Ten Questions to the Daily Telegraph from the Spokesperson
of the Chinese Consulate General in Sydney
Recently the Daily Telegraph has published a number of reports and opinions about China’s response to COVID-19 that are full of ignorance, prejudice and arrogance. I have no intention of responding to individual article, but would like to ask ten questions to the Daily Telegraph:
1. Tracing the origin of the virus is a scientific issue that requires professional, science-based assessment. The origin of the virus is still undetermined, and the World Health Organization has named the novel coronavirus "COVID-19". Labeling the virus and stigmatizing China will neither alleviate certain country’s own difficulties, nor will it help the international health cooperation. So what is the real motive behind your attempt to repeatedly link the virus to China and even stating that the novel coronavirus was "made in China"?
2. Strict quarantine measures were taken in Wuhan, Hubei Province and the people of Wuhan made a huge effort and personal sacrifice to stop the spread of the epidemic. Nevertheless, in order to capture attention and gain more internet hits, you called Wuhan the "Zombieland" and Wuhan seafood market the "bat market". How low can you go?
3. The effectiveness of China's epidemic prevention and control has fully underlined the people-centred philosophy of the Communist Party of China and the strong advantages of the Chinese system. Instead of admitting and facing facts, the articles in your newspaper have wantonly attacked and smeared the CPC and the Chinese government with vicious language. Is your judgement based on the well-being of the people or do you have an ideological prejudice?
4. Since 3 January, China has been updating the WHO and the international community in a timely and transparent manner, including releasing information on the epidemic, sharing the genome sequence of the virus, and conducting medical and health cooperation. The WHO said recently that countries like Singapore and the ROK have made full use of the precious time China bought for the world and taken necessary prevention and control measures to contain the spread of the epidemic. And now in late March you are blaming China for delay?
5. China, Italy and other countries have adopted similar "city lockdown" measures at different stages for the same purpose of preventing the spread of the epidemic. But you believed that other western countries should only learn from the Italian experience because of the closest cultural and political comparison. Isn’t this a blatant example of double standards?
6. The epidemic is spreading rapidly around the globe, and China is doing its utmost to support other severely affected countries. Virus respects no borders. We should abandon prejudice and respond in unity instead of with suspicion and recriminations. Are you trying to deliberately sow discord or promote racism by fabricating the false accusation that China is responsible for the spread of the epidemic and Australia should bill Beijing for its economic loss?
7. You have repeatedly questioned the WHO’s positive assessment of China's epidemic prevention and control, but surely you know that the WHO is the most authoritative international organization in global public health, with more than 190 members including Australia?
8. In January and February, overseas Chinese communities and Chinese companies donated medical supplies to China, the then epicenter of the pandemic. As the virus spreads to other countries, they are currently actively participating in various means in the prevention and control efforts in their residing country. In this sense, their efforts correspond with those of many other individuals and companies around the world who have a sense of social responsibility. By making what certain Chinese individuals or companies did in late January a “scapegoat” for the shortage of medical supplies two month later in Australia, isn’t it too ridiculous?
9. Recently, the Daily Telegraph attended two media briefings on the epidemic held by the Chinese Consulate General. In disregard of the authoritative information provided by China and the WHO's professional opinions, you instead quoted several so-called "strategic analysts" and doubted statistics issued by China and even advocated the "decoupling theory". Were you aware that the institution where these people work have been exposed as long accepting financial support from the US government and arms dealers, and it has been keen to play up anti-China issues?
10. Your recent coverage on the epidemic in China are exaggerated, full of irresponsible rumours and highly politicized. Which begs the question: are these anti-china sentiments a part of a broader smear campaign against China? Are they from the same scriptwriter’s song sheet as some media organizations in a certain country?