All objective reports coming out of China are praising the country for its determined and successful battle against the new and treacherous disease known as coronavirus.
The government in Beijing takes no chances. It is studying the situation, allocating massive resources to medical research. It is setting up temporary hospitals and medical centers, informing citizens about the recent developments, while controlling the flow of people in all affected and high-risk areas.
All this is impressive. China is fighting for its own people, and it is trying to minimize the impact on foreign lands. And it is much more effective than what takes place in Western countries during the same or similar national emergencies.
But how is the Chinese government rewarded for its life-saving efforts?
The better prepared China is, the more successful it gets in fighting the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, the louder the critical voices smearing it in the West become, and even in its own territory of Hong Kong.
On Jan 27, RT reported shocking occurrences that took place there:
“A small bomb prompted evacuation and temporarily disrupted work at a hospital in Hong Kong. Masked protesters had earlier firebombed a proposed quarantine area for possible coronavirus victims.
“On Sunday, masked anti-government protesters threw a Molotov cocktail at an empty public building, where authorities planned to quarantine people who may have contracted the deadly coronavirus that is currently raging in mainland China.”
These cowardly and selfish acts will only further discredit the rioters, exposing their destructive and selfish spirit.
Instead of showing solidarity and supporting people in dire need of help, as the citizens in the Chinese mainland are doing with great determination, these hooligans are reducing future medical facilities to ashes.
Committing such crimes, the rioters are not “fighting for Hong Kong”; far from it! Needless to say, people from the mainland, as well as Hong Kong residents, are traveling back and forth for family visits, cultural exchanges, tourism and work. Do rioters want, for instance, a local mother and her child who just returned from Wuhan to die on the streets of Kowloon in agony, with no help? Or even if the victim is not a local: Would they want an unlucky man or a woman from the mainland who earlier contracted the disease to have no place to go and get help?
If this is what they really want, then one has to wonder if there is really any Chinese blood left circulating in their veins, or whether they got converted into compassionless and brutal subjects of Western colonialist masters.
One wants to shout: “Shame! This is Spring Festival time. And Hong Kong is part of one of the oldest, deepest and the most compassionate cultures on earth! If you do not want to help, at least do not dare to spoil the efforts of those who do.”
A friend of mine who practices medicine in Hong Kong wrote to me recently in what appeared to be despair:
“People in the West criticize China, no matter what it does. If it barricades a city they say it has hidden some important information. If it doesn’t do it, they say that Beijing is acting irresponsibly. They smear China either way.”
He lamented about the changes that are taking place in his city:
“I have been working the whole morning in a public hospital. The medical staff are working as usual. But some doctors and nurses threaten to strike, probably for political gains. Many of them take sick leaves. I am so ashamed of them. When we had SARS in 2003, we were not like this. We continued working and even some young doctors died.”
Another Hong Kong-based doctor wrote to me bitterly, using WeChat:
“In contrast, doctors in China volunteer to work in Wuhan!”
On Thursday, Reuters reported:
“Trade unions in Hong Kong, including hospital and rail workers, are threatening to go on strike unless the government closes the border with mainland China to stop the spread of a new coronavirus that has sent jitters around the world.
“While Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has ordered the suspension of the high-speed rail service between the city and mainland China from midnight on Thursday and all cross-border ferry services, the unions said it was not enough.”
These occurrences may not be as “spectacular” as the ones in which rioters are burning or beating their fellow citizens in broad daylight — citizens who simply disagree with them.
But what is taking place is enormously significant.
It appears that the rioters have managed to make solidarity totally collapse. Hong Kong has been infiltrated by savage individualism, or Western-style selfishness. The manual on how to behave and live one’s life is not printed in black and white, but it can always be guessed: “Let victims collapse in the middle of the street, and if they are ill, cross to the other side. Shelter yourself. Do not show compassion. You are all that really matters.”
This is most likely a result of too many Western flags waving, and of repeating endlessly, “Me-me-me”.
What is certain is that the People’s Republic of China will eventually defeat the coronavirus. It will happen sooner than later. In a few months, or perhaps even weeks, the people on the streets of Beijing and Wuhan will be celebrating yet another great victory. If it doesn’t come to its senses soon, Hong Kong will be left behind. It will feel far from being proud of itself; in fact, it will be depressed — depressed and defeated by its own selfishness.
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. He is the author of 20 books including“China’s Belt and Road Initiative”, and “China and Ecological Civilization".
The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.
HONG KONG NEWS