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By insulting five-star flag, Danish cartoonist insults himself

By Zhang Zhouxiang | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-01-28 21:05

At a time when China is mobilizing all resources to fight the novel coronavirus, Jyllands Posten, a media outlet based in Denmark, published a cartoon that makes people feel rather bad.

The cartoon, drawn by editorial cartoonist Niels Bo Bojesen, is an imitation of the five-star flag, the national flag of China, with a difference: The five stars are replaced by five viruses. Even though the Chinese embassy to Denmark issued a protest, the cartoon could still be seen on the official website of the media outlet.

The cartoon is a very bad example of certain Westerners demonizing China. Anybody with a basic sense of modern ethics knows how much insult it contains. However, the cartoonist should never dream of doing any actual harm to China by drawing the cartoon; by this deed he has only exposed to the whole world how twisted and shallow his own mind is.

China has invested enormous human and material resources in preventing the epidemic from further spreading, and its efforts, as part of humankind in fighting the plague, have been widely recognized by the whole world.

At their celebration of Lunar New Year, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross called for everyone to stand in silent tribute to the victims of the new coronavirus.

In neighboring Japan, one city after another donated necessary medical devices to Wuhan. Of them, Oita city, a sister city to Wuhan, sent 30,000 masks to Wuhan, with the words "Come on, Wuhan!" written in large letters on the boxes.

The Danish people are good, too, and the cartoon does not represent their attitude. However, the cartoon does stand for the attitude of the cartoonist and shows his own shallowness.

What if an epidemic breaks out in Denmark and someone insults their national flag? Some historical books show that a Danish merchant brought smallpox to North America in 1634, which caused the deaths of 95 percent of local Indians in what's Connecticut today. What if someone from there insulted the Danish national flag? Would Danish people feel happy?

We trust the morality of the Danish people and we are confident that the cartoon would never receive any support in that country. Besides protests and blame from China, the cartoon will only harvest blame from people of conscience in Denmark.

There are shared principles for all modern civilized societies, and to insult a nation surely breaks them.


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