汤姆·福迪:西方借抗疫诋毁中国体制,只会自食其果

来源:观察者网

2022-04-27 07:51

汤姆·福迪

汤姆·福迪作者

英国作家、国际关系分析人士

【导读】 现在西方推崇很多错误的信息,它欺骗性地试图掩盖中国避免了西方疫情高死亡率的事实,并认为只有自由是最重要的,而不是人民的福祉。

【文/汤姆·福迪 译/观察者网 宁栎】

自2020年初新冠在世界范围内流行以来,有许多声音试图将这一疫情政治化,特别是要指向中国,来取得某些筹码。虽然在纸面上,新冠是一个科学和人道主义问题,世界应该共同努力来遏制它,但在上海与新冠作斗争时,可悲的是,新冠将成为现代历史上最政治化的疫情。在任何情况下,这种疫情都没有像这次一样,被用来如此极端地诋毁一个国家及其政治体制。

西方将新冠疫情政治化的原因是,目前西方的外交政策环境将所有与中国有关的问题都变成了意识形态和政治霸权的零和竞赛,这使得人们无法客观公正地评估与中国有关的任何问题。换句话说,这就是一种 “冷战”心态。在这种情况下,中国的政治体制和成就被视为对西方意识形态卓越论的威胁,因此必须不惜一切代价彻底抹杀中国政治体制和成就的“模范”地位。这造成了一个有毒的媒体环境,导致与中国有关的负面报道泛滥,甚至完全罔顾事实。

结果,新冠疫情自始至终都被严重政治化,被指向中国。最初武汉报告疫情时,西方媒体宣称这是中国政治体制和意识形态的失败,宣称这不可能发生在 “透明”和“西方文明世界”。英国广播公司称这是一场“巨大的政治灾难”。东方主义的论点也被用来指责中国的文化和食物。然而,一旦疫情在全球出现,中国就被当作替罪羊,成为由咄咄逼人的美国政府带头进行的机会主义指责把戏的一部分,美国政府将疫情政治化,作为一种工具来重新制定美国和盟国的对华政策。

然而,与这种说法相反,中国成功的清零政策不仅克服了武汉的疫情,而且成功地在全国创造了两年的相对正常状态。这不仅拯救了数百万人的生命,而且使中国经济迅速反弹,而没有必要用极端的刺激措施。西方的反应是简单地否认中国的成就,指责中国编造数字,甚至宣传阴谋论,如臭名昭著的“实验室泄密”等,这种阴谋论既无稽又令人反感。在任何情况下,西方政客和媒体都不准备认可中国抗疫成就,即使疫情在西方导致大量死亡。

中国派出医疗队支持各国抗疫(来源:新华社)

中国研发了国产疫苗,西方迅速制造了新的说辞,错误地声称这种疫苗无效,并在使用中国疫苗的国家传播。不言而喻,在整个危机的每一个阶段和事件中,都有一种说法准备以某种方式或形式攻击中国。现在,媒体转向中国最大城市上海,指责当地政府政策粗暴,密集报道居民的抱怨。

我个人对这种情况感到失望。现在是改变政策的时候了,特别是在世界其他地方开始更加开放。然而,也可以说,现在西方推崇很多错误的信息,它欺骗性地试图掩盖中国避免了西方疫情高死亡率的事实,并认为只有自由是最重要的,而不是人民的福祉。

中国目前抗疫中小的错误和挫折并不抵消整个政策的优点。人们应该清楚地认识到,西方对中国抗疫政策的评论和解释是出于可笑的恶意,其根本目的是试图破坏中国的政治体制和整体前景。虽然奥密克戎变种的传播性更强,死亡人数更少,这就要求改变策略。但客观上,中国的清零政策还是非常成功的。地方政府可能会犯错,但与西方不同的是,如果有必要,高层将对地方政府追责。中国不仅面临新冠疫情,也面临着 “政治疫情”,即西方认为中国做什么都是不对的。

(本文系作者赐稿,英文原文见下页。)


Since covid-19 became apparent to the world in early 2020, there are many voices who have sought to politicize the pandemic since the first day, taking particular aim at China with the goal of scoring points. Whilst on paper, the outbreak of a virus is a scientific and humanitarian problem of which the world ought to work together to contain, it is a sad state of affairs as Shanghai battles its outbreak, that the covid-19 will in fact stand to be the most politicized pandemic in modern history. Never has in any instance, the course of such an outbreak been so militantly attached to discrediting a single country and its political system as this one.

The politicization of the pandemic by the west stems from a foreign policy environment of which has rendered all things pertaining to China into a zero-sum contest for ideological and political hegemony, an environment which has made it impossible to objectively and impartially assess any matters pertaining to the country, in other words a “Cold War” mentality. In such a context, China’s political system and achievements are seen as threatening to the west’s ideological exceptionalism, and therefore its political system and achievements must be thoroughly discredited as a “model” at all costs. This has led to a poisonous media environment which is obsessed with negative coverage pertaining to Beijing, even to the complete abrogation of facts.

As a result, the covid-19 pandemic has been grossly politicized against the country from start to finish. In the early days, the outbreak of Wuhan was designated as a failure of China’s political system and ideology, drawing upon the assumption these events could not happen in the “transparent” and “civilized west”. The BBC called it an “epic political disaster”. Orientalist arguments were also used to blame China’s culture and cuisine. However, once the pandemic became globalized, China was then scapegoated as part of an opportunistic blame game spearheaded by an aggressive U.S administration, who used it as a means to reset their own and allies’ foreign policies pertaining to China.

Contrary to the narrative however, China’s successful zero-covid policy not only overcame the outbreak in Wuhan but succeeded in creating relative normality throughout the country for two years. This approach not only saved millions of lives, but ultimately allowed China’s economy to rebound rapidly without resorting to extreme levels of stimulus. The response of the west was to simply deny China any recognition for it whatsoever. They accused China of lying about their numbers and began even propagating conspiracy theories such as the infamous “Laboratory leak” conspiracy theory- A claim which was as nonsensical as it was offensive. But in no circumstances whatsoever, were western politicians and media prepared to give China credit for their handling of covid-19, even as their own populations died in large numbers.

As China created its own vaccines, the west quickly created new narratives falsely claiming such vaccines were ineffective, publishing misinformation about their efficacy in countries which used them. It goes without saying that at every single stage and event of this whole crisis, there has been a narrative ready to attack China with in some way or form. Now the medium switches towards the lockdown in Shanghai, China’s biggest city, where again the government is accused of being brutal and the focus is placed on the complaints of residents.

Personally, I am disappointed at the situation and believe it is time for a policy change, especially as the rest of the world begins to open up more. However, it also be said that there is now a lot of misinformation yet again being pushed by the west, and it deceptively seeks to omit the bigger picture that China has offset the enormous loss of life experienced in the west, and argue that simple freedom is all that matters as opposed to the wellbeing of the people.

These small-scale mistakes and setbacks do not change the merits of the policy as a whole. People should understand clearly that western commentary and interpretations of China’s covid-19 policy are being made in ludicrous bad faith, with the fundamental goal of attempting to undermine the country’s political system and prospects as a whole. Whilst it is true that the Omicron variant is more transmissible and has a lower death toll, which mandates a change in strategy, it is also objectively true that China’s zero-covid policy has been above all, extremely successful. Local authorities can make mistakes, but unlike in the west these authorities will be held accountable by their superiors if necessary. Whilst China faces covid, it has also faced the “political pandemic” which believes it can do no right in absolutely anything it does.

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