By: Wang Wen Source: Global Times Published: 2020-03-10
What would you do if a friend, neighbor, or stranger was struggling to recover from an illness? An appropriate answer would be to wish them an early recovery and provide necessary support. This is what I was taught by my parents and kindergarten teachers when I was a child, and how I am teaching my child now, as behaving this way should be a basic human fundamental.
So, why have some educated elites in the US, the world's only superpower and a self-proclaimed model of democracy and freedom, forgotten this human principle?
Amid China's fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, some US elites have used it as an opportunity to engage in slanderous behavior by claiming the virus was a biochemical weapon, while others have claimed that China is the "real sick man of Asia."
Recently, a US TV host asked for a formal apology from China. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has again accused China of providing imperfect data, suggesting it "has led us now to a place where much of the challenge we face today has put us behind the curve."
I am extremely disappointed with these US elites. The source of the virus has yet to be determined. In January, to prevent COVID-19 from spreading around world, China locked down a city with a population of more than 10 million.
At the expense of economic growth, China advised more than 1 billion people to remain indoors, a move that effectively curbed the epidemic and offered the world valuable data and experience. The World Health Organization (WHO) and other countries have praised China's efforts and joined hands to help fight the epidemic.
Now, the virus is spreading worldwide. The number of new international confirmed cases per day has surpassed China at least 10 times. At this stage, the world needs unity. The US, as the world's most powerful country, should have called on other nations to help combat what has become a common enemy, just as they did during World War II. Unfortunately, they have made no such efforts. After observing the words and deeds of the US administration and other elites, I realized their accusations against China were aimed to divert attention, conceal inaction, and dodge long-standing flaws in US foreign policy.
For the US elites who have been blaming China I have this to say: The virus is still spreading in the US, and your country has already surpassed China regarding the number of new confirmed cases. Try to find a way to curb the outbreak! The fight against coronavirus is a battle facing all of mankind. China has implemented measures for nearly two months, allowing time and offering experience for the US government to learn from it, but they have hardly done anything. US government should apologize to the US people!
In the US, the virus outbreak has caused panic. Stock markets continue to plunge, losing over $3 trillion. The disastrous road of the 2008 financial crisis, when tens of trillions of dollars evaporated and millions of families went bankrupt, cannot be repeated. The US should apologize to those ruined families and middle-class people who suffered a loss of wealth!
The 2008 financial crisis also led to political turbulence in many countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya have been thrown into chaos due to US military invasion and intervention. Over the past decade, hundreds of thousands of people in those countries were killed in different conflicts. US diplomacy has also resulted directly in civil strife in Syria, with millions of refugees forced to leave their homes. US warmongers should apologize to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, as well as many US soldiers who died on battlefields due to your policies!
Why does the US government fail to comply with international rules? Why has it launched unilateralist military, trade, and financial wars against other countries? Have you ever thought about how the existing world order based on international trade, economic, financial, and political rules was built at the expense of millions of soldiers during World War II? US policymakers should also apologize to those victims!
The US founding fathers hoped the country would be humble, pursue freedom, call for unity, and contribute to the well-being of every American and all of humanity. But how are you conducting yourselves now? US politicians today should apologize to the great American founders!
Of course, I should apologize to my US friends who I have no intention of offending. The US has made great contributions to human progress throughout history. And the country is home to several admirable heroes. Let us respect and learn from them. Let us stand together to fight the virus - our common enemy!
The author is professor and executive dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, at Renmin University of China and executive director of China-US People-to-People Exchange Research Center. His book Great Power's Long March Road was launched recently.
The article is an excerpt of Martin Jacques's webinar lecture on July 25 titled "A new cold war against China is against the interests of humanity." Jacques is former senior fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University.