Comparing the response to Covid-19 in China and the US

The following article by John V Walsh, republished from Popular Resistance, debunks various misconceptions about China’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and contrasts China’s performance with that of the US. Walsh observes that the deaths per million figure in the US currently stands at 3,042; for China the figure is 3.7. So on this metric – surely the most meaningful in terms of assessing a given country’s public health response to a pandemic – China has outperformed the US by a factor of over 800. Anticipating the usual cries of “you can’t trust the Chinese numbers”, Walsh links to numerous articles in the scientific literature confirming the validity of China’s statistics.

While China clearly pursued a strategy that prioritized human life over corporate profits, the author notes that, ironically, China’s economy has also fared far better than the US’s since the start of the pandemic. Walsh concludes that the Chinese experience “should not be lightly dismissed let alone be the subject of mean-spirited attacks” since the measures taken “may be a means of saving millions of lives when the next variant or the next pandemic strikes”.

Covid Deaths In The US (Over 1 Million) And China (About 5000).

“History Should Judge Us” – and it will.

In May and June of 2022 two milestones were passed in the world’s battle with Covid and were widely noted in the press, one in the US and one in China.  They invite a comparison between the two countries and their approach to combatting Covid-19.

The first milestone was passed on May 12 when  the United States registered over 1 million total deaths (1,008,377 as of June 19, 2022, when this is written) due to Covid, the highest of any country in the world.  Web MD expressed its sentiment in a piece headlined: “US Covid Deaths Hit 1 Million: ‘History Should Judge Us.’”

Second, on June 1, China emerged from its 60-day lockdown in Shanghai in response to an outbreak there, the most serious since the Wuhan outbreak at the onset of the pandemic.  The total number of deaths in Mainland China since the beginning of the epidemic in January 2020 now stands at a total of 5226 as of June 19,2022.

To put that in perspective, that is 3042 deaths per million population in the US versus 3.7 deaths in China due to Covid.  3042 vs. 3.7!  Had China followed the same course as the US, it would have experienced at least 4 million deaths.  Had the US followed China’s course it would have had only 1306 deaths total!

The EU did not fare not much better than the US with 2434 deaths per million as of June 19.

Continue reading Comparing the response to Covid-19 in China and the US

Cuba-China cooperation leads to vaccine breakthrough

We’re pleased to re-publish this important article by Sara Flounders, posted in Workers World on 7 June 2022, about the progress made by a Cuban-Chinese cooperation project towards a universal coronavirus vaccine. Sara explains that these two socialist countries are far better positioned than their capitalist counterparts to work together on projects of long-term value to humanity, because their social systems are centered on meeting human need, as opposed to maximizing private profit. The article goes on to detail the outsized contribution made by China and Cuba to suppressing the pandemic in the developing world, as well as the ongoing and deepening cooperation between the two countries in a number of crucially important areas. Sara concludes: “The growing scientific cooperation of China and Cuba represents a hopeful future for humanity. Global problems can be solved. What is required is economic planning, cooperation and sharing of scientific knowledge and technology.”

Cuba and China formally announced June 2 that they have filed for joint patent for a Pan-Corona vaccine. The new vaccine, a collaboration between the biotechnological sectors of the two countries, is the first patent for a single vaccine effective against the many variants of COVID-19.

News of the jointly developed vaccine is particularly exciting because of the two countries’ cooperative approach in a field that is highly competitive, secretive and totally profit-oriented in Western capitalist countries.

Breakthrough in emerging virus protection

The Pan-Corona vaccine was announced to be effective against present variants of COVID-19 and thus of value in the current pandemic. 

But its strength is that it could also be effective against the appearance of new pathogens belonging to this family of viruses, noted Eduardo Martínez Díaz, president of the state-owned BioCubaFarma Business Group. (telesurenglish.net, June 3)

The Pan-Corona project is based in a joint biotechnological research and development center, operating since 2019 in the city of Yongzhou in Hunan province, and led by experts from Cuba’s Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB). Dr. Gerardo Guillén Nieto, the center’s director of Biomedical Research, explained the project arose at the request of the Chinese and had the approval of Cuba’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. The equipment and laboratories at the Yongzhou center were designed by Cuban scientific personnel. (Radio Havana Cuba, June 3)

The two countries focused on coronaviruses because of the global pandemic and because this is the family of viruses most likely to jump from animals to humans. This phenomenon, called zoonosis, was the cause of previous epidemics such as the 2002 SARS outbreak and the 2012 MERS infection — both serious respiratory illnesses. 

