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  • Gordon Dumoulin

A rhetorical question... China has had and will have its own rides

Being in home isolation since two days due to COVID infection, the last week has been a roller coaster ride in different ways.

The Chinese government has relaxed COVID measures and this has had enormous effect on Chinese people preparing themselves with stocking up medicines and self-test kits while businesses starting to take measures of controling infections in their operations.

The international media and op-eds are not short of whether the measures have been too fast or too late, about the results of the zero COVID policy or the new measures being a political consequence after protests in different Chinese cities 2 weeks ago.

The reality is that China is bracing up for an infection ride coming months which will affect health care capacities, businesses, and people in general. The government has listened, realized the unrest and put people more in charge and responsibility. This along with the two facts that the new corona variants cannot be stopped without increasingly drastic measures due to its higher effectivity, and secondly the current variants being less severe for health.

And yes there are numbers of risks for speculation how the infection spree will turn out in coming months but there is one force who we can trust; the behaviour, actions and measures of the Chinese people for coming through as smooth, efficient and positive as possible with support and facilitation from the government.

Another turn on the roller coaster this week was the death of Jiang Zemin for whom the memorial ceremony took place in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing this week. Jang Zemin’s death triggered numerous (nostalgic) comparisons in international and social media between the eras of a smiling Jiang Zemin in the 1990’s and on the other hand a stern looking Xi Jinping in the current era.

Most of those comparisons though have left out crucial realities of both eras; among others about how Western nations saw and dealt with China at the time in comparison how the West is viewing, dealing with and speculating about China today. Narrow comparisons between portraits in most cases with a nostalgic feel, presumably for feeding the West’s negative view about China today.

By the way, don’t forget to check the smiles of Xi Jinping holding hands with Joe Biden at the G20 or 2 days ago during his visit to Saudi Arabia meeting with King Salman. Every person has a different smile...

A rhetorical question;

While opinions with many speculations in media are all over China’s relaxing COVID measures, who actually expected this far-reaching relaxing policy less than two weeks ago ?

Speculations about China have been part of international media, think tanks and academics since years. But what has actually come out ?

China has had and will have its own rides and this not just because of government policies but most importantly of all by the Chinese people, culture and society.

#covid19 #pandemic

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