The same draconian COVID lockdowns responsible for the eruption of anti-government protests in China were once praised as successful and even necessary by prominent media outlets and health experts.
Thousands of Chinese citizens have taken to the streets in nearly a dozen cities across China to demand an end to President Xi Jinping's "zero-COVID" policy, which has resulted in aggressive quarantines and other measures limiting basic rights. In the past, media outlets offered positive coverage of China's lockdowns, which often suggested the country had solved the pandemic more than a year ago.
The New York Times declared China's policies triumphant in a February 2021 article titled "Power, Patriotism and 1.4 Billion People: How China Beat the Virus and Roared Back."
"In the year since the coronavirus began its march around the world, China has done what many other countries would not or could not do," the paper claimed. "With equal measures of coercion and persuasion, it has mobilized its vast Communist Party apparatus to reach deep into the private sector and the broader population, in what the country’s leader, Xi Jinping, has called a 'people’s war' against the pandemic — and won."
"The success has positioned China well, economically and diplomatically," the paper asserted, noting Xi offering China’s experience "as a model for others to follow." The Times wrote that Xi's methods were "repugnant and unacceptable" in a democratic society, but with China facing the same struggles in 2022 as it was in 2021, the paper's claim that the policy succeeded falls flat.
CNN host Fareed Zakaria declared China would leave the pandemic in a stronger position than ever in January 2021.
"China has come out of this pandemic, in many ways, stronger," he said at the time. "Yes, its reputation got battered a bit because of its early handling, but it has essentially vanquished the virus without a vaccine. It also has vaccines onboard. It is moving forward with much greater confidence in the world."... (Read more)
Submitted 70 days ago