Continue reading Cuba-China cooperation leads to vaccine breakthrough

Why China continues with its dynamic Zero Covid strategy

The following article from Global Times provides valuable insight into China’s strategy for suppressing the Covid-19 pandemic. Liang Wiannan, a renowned epidemiologist and one of the architects of the Zero Covid approach, outlines the expected consequences of the alternative “lying flat” or “living with the virus” strategy, which relies on gradually building passive/herd immunity. Although China’s overall vaccination rate is high, there is significant variation between regions and age groups. To “live with the virus” at this moment would result in severely stretched medical resources, and would pose a serious threat to patients with underlying diseases, children, seniors, and pregnant women. However, the article makes clear that, as understanding of the virus develops, health authorities are able to restrict the negative side-effects of the suppression strategy with the extensive use of nucleic acid testing.

Why won’t China adopt a “lying flat” strategy in face of Omicron like some Western countries do? Liang Wannian, head of the expert group in China’s epidemic response and disposal leading group, said that to passively respond to Omicron is not China’s option as the country still faces unbalanced medical resources. 

Adopting the dynamic zero-COVID strategy could be seen as “purchasing an insurance for 1.4 billion of Chinese people,” Liang said, noting that it helps avoiding large-scale transmissions and outbreaks, protecting people’s lives, effectively diminishing the loss of life expectancy per capita. 

In countries like the US, life expectancy declined dramatically in 2020 after being hit by the COVID-19 outbreak and continued to decline in 2021, these tragic data are seen as historically unusual drops for the US. 

Some countries chose the so-called “lying flat” strategy by living with the virus to gain herd immunity while China is getting immunity by vaccination, Liang said, noting that although 90 percent of population have been vaccinated, there have been unequal results in different ages and regions. 

Continue reading Why China continues with its dynamic Zero Covid strategy

Interview: Comparing human rights in China and the West

We are very pleased to republish this interview given by our Co-Editor Danny Haiphong to Global Times. In his interview Danny compares the very different approaches to human rights in China and the US. He notes how the US constantly raises generally spurious charges regarding the state of human rights in other countries, especially in China, in an attempt to distract attention from its own abhorrent human rights record. This can especially be seen in the contrasting approaches around Covid-19. In China, people and saving human lives come first whereas in the richest country on earth millions are without health care.

To help understand China’s progress in the past decade, the Global Times (GT) has launched a weekly series of interviews with scholars from home and abroad, presenting a holistic view of China’s governance philosophy. The following is an interview with Danny Haiphong (Haiphong), an independent journalist in the US and co-editor of Friends of Socialist China as well as a founding member of the No Cold War international campaign, on how China has made human rights protection a priority and how it has taken human rights moral high grounds.

GT: The US Department of State issued the 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices on April 12, of which 90 pages are used to criticize China’s human rights conditions. At the same time, 2021 was considered to be the US’ most fatal year in history with more than 460,000 Americans killed by the coronavirus last year. Why does the US care more about human rights of China and other countries than its own record? 

Haiphong: The US has politicized human rights for several reasons, none of which have anything to do with genuine concerns about the wellbeing of people. Constant speculation about human rights elsewhere provides a distraction from the shortcomings of the US’ own political and economic system. The US possesses an abhorrent human rights record. An average of three Americans per day are killed by US law enforcement. Nearly one million Americans have died of COVID-19. US wars abroad have taken the lives of millions and destabilized entire regions.

Human rights are also an integral component of US foreign policy. Any nation deemed a threat to US hegemony is condemned for human rights violations. Often, the allegations are unfounded. This is certainly the case in relation to China. The US has spread insidious lies about the so-called human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Hong Kong Special Administration Region (HKSAR) to justify sanctions and military encirclement. The US’ politicization of human rights is not only hypocritical, but a true danger to humanity. 

Continue reading Interview: Comparing human rights in China and the West

The battle against Covid-19 in Shanghai: a human rights disaster?

