The Coronavirus, China, and the West


In this oped for The New York Times, I take on a tricky subject: giving props to some of China's reaction to the coronavirus while taking the West to task for not learning from it.

It's just a short oped and can't reflect everything I'd like to say on the matter, but it does represent a feeling of unreality I had after going to London from China and feeling that the West had learning almost nothing from China--except for what not to do. And while there is a lot of China's reaction that should be avoided, I also felt at times that there was a lot to respect, especially the way the government did react forcefully in ways that some head-in-the-sand governments in the West have shunned. 

This piece is quite controversial; it's been used on Chinese social media to justify the government's approach, which was not my intention of course, although perhaps unavoidable. And some people are seeing it as unfairly criticizing western coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in China. But I felt the risk of being misunderstood was still worth taking and I hope you do too. 

Category: New York Times, Chinese politics, 
Posted by: ian
Mar 14, 2020