Global Times -Illustration: Liu Rui/GT
This is a very tough winter. China reported 107 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, 90 of which were confirmed in North China’s Hebei Province. Helongjiang and Shanxi were also on the list of virus-hit provinces. Beijing, surrounded by Hebei, is busy guarding against risks of the spread.
A daily increase of 107 cases is definitely shocking. People in northern China have been mobilized. Many prevention and control measures used one year ago and proven effective have been reactivated. Preventing the spread of the epidemic has become the main concern of local governments.
However, COVID-19 is a global challenge. China is only one of the battlefields. The US on Tuesday saw a COVID-19 death toll of over 4,400 and more than 230,000 new infections.
More alarmingly, the headlines in the US media are not about the ravaging epidemic, but a new round of bipartisan struggles over whether to impeach President Donald Trump in the next few days. The US’ political focus is always far away from the public’s urgent needs.
If US politics were to serve the people, the two parties should have put aside all disputes and created the best conditions for fighting the epidemic. But what it first echoes is the struggle for power.
The rights of the people have been placed in a secondary position. The US elections have triumphed over the epidemic fight for more attention. This has left a deep impression on the Chinese people.
The COVID-19 fight led by Trump was a total failure. Although this has had some impact on his election, the blow to his reputation is far from fundamental. Trump’s protests against the election results have caused him much more trouble, like a second impeachment, and he has been silenced by the US social media. The different penalties show how “tolerant” the US system is for the malfeasance which has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths.
It would be the Democratic Party’s most urgent task to completely defeat Trump, eliminate the possibility of him running for president again in 2024 and holding official titles after stepping down, as well as to try its best to suppress and divide the Republican Party. Although fighting COVID-19 is important, it is the responsibility of Trump and the Republican Party for how many people would have died before January 20. The Democratic Party is only responsible for what happens afterward.
The US, a country which has performed very poorly in the COVID-19 fight, has a shameless secretary of state who has not done any work to promote the global COVID-19 fight, but has tried his best to pull hatred in the world and create geopolitical confrontation between major powers.
In the last few days of his tenure, Mike Pompeo has become more active, which has made the world vigilant. Luxembourg’s foreign minister and top European Union officials declined to meet him, and he had to cancel his Europe trip scheduled for this week as well as all travels of the US Department of State.
China and the US are not at the same level in epidemic control and prevention. The Chinese people are not willing to make a comparison with the US in this regard. If it were in a socialist country, a large number of officials would have been sent to court with so many deaths. It is not a question of how good or bad they had performed in this fight, but the extent to which they should be investigated in crimes of negligence. Washington asks to be insulted when it shouts the so-called human rights at China, inviting us to simply tear off its mask and point to its nose and say: Are you guys qualified to talk about human rights? Your own people are dying in droves!
This winter has been quite harsh. It’s a test of whether the world’s leaders truly act on the people-centered philosophy, whether they have the leadership to pull their countries out of a crisis, and whether their people can be united. The situation is so critical that there is no room for bravado and political shows. It is the common mission of all countries to have fewer deaths and fewer infections and to make people’s lives as normal as possible. This is the most realistic meaning of the sacred concept of human rights this winter.
The US is the most failed country of 2020. As Confucius said, “To know the things of shame is to be near fortitude.” Let’s hope Pompeo and his likes shake off their arrogance in the last few days.