In this latest piece, originally published on his Chronicles of Haiphong, our Co-Editor Danny Haiphong unpicks the western media’s propaganda onslaught regarding the current Omicron outbreak in Shanghai and the resultant lockdown. Whilst acknowledging the hardships and frustrations of the current situation, Danny points out that, when condemning China’s zero-Covid strategy, the western media ignores the solidarity and sacrifice of ordinary people.  When it comes to tackling Covid, as in other areas, he notes that the real criminals infringing human rights are to be found in the imperialist countries of North America and Europe.

The city of Shanghai is currently battling an outbreak of COVID-19’s Omicron variant, tallying upwards of 350,000 new cases in a matter of weeks. Much of the city has been placed under some form of lockdown to contain the spread of the virus. Case numbers continue to rise. In predictable fashion, Western media has used the occasion to condemn China’s dynamic zero-COVID strategy. Videos of frustrated residents went viral across the West as an example of the “evils” of China’s communist party-led government.

Indeed, China’s latest battle with COVID-19 has not been without hardship. Logistical issues with food and medical deliveries have been a source of frustration. Tragedy struck when a grassroots healthcare worker died by an apparent suicide, raising concerns about the mounting levels of stress for grassroots volunteers and cadres battling the virus around the clock. The central government has taken rapid measures to alleviate pressure on the local government. Thousands of doctors and volunteers have traveled from other cities and provinces to improve the delivery of food and medications.

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, Western observers have used the latest outbreak in Shanghai to demonize China’s dynamic zero-COVID strategy. The rapid spread of COVID-19 in Shanghai appears to validate Western media claims that China’s zero-COVID strategy does more harm than good. Western countries, led by the United States, have taken a “live with the virus” approach to justify the roll back of all mitigation measures and social welfare protections. The massive death toll to COVID-19 incurred in the West is viewed as merely the cost of doing business. Fatigue over rampant misinformation and inconsistent COVID-19 policy is almost as high as the mistrust that majorities of people in the West possess in their governments.

Continue reading The battle against Covid-19 in Shanghai: a human rights disaster?

Ian Goodrum: Shanghai’s situation is grim, but Omicron is not ‘unstoppable’

We are pleased to republish this insightful article by Ian Goodrum in China Daily discussing the recent Covid-19 outbreak in Shanghai and questioning the logic and motives of those in the West claiming that China’s dynamic Zero Covid strategy is unsustainable.

There’s no denying Shanghai is going through hard times.

As a local COVID-19 outbreak has grown there, so have the measures to keep it in check. Residents in some areas have been in lockdown for weeks, and the whole city has been at a standstill since the beginning of the month. Daily case counts there have eclipsed the peaks in Wuhan at the start of the pandemic, and the city has yet to see a drop for several days. At present, tens of thousands of new cases are being reported every 24 hours. We can only hope those figures start to change and the city can overcome this dark moment together.

But along with these troubling numbers come familiar refrains from a chorus we know all too well. Just as they did in previous waves, corporate media outlets are practically foaming at the mouth in their rush to declare the end of China’s zero-COVID policy. We heard this with last year’s Delta variant, we heard it as Omicron began its reign as the dominant strain, we’ve heard it since the enormity of the US and Europe’s epidemic control failure was impossible to ignore. They’ve been singing the same tune for so long the record’s not just broken, it’s fused to the phonograph.

As always, these people are either willfully ignorant or pushing an agenda, and that’s a distinction without a difference these days. Yes, the situation in Shanghai is dire, but China is a big country. There are plenty of cities that have had their own Omicron outbreaks but made it through with minimal consequences. Shenzhen, for example — an international hub in its own right and a massive population center — nipped Omicron in the bud with an early lockdown and a mass mobilization of personnel to handle testing and supply delivery. Qingdao, Tianjin, Dongguan and many other places have been able to tamp down this supposedly unavoidable variant with relative ease.

Meanwhile, virologists and epidemiologists based in the West are on the verge of tearing their hair out. Despite their warnings, an apparent mass delusion is taking hold of populations there, spurred by governments, corporations and media that want a return to business as usual. Now that danger to the wealthy has dropped to practically nil, and those most vulnerable to infection have been pushed back to work in face-to-face service jobs by the expiration of pandemic benefits, it’s been decided oh-so-conveniently that COVID is over.

