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Bashing China now the norm for West's media

By Andre Vltchek | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-08-05 09:24
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Visitors take photos of Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong, July 14, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Western media went absolutely mental again, radically schizophrenic, after Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor declared that the Sept 6 legislative elections in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region would be postponed for one year.

She offered a rational explanation: " (If) we have 3 million voters going out in one day across Hong Kong, such flow of people would cause a high risk of infection."

While COVID-19 can justify any action taken by the West and by countries closely associated with the West, it is constantly used against the Chinese mainland and the HKSAR.

Whether the elections were to be held or not, attacks against Lam and Beijing were planned to continue. They were clearly launched at the behest of the Western establishment.

On July 31, CNN published bizarre comments:

"Under Hong Kong's Basic Law, the city's de facto constitution, prospective legislators must swear to 'uphold' the constitution, a declaration that has been largely procedural in the past.

"But citing a court case in 2016 barring a pro-independence candidate, the government said in a statement that vowing to 'uphold' Basic Law denotes not just compliance with it, but also an intention to support, promote, and embrace it."

First of all, "upholding the constitution" is an essential condition for any prospective legislator in any democracy. In the United States, the president, when sworn in, puts a hand on the Bible and solemnly swears to uphold and defend the US Constitution.

Second, some readers can probably overlook certain parts of the text, but this time they should come back to them and read carefully: "barring a pro-independence candidate".

CNN is obviously criticizing the HKSAR for not allowing participation of separatists in the election. It is difficult not to call it hypocrisy, given the fact that almost anywhere in North America and Europe, separatism is not tolerated.

Just think about Spain (Catalonia) or France (Corsica). Separatism that is ignited, supported and financed by foreign powers would be considered treason, and punished harshly. Each Western country has its own national security law.

But bashing China and its territories has become a norm in Western media.

Baseless or exaggerated criticism of everything Chinese has become synonymous with a fast track to career advancement, at least in the fields of journalism and academia.

The headline of the quoted CNN article is:"Hong Kong is setting up an election without a real opposition." In the new Western propaganda lexicon, "real" means hardcore separatism, fundamentalist anti-communism and radical anti-mainland stand.

Even The New York Times, known for (at least stylistically) more "elegant coverage", produced a hawkish headline on July 31:"Hong Kong Delays Election, Citing Coronavirus. The Opposition Isn't Buying It."

So, first, the way elections were to be conducted was wrong; and now their postponement became wicked. Western "analysts" reacted quickly.

Suspicion is omnipresent when it comes to news coverage by Western media of the HKSAR and the Chinese mainland.

It is essential to confront Western propaganda with facts, again and again. Therefore, let us continue with our labor.

This essay is written and sent from the Western Hemisphere, the part of the world that is most damaged by COVID-19. Elections here are either outright postponed, or postponement is at least considered as an option.

Even US President Donald Trump is going back and forth on the issue. A Chilean referendum on changes to the country's Constitution was postponed, without much debate, due to COVID-19.

Elections in Bolivia have been delayed again and again. The elections are crucial, as last year there was a US-backed coup that unseated popular president Evo Morales. But you would not read much about all this in Western media.

Western media takes the COVID-19 argument for postponing elections in the Americas as legitimate because this fits the interests of Washington. What is taken as a norm elsewhere is never acceptable when it happens in China.

It is Kafkaesque, it is unfair, but it is part of a new normal constructed by US leaders like Trump, Senator Marco Rubio, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former national security adviser John Bolton and Peter Navarro, White House trade adviser.

Carrie Lam and Beijing know perfectly well how to govern their territory and the entire country. They do not need Westerners to tell them how.

And China, including the HKSAR, would be doing even better if it would be left alone, not be antagonized every day and night, and be allowed to concentrate on what it is doing best-improving the lives of its people and the world.

The author is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist.

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