By Zhong Sheng Source:Global Times
The Daily Telegraph tabloid in Sydney, Australia recently published an article that was accompanied by an illustration that denigrated China’s national emblem and maliciously suggested China is the source of the novel coronavirus.
A national emblem is the symbol of a sovereign country and is inviolable. By politicizing the pandemic, the newspaper has discarded justice, broken through the bottom line of morality, and gravely hurt the feelings of the Chinese people. Such evil-minded conduct should never be tolerated.
The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the world’s morality and civilization. As the recorder of history, media should consciously cultivate moral integrity, uphold and defend the basic values of human civilization and keep the bottom line of human civilization.
Both national flags and national emblems are important symbols of modern civilization. They express the deep feelings of the people and represent the noble dignity of all countries. By blatantly stigmatizing China for the pandemic and inciting racism, the Australian newspaper goes against modern civilization. Virus tracing is a rigorous and serious scientific procedure that requires professional expertise. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) has repeatedly stressed that the novel coronavirus could have come from just about anywhere in the world.
In a research paper published by The Lancet recently, 16 global health law scholars warned that responses that are anchored in fear, misinformation, racism and xenophobia will not save the world from outbreaks like COVID-19.
Disregarding the warnings of the WHO and the international health law scholars, and openly violating the International Health Regulations, the Australian newspaper has shamed itself.
Media reports should be based on facts and conscience. China has made active contributions in defending human rights to life and health. By always putting people’s welfare first, the country has consolidated the sound momentum of epidemic prevention and control at home.
China has actively participated in and propelled international cooperation in the fight against the pandemic by adhering to the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind and advocating the international humanitarian spirit.
Both China’s epidemic prevention and control achievements at home and its role in the global anti-pandemic cooperation are undeniable. Instead of reporting facts, the Australian newspaper called white black out of ideological prejudice, revealing its lack of professional integrity.
The global war against COVID-19 is a race against death. Any conscientious and responsible media outlet should play a constructive role in promoting global cooperation in fighting the pandemic.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper disregarded the negotiations and condemnation of the Chinese Consulate-General in Sydney, and repeatedly carried out slanders against China under the excuse of the pandemic.
On April 1, the Chinese Consulate-General in Sydney sent a letter to the newspaper, refuting its arrogant and prejudiced pandemic-related reports on China. The newspaper later played a similar trick in its reporting and published an article on April 23 saying the illustration of the Chinese national emblem was “excellent,” continuing to discredit China and the Chinese people. It seems that the media outlet has chosen to stand on the opposite side of objectivity and fairness.
The facts are self-evident and justice naturally inhabits people’s heart. British academic journal Nature recently issued an editorial titled “Stop the coronavirus stigma now” on three platforms including in Chinese and English, for three consecutive days.
In February, the WHO announced that the disease caused by the novel coronavirus would be called COVID-19, implicitly sending a reminder to those who had erroneously been associating the virus with Wuhan and China in their news coverage – including Nature, the editorial said. “That we did so was an error on our part, for which we take responsibility and apologize,” it said.
Nature’s admission of the error in a timely manner shows its responsibility. In contrast, the Daily Telegraph exposed its narrow-minded thinking and dark intentions.
The racist remarks about the novel coronavirus and the subsequent racial discrimination, racial contradictions and racial conflicts are all blatant provocations against modern civilization that should be resisted by the international community. All responsible media in the world should firmly adhere to justice and jointly protect the basic values of human civilization.
Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by the People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy. [email protected]