Continue reading Ian Goodrum: Shanghai’s situation is grim, but Omicron is not ‘unstoppable’

Covid-19: Why can’t we learn from China instead of lecturing it?

In this timely article, which we reproduce from CGTN, Keith Lamb asks why the major capitalist countries refuse to learn from China’s tackling of Covid-19, “when China’s methods have proven to be among the most successful”. The answers, Lamb observes, highlight “precisely why capitalists should not be given the key to the state apparatus”.

Why are we unable to grasp even the basic lessons from recent history? Overall, looking at COVID-19 responses, China’s methods have proven to be among the most successful. When COVID-19 broke out, swift lockdowns saved millions of lives; grassroots resident groups instantly manned checkpoints in and out of large residential areas, checking temperatures, and apps tracking COVID-19 swiftly followed.

Residents were not cowered into their homes and it wasn’t the humanitarian “hell-scape” made out in the Western press. Even before official restrictions came into place, residents voluntarily isolated en masse. I can say this with confidence because I was in China, not just in one province but three.

When it comes to COVID-19 deaths per million, China’s loss is three, compared to the U.S. at 2,989 and the UK at 2,393. Thus, when it comes to protecting life, the words “horror” hardly applies to China yet, not learning from even recent history, as China now battles new outbreaks of COVID-19, using its “dynamic zero-COVID-19” strategy, this is precisely the sort of language the Western corporate press is using. Even in more measured reporting where language describing China’s strategy as “brutal” and “extreme” is not being used, China’s COVID-19 strategy is predicted to bring economic woes.

Continue reading Covid-19: Why can’t we learn from China instead of lecturing it?

US enters dangerous era as it approaches one million Covid-19 deaths

Friends of Socialist China co-editor Danny Haiphong analyzes the significance of the US approaching 1 million Covid-19 deaths by Spring 2022. He concludes that the US has given up on the fight against the pandemic, a move rooted in more than two years of capitalist negligence. The biggest tragedy of all is that ordinary Americans have been stripped of their capacity to learn from and implement China’s effective covid-19 response within their own context. The article was originally published in CGTN on 11 February 2022.

The United States has been one of the most dangerous places to contract COVID-19 since the pandemic began two years ago. The current number of U.S. deaths to COVID-19 is estimated to be 908,000 and trending upward. Hospital beds, healthcare workers, and protective equipment remain in short supply. Both the U.S. political establishment and media continue to spread misinformation about the virus and demonize China to deflect attention from their self-inflicted pandemic disaster. Recent epidemiological forecasts predict that the United States will reach one million COVID-19 deaths by the end of the winter.

These troubling trends do not seem to bother the current political leadership in the United States. Several states are easing public health measures such as mask requirements. The New York Times front page on February 5 ran job growth as its top story while placing at the bottom an announcement that the U.S. had reached 900,000 COVID-19 deaths. The Times concluded that Americans are simply moving on from COVID-19. This contradicts U.S. President Joe Biden’s campaign message that 100,000 COVID-19 deaths were too many when the U.S. reached this milestone in May 2020.

Continue reading US enters dangerous era as it approaches one million Covid-19 deaths

US media attacks China’s Covid-19 policies for saving lives, while Americans die

Republished below is a detailed and valuable article by Joe Scholten comparing the Covid-19 suppression strategies employed in the US and China, and exposing the absurdity of the US media which, instead of trying to learn something from China’s success in saving millions of lives, disparages and condemns it. This article first appeared in Multipolarista.

The People’s Republic of China has a population of more than 1.4 billion people, yet has had fewer than 6,000 Covid-19 deaths in the entirety of its territory. The Western press corps insists this is a bad thing.

The New York Times published an opinion piece on January 25 titled “China’s Zero Covid Policy is a Pandemic Waiting to Happen.” In this article, the authors argue that the pandemic will inevitably become endemic, and that the Chinese policy of eradicating Covid has “set the nation up for disaster.”

This proposal made in the New York Times opinion page is lunacy. In the two weeks leading up to the opinion piece, there were two days in which the United States saw more than a million daily Covid cases (January 18 and 24). From January 4 to 31, the US did not have a seven-day average below half a million cases.

