OPINIONS Observer: White House's attack on VOA reflects sheer bias toward China

OPINIONS

Observer: White House's attack on VOA reflects sheer bias toward China

By Ni Tao | People's Daily app

19:18, April 13, 2020

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The White House on Friday launched a surprising attack on Voice of America (VOA), the mouth piece of the US government, who has been propagating US foreign policies and values since the 1940s.

To the current White House, it seems that VOA's assiduous propaganda isn't biased towards US enough, as it absurdly criticized VOA for calling China’s Wuhan lockdown a successful “model”, and then tweeting out video of a celebratory light show marking the city's end of quarantine, thus amplifying Beijing’s "propaganda."

While it is a widely acknowledged fact that China's prevention and control of the COVID-19 has achieved preliminary success, the White House newsletter hypocritically claimed "journalists should report the facts."

The newsletter went further to criticize VOA for  creating graphics to compare China’s COVID-19 death toll to America’s, a figure that the US has now overtaken Italy as the world's highest, highlighting the US government's unpreparedness and incompetence to contain the virus.

To shift the blame, the US government has spared no effort to slander China. In the newsletter, it implied that China had hidden the true number of domestically infectious cases. But this has been repeatedly rejected by epidemiologists, saying that it's almost impossible to hide any infectious disease.

Once again, this proves that the so-called freedom of speech in the US has a premise. The White House has taken a variety of restrictions on reporters it doesn't like, including forbidding them to attend the White House briefing, and forcibly expelling and revoking the interview license, among others.

This standard doesn't only apply to US media, but also to US citizens. Captain Brett Crozier of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt was one of the many examples. He was dismissed for a letter that saved thousands of lives on the carrier. What's more, many medical workers recently in the US were reportedly dismissed for publicly pointing out that hospitals lacked anti epidemic medical supplies.

Meanwhile, the sheer bias against Chinese media is also self-evidently reflected. The US side has repeatedly claimed that the Chinese media is a propaganda organization, not the so-called "truly independent media." On the other hand, a US government-funded news outlet such as VOA, now explicitly being criticized for not speaking for the US, for years has been touted as an "independent" organization that promotes democracy and freedom.

Most importantly, this also reflects the mindset that the US side refuses to recognize the achievements of China's anti-epidemic efforts. Wuhan's recent lifting of outbound travel restrictions is symbolic of China's hard-won preliminary victory on fighting the virus. Though the country still needs to stay vigilant to prevent a resurgence, its gradual and orderly resumption of work offers a glimpse of hope to the world. 

To deny China's achievements, some US politicians and media organizations cast doubt on China's statistics. Without support from any scientific evidence, their accusation is based on the assumption that the US is a free and democratic country with a well-developed medical system, and China's social governance system and medical level are not as good as the US, so that China must be faking. In this state of mind, it's no surprise that VOA has been singled out as the black sheep.

At this critical time, when the world needs China and the United States to lead international efforts in collaborative research into treatments and vaccines, the US must stop slandering and playing the blame game, as they cannot help the epidemic battle in the US. Countries are all interconnected in this fight, as the Chinese side has said repeatedly. This is a time for solidarity, collaboration and mutual support.

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