• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
BW Businessworld

Ripple-effect Of Globalisation Than Racial Discord

Governments of many countries and the WHO have highly recognized the measures taken by the Chinese government to respond to the epidemic, and acknowledged the sacrifices and contributions made by China to prevent the epidemic from spreading globally. In the battle against the epidemic, China is not alone.

Photo Credit :

China is under the attack of the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (NCP). As the Chinese government and people are battling this epidemic, governments and people around the world have expressed their sympathies and support to China. Many countries have extended help by providing China with a large number of materials for epidemic prevention. The Indian Ambassador to China, Vikram Misri, recently, expressed goodwill and support of the Indian people and government towards the Chinese people. He said that the whole world has seen the determination of the Chinese people and the government to fight the epidemic and it shall end soon.

While we see International solidarity, some individuals, in some countries, however, maliciously referred to the virus as "Wuhan virus" and "China virus" on social media. A mainstream American media publication, published an article under the headline, "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia", early this month. In addition to the derogatory reference to China as "the sick man of Asia", the article also takes a dig on China's economic outlook. Some senior U.S. officials even claimed that the outbreak in China would help bring jobs back to America.

The history of human development is a history of constant battle with various diseases. Infectious diseases have caused massive human death in history. In ancient society, due to less advanced transportation and communication, people moved around in a limited area, thus restricting the geographical scope of infection. For example, the Black Death that occurred in Europe in the fourteenth century caused more than 25 million deaths, wiping out almost a third of the European population at that time. When that happened, Asia, Africa, and the Americas outside Europe, let alone be infected, did not even know that such a severe epidemic had ever occurred.

With the development of science and technology, as well as new means of transportation such as steam engines, comes the global mobility of human beings. The emergence of aeroplanes, in particular, enabled people to travel from the Eastern Hemisphere to the Western Hemisphere and from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere within half a day. While enjoying the convenience, people had to bear the concurrent negative influences, such as the rapid spread of infectious diseases worldwide, which no country can cope with single-handedly. What is needed is global governance through all nations in the world working together. The concept of "saving others is saving ourselves", is deeply rooted in people’s hearts, resulting in the formation of a community of shared destiny in public health. 

When a major natural disaster or severe epidemic hits a country, aid and help would flush in from all over the world. In history, China sent medical teams to many countries in inadequate medical conditions to help them improve their level of health. China’s medical team has made outstanding contributions to the fight against Ebola in Africa. China is also an important contributor to WHO funding, fulfilling its responsibility as a major country for international health cooperation and human health improvement.

Infectious diseases are often transmitted all over the world. In many cases, it is difficult to identify the original source. Anyone, regardless of race, may fall victim to the infection. Therefore, it is not fair to equate any infectious disease with a specific country or race. Any attempt to name the naturally occurring viruses after the name of a country or city will only encounter protest. The Ebola virus was not called the "African virus". The flu that infected tens of millions of Americans and killed tens of thousands of them was not called the "American flu" either. Nor has any foreign government or media called the United States "sick man", let alone blaming the American political system for its occurrence. Linking a virus with a specific country or city, or attacking the country that is combating with the epidemic, is not only a showcase of ignorance about the disease, which only brings shame to the human civilization, but it is also a racist discrimination and denial of the epidemic control effort of the country in question. It undermines the cooperation of the international community to fight against infectious diseases. People doing such deeds are the real "sick-minded men".

The article published in the American newspaper described China as the real sick man of Asia, which has not only been condemned by the Chinese government and people but has also been widely opposed and slammed by people with a conscience around the world, including the United States. Catherine Ceniza Choy, a professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley, criticized the article, saying that, “this is extremely harmful and wrong” on February 8th, arguing that the consequences of publishing an opinion like this include stoking more fear and anxiety and increasing hostility against Chinese and other Asians throughout the world. The White House website has received more than 100,000 signed petitions against the newspaper. 

The Chinese government and people do not need to overly worry about those individuals or views attacking China, nor shall they be distracted. As the proverb goes, there are all kinds of fish in the sea, there are a handful of people with extreme ideologies in each and every country, vicious and arrogant people. But such people and views can never become the mainstream of any country or society. We can see that while the media house published an insulting article by the author, more American-funded enterprises and American private charities provided China with a large amount of aid for epidemic prevention as quickly as they possibly can, and many Americans expressed sympathies and support to China; More than 20 countries including Japan, South Korea, India, Russia, Singapore and Pakistan, provided emergency materials to aid China. In Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister led the prayer of the whole island to invoke blessings for China, and the cabinet ministers joined in the donation. The Union of Comoros, a tiny African nation, one of the least developed, has given China a symbolic gift of €100. It’s not a lot, but it means a lot. Governments of many countries and the WHO have highly recognized the measures taken by the Chinese government to respond to the epidemic, and acknowledged the sacrifices and contributions made by China to prevent the epidemic from spreading globally. In the battle against the epidemic, China is not alone.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
coronavirus outbreak

Long Xingchun

The author is Professor at the School of Foreign Languages of China West Normal University (CWNU)

More From The Author >>