Continue reading US media attacks China’s Covid-19 policies for saving lives, while Americans die

While China successfully battles Covid, the US targets China and loses the battle against Covid

We are pleased to republish this article by Scott Scheffer in Struggle/La Lucha, cutting through the anti-China propaganda in relation to the struggle against Covid-19. Scott focuses on the story of Zhang Zhan, an anti-communist crusader and cause celebre of the Western media, who wilfully spread malicious slander about the Wuhan lockdown. Journalists and politicians in the West have leveraged this slander to vilify China’s dynamic Zero Covid strategy – a strategy that has saved several millions of lives in China and that countries such as the US and Britain could and should have learned from.

The U.S. media is spreading a message that the omicron variant of COVID-19 may be the final wave in the pandemic that has taken 5.63 million lives globally, and 875,000 in the U.S. – the U.S. has the highest death toll in the world. 

Even as the death count in areas of the U.S. is rising as predicted by epidemiologists and virologists, a pro-business push to herd people back to work and students back to in-person classes is underway. The push has been embraced by the Centers for Disease Control, and by Biden’s Chief Medical Adviser, Anthony Fauci.

While omicron’s symptoms may be less severe than the delta variant, it is still a killer and is currently averaging 2,200 deaths per day throughout the country. Because it infects people so much more efficiently than previous variants, according to a Jan. 24 Reuters article, “The omicron death toll has now surpassed the height of deaths caused by the more severe delta variant when the seven-day average peaked at 2,078 on Sept. 23 last year.”

Continue reading While China successfully battles Covid, the US targets China and loses the battle against Covid

Chinese translation of ‘Capitalism on a Ventilator’ making waves in China

We’re pleased to republish this report from Workers World about the Chinese translation of the book Capitalism on a Ventilator — The Impact of COVID-19 in China & the US. The book contains chapters written by numerous left and anti-imperialist voices including Mumia Abu-Jamal, Lee Siu Hin, Margaret Kimberley, Vijay Prashad, Ngo Thanh Nhan, Ajamu Baraka, Max Blumenthal, Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers and Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez. We posted a review of the book here.

We have very exciting news! The Chinese translation of “Capitalism on a Ventilator — The Impact of COVID-19 in China & the U.S.” — originally published in 2020 by World View Forum as a joint project of the International Action Center and China-U.S. Solidarity Network — is out and being discussed in China. 

Contemporary China Publishers, the publisher of the Chinese translation, has planned a big rollout. We’ve received word that, based on high recommendations, hundreds of bookstores and online sellers are interested in carrying the Chinese translation of the book.

“Capitalism on a Ventilator” was co-edited by Sara Flounders, Workers World contributing editor and co-coordinator of the International Action Center, and Lee Siu Hin, director of the China-U.S. Solidarity Network, who has been involved in the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. 

Continue reading Chinese translation of ‘Capitalism on a Ventilator’ making waves in China

“Everyone’s happy to do their part”: interview with a Xi’an resident in lockdown

We’re pleased to republish this interview of Shi Huli, a community education worker in Xi’an. At the time the interview took place, Shi had been locked down with his family for just over two weeks (the Xi’an lockdown has since been lifted after several days in a row with no transmission). Shi’s description contrasts sharply with the tales of “authoritarianism” published in the Western media: thousands of community workers worked night and day to ensure that every family had sufficient food and supplies, and that people’s medical needs were met. Meanwhile, multiple rounds of mass testing were carried out. The overall result is that a small outbreak in Xi’an – a major city of 13 million people – was prevented from getting out of control.

The interview was carried out by Eben Dombay Williams and originally appeared in Challenge.

Following a recent outbreak of 127 cases of COVID-19, Xi’an, the ancient capital of China and home to the Terracotta Warriors, has become the latest lockdown as a part of China’s “zero COVID” strategy. Despite being the most populous country on Earth and the first to face the disease, China has been one of the greatest success stories in the fight against COVID, achieving not only one of the lowest death rates in the world, but sustaining sharp economic growth while many Western countries have stagnated.

