wuhan also foster a different understanding of this process from that they had two months ago after seeing the severe humanitarian tragedies in Europe and in the US. Takeuchi quoted a Wuhan resident to prove negative public sentiment in Wuhan. He failed to realize that individual Chinese are fond of grumbling, but they are able to tell right from wrong on major issues.
Due to the correct policy of the central government, there have been two battlefields since Wuhan’s lockdown – the national battlefield and Hubei battlefield. The national battlefield had an inflection point after just one incubation period, and then implemented all-out support to Hubei and Wuhan. The virus was effectively and fast contained in Wuhan, which lifted the lockdown 76 days later.
Takeuchi should think bigger and inform his Japanese readers and the West of the true story of China’s epidemic fight instead of disregarding facts and looking to his American big brother to create new divergences between China and Japan. Please be spiritually and mindfully independent and morally integrated as a Japanese.