Perhaps some of us were harboring naive hopes. We were thinking: If it became obvious that China and its government are doing things much better than the West, many of the opposition figures in Hong Kong, including the most hardened rioters, would see reason, repent, and once and for all change their minds.
Nothing like that has happened.
Increasingly it is becoming clear that Hong Kong’s anti-government forces are not rational, not rational at all. They are not seeking the best possible solution for their city. They are encouraged, and some of them even paid, to overthrow the system, to antagonize Beijing, and to smear China with all possible means.
Now, when even in the West, more and more medical experts are admiring China for its decisive and victorious battle against COVID-19, it is a group of Hong Kong doctors that are constantly looking for problems in government policy, thus igniting anti-government rhetoric.
Nothing can satisfy them. China, in record time, alone, rose against the new disease. It found itself in unknown territory, without any support from abroad. It put its citizens first, mobilized the entire nation and defeated the virus.
But that is, obviously, not good enough for the critics of the government! Because for them, nothing is good enough.
Recently, Yahoo News UK reported that compared to the rest of the world, Hong Kong had very few coronavirus cases. And they interviewed Dr Pierre Chan on the topic:
“Thank you for giving us this good comment that Hong Kong coronavirus cases and deaths are low,” Chan, a leading medical doctor and lawmaker, told Yahoo News UK, “but in Hong Kong, we don’t think so. We don’t think we are doing good.”
That much is clear. And one could add: Nothing, almost nothing can go wrong in the West, as far as the critics of Beijing and the Hong Kong government are concerned.
For such a densely populated place, Hong Kong has relatively few coronavirus cases. But Dr Chan says: “We are all annoyed at the government.”
He explains: “In Hong Kong we should have good (preparation) when there is an epidemic like SARS or coronavirus. Unfortunately, the government has delayed in adopting the recommendations (of a 2004 report into the SARS outbreak about handling future diseases). That is why, in Hong Kong, we are annoyed and unhappy.”
Increasingly it is becoming clear that Hong Kong’s anti-government forces are not rational, not rational at all. They are not seeking the best possible solution for their city. They are encouraged, and some of them even paid, to overthrow the system, to antagonize Beijing, and to smear China with all possible means
The reporter had volunteered some criticism of the United Kingdom government:
“The UK government was criticized for a perceived delay in introducing its draconian measures to restrict the spread of coronavirus.”
Dr Chan replied:
“Your government acted promptly when compared with Hong Kong.”
Reading this, it becomes obvious that in Hong Kong, the lack of criticism of Western countries is almost something religious. And, I was told, Dr Chan is not even a “hardcore” opposition figure; he is just “leaning” toward the opposition.
A few very quick calculations, which I made together with two UN experts who are presently dealing with the coronavirus global emergency:
The population of Hong Kong: approximately 7.5 million. The population of the UK: about 68 million. Confirmed cases in Hong Kong, on the day when this article was being written: 845. Confirmed cases in the UK on the same day: 34,192. Confirmed cases per capita in Hong Kong: 0.00011. Confirmed cases per capita in the UK: 0.00050. Deaths in Hong Kong: 4; in the UK: 2,926. The number of death cases per capita in Hong Kong 0.00000053; in the UK: 0.00004316.
That is a tremendous difference, isn’t it? To claim that the government of the UK has been doing better in fighting COVID-19 than the government of Hong Kong would truly require enormous ideological discipline!
I consulted my doctor-friends in Hong Kong, and they confirmed what I already expected:
“I have read the article. It is ridiculous to say that the UK is doing better than us. Even when the government is doing practically well, they will find reasons to criticize.”
Obviously, the ideological battle for Hong Kong is not over.
For some time, COVID-19 frightened the citizens of the city. Things have somehow calmed down on the ideological front, but it appears that only for a very short period of time.
At the same time, the coronavirus outbreak has not forced the West to behave as a reasonable and responsible member of the international community. Right now, the US Navy is threatening Venezuela from its bases in Panama. Iran is under threat, and so are other countries that have been refusing to follow the Western diktat. Venezuela and Iran have to fight against COVID-19 with tied hands, suffering from the brutal and ridiculous economic sanctions imposed by Washington.
The Washington politicians never really stopped its anti-Chinese rhetoric, even now, during this global medical emergency. Beijing and Moscow are offering cooperation, extending helping hands to all the corners of the world. By return, Washington is smearing both China and Russia, while acting in an utterly inept way at home.
Still, those in Hong Kong that are admiring everything that comes out from the West are twisting reality, smearing success and praising failure.
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.
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