The global fight against the pandemic has now turned into a tale of two systems. Socialist China, which has a planned economy and is able to combine state intervention with grassroots mobilisation to prioritise human need, has only had 4,639 deaths from the disease since the pandemic began, and only two deaths on the mainland throughout the whole of 2021 (Hong Kong and Taiwan have different systems of government and had 64 deaths and 843 deaths respectively). Meanwhile, as two major centres of global capitalism and neoliberalism, the US and the UK have so far had 859,046 and 150,056 deaths apiece from the pandemic, mostly among the poor and working class. Between them, these two countries now have over half the active COVID cases in the world.

Continue reading “Everyone’s happy to do their part”: interview with a Xi’an resident in lockdown

One virus, two systems: infographic comparing Covid strategies in China and the US

It’s been a year since the last death from Covid in China, yet the Western media continues to claim China’s Zero Covid strategy is “unsustainable”. Compared with the West, however, China’s strategy looks decidedly sustainable.

Covid in the US

  • Nearly 900,000 deaths due to pandemic
  • Every state has suffered multiple major outbreaks
  • Epidemic of Long Covid affecting millions
  • Elderly and vulnerable people still having to limit social contact
  • 63 percent of population fully vaccinated
  • Hoarded vaccine doses, perpetuating global vaccine apartheid
  • Millions have fallen deeper into poverty

Covid in China

  • Fewer than 5,000 deaths due to the pandemic
  • Hubei the only province to experience severe outbreak
  • Very few people suffering with Long Covid
  • Virus is under control so people are able to live ordinary lives
  • 87 percent of population fully vaccinated
  • Exported over 2 billion vaccine doses, prioritising Global South
  • Poverty alleviation program continues uninterrupted

Zero Covid: China silences the critics

This article by Carlos Martinez, originally published in the Morning Star on 24 January 2022, discusses the recent Covid-19 outbreaks and containment measures in the major Chinese cities of Xi’an and Tianjin. The article addresses the flurry of criticism that has appeared in the Western mainstream media in relation to China’s Zero Covid strategy, and concludes that this criticism is designed specifically to demobilise progressive opinion around developing a people-oriented approach to suppressing the pandemic in the West.

It’s coming up to a year since the last death from Covid in China. Since 26 January 2021, China’s Covid death count has been stuck on 4,636. The vast majority – 99.9 percent – of these deaths took place during the first three months of the pandemic, and the most were in Hubei, the province in which the outbreak was first detected. In the southern province of Guangdong, population 125 million, there have been just eight deaths from Covid.

This extraordinary record has been achieved through strict adherence to a Zero Covid policy. Traditional epidemic containment measures – lockdowns, mass testing, social distancing, mask-wearing, hand-washing – have been combined with advanced technology such as AI-based outbreak modelling. In addition, China developed some of the first vaccines, and so far just under 90 percent of the population has received at least two doses.

The Communist Party government has led an incredible, society-wide mobilisation to suppress SARS-CoV-2 and thereby protect human life.

Continue reading Zero Covid: China silences the critics

NYT equates China’s health workers with Adolf Eichmann

In the infamous words of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda chief: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

It would seem that this maxim has been taken to heart by the editors of the New York Times. Every day, this dependable mouthpiece of the US ruling class pumps out a steady diet of increasingly deranged anti-China articles. However, on 13th January, they excelled themselves with a new low – a front page story despicably comparing the public health and medical personnel, who have been bravely fighting an outbreak of Covid in the Chinese city of Xian, to Adolf Eichmann, a key architect of the Holocaust.

We are pleased to publish this excellent and succinct rebuttal of this ‘big lie’ by John Walsh, originally carried by Asia Times. John was until recently a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the US.

In a article on the front page of The New York Times on January 13, reporter Li Yuan equated the public health and medical personnel behind China’s successful battle against Covid-19 in the city of Xian to Adolf Eichmann, a principal architect of the Holocaust. The article’s opening sentence views these personnel as typical of “the millions of people who work diligently toward” containing Covid-19 in China.  

The anti-Covid campaign in Xian, a city of 13 million, has terminated the spread of Covid-19 without a single death and limited its spread to about 2,000 cases. The Nazi Holocaust designed and managed by Eichmann resulted in the extermination of millions of Jews.  

The piece takes aim at the millions of Chinese who have worked tirelessly to do the rapid mass testing, tracing, quarantining and vaccinations and to staffing the lockdowns including ensuring that those under lockdown were supplied with necessities of life.

