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West deploys racism, misinformation in outbreak coverage

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-02-07 18:23

[Luo Jie/China Daily]

As the fight against the novel coronavirus continues, the united Chinese people continue to support their government’s initiatives, which will ultimately bring positive results. This week, in record time, a 1,000-bed hospital was completed in just 10 days. Similarly, the government’s decision to restrict unnecessary traveling has also been applauded. As a media researcher, I have been reading, hearing and watching the stories of Chinese people and foreigners in China. They claim to be very satisfied with the government steps to contain the virus’ spread.

Many like me are also observing the situation. Unfortunately, reports presented in Western media outlets are presenting a negative angle on the struggle against the virus. Many countries have joined hands with the Chinese government in their struggle against this outbreak, such as Turkey, Pakistan, Australia and Russia. But the US and Britian seem to be taking advantage of the situation. They use media as a tool to show negative news related to China.

Western media and social media alike make fun of Chinese food culture. There are claims that at some restaurants and markets, there are unorthodox dishes that include certain animals and plants, based on the idea exotic creatures have nourishing medicinal qualities. But like any other country, such culinary traditions are discouraged in China. Furthermore, the trading of endangered wildlife is a criminal offense. Yet the West has ignored this fact, and started spreading misinformation about the crisis. They suggested Chinese people eat “disgusting” foods. This linkage of the epidemic to such an idea shows the West is consciously spreading racist misinformation to worsen the crisis, while ignoring the persistent struggle of the Chinese government and people in this fight.

Such discriminatory acts in a time of crisis are immoral, and should be condemned. The Chinese government continues to fight coronavirus for the sake of not just itself, but humanity at large. Their effective measures show they want to contain the spread, but countries have started evacuating their citizens, which raises the risk of further spread. Other nations must join hands with China, as this is not just China’s fight.

Pakistan firmly supports China's efforts to combat the epidemic. Prime Minister Imran Khan has shown courage in mobilizing all the country's medical supplies and reserves to assist China, and will firmly stand alongside the Chinese people. Pakistan has shown the world "a friend in need is a friend indeed." Pakistan stands with China at this critical moment.

Similarly, other countries need to come forward in combating this crisis. Cooperation is essential for humanity to prevail, and through this support the outbreak can be defeated. The West should show sense and avoid spreading misinformation and negative propaganda against China. All they need to do is to open their eyes toward the effective measures taken by the Chinese government in the fight against coronavirus.

The author is a journalist based in Pakistan, and has graduated from Communication University of China in International Journalism.

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