Continue reading NYT equates China’s health workers with Adolf Eichmann

What can the world learn from China’s response to Covid-19?

This short article by Jin-Ling Tang and Kamran Abbasi, republished from the British Medical Journal, provides a valuable summary of China’s successful strategy suppressing Covid-19. The authors note that while Zero Covid created certain short-term costs, the overall result has been far preferable to the alternative, given that China has reported only 0.05 percent of the total number of global cases despite making up 19 percent of the world’s population.

Old school public health and technology can allow aggressive containment to succeed

The combination of high transmissibility and moderate severity made SARS-CoV-2 a perfect pathogen for a perfect pandemic, unlike SARS, MERS, and flu. In two years, the covid-19 pandemic has swept the entire globe and caused over 250 million infections and five million deaths, despite unprecedented efforts to stop it.

China was the first country affected and held the world’s interest as it battled to understand and contain the new pathogen. But China has reported only 0.05% of the total number of global cases despite making up 19% of the world’s population. The question then is what can the world learn from China’s response to SARS-CoV-2? A new collection of articles written by people involved with that response attempts to shed light on China’s experiences and draw out lessons for the rest of the world (www.bmj.com/how-china-responded-to-covid-19). Indeed, China’s prevention and control strategies remain more aggressive than most other countries.

Continue reading What can the world learn from China’s response to Covid-19?

One virus, two systems: contrasting approaches in socialist China and capitalist United States

We are pleased to reproduce this detailed comparison by Rosa Astra and Benjamin Zinevich in Liberation News of the Covid-19 containment measures taken by China and the US. The article describes the decisive steps taken by the Chinese government to suppress the pandemic; debunks the various ‘cover-up’ conspiracy theories; and contrasts the US’s disastrous failure to manage the pandemic with what has been achieved in China – “a system that values human lives over corporate profits”.

As the Omicron variant causes record levels of infection in the United States, the end of the pandemic seems as far away as ever. But far from preparing a robust response to defeat the virus, the Biden administration is preparing to surrender and encourage the public to “learn to live with” COVID indefinitely. 

When the Party for Socialism and Liberation pointed out the fact that China has in fact succeeded at virtually eliminating deaths from the virus, we were attacked by far-right pundits like Ben Shapiro – who took the position that such a feat is essentially impossible and asserted that China’s achievement was just a massive falsification. 

In the United States, which has seen more deaths from the disease than any other country on Earth, there were 476,863 new deaths in 2021, up from 370,777 in 2020.[1] However, it is in fact widely accepted that only two people died of the disease in China in 2021 on the mainland, plus 64 deaths in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and 843 in Taiwan (where the central government of China does not exercise control) – according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering COVID-19 Data Repository.[2] This brings China up to a total of 4,636 deaths in the mainland and 5,699 deaths overall since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic, most of which occurred in the first few months of 2020.

Continue reading One virus, two systems: contrasting approaches in socialist China and capitalist United States

Xi’an’s Covid response: Preserving human life is preserving freedom

This article by Keith Lamb, originally published in CGTN, counters the Western media’s critique of China’s Zero Covid strategy and of the comprehensive virus suppression measures currently being enforced in the city of Xi’an. The author points out that the Covid death rate in the US has been almost a thousand times as high as in China; on that basis it would surely be appropriate to learn from China’s experience and to cooperate with it in tackling the pandemic.

With the total number of new COVID-19 cases since December 9 reaching 1,573 in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi Province, local and central government, backed by voluntary citizen support, are doing everything in their power to extinguish the epidemic. China’s Vice Premier Sun Chunlan has advocated for decisive and resolute measures to curb the outbreak, and, in response, the local government has backed up her words with concrete action.

With all of Xi’an’s approximately 13 million residents under lockdown, supply chains have been kept efficient to ensure that essential items such as food and medicine are available to all, especially those in need. Ten medical teams and a 24-hour hotline provide treatment to those isolated. Donations of food and supplies are not just pouring in from neighboring local governments but private citizens too.

Continue reading Xi’an’s Covid response: Preserving human life is preserving freedom

New Year address by President Xi Jinping

We reprint here President Xi Jinping’s New Year Address for 2022 delivered from Beijing on New Year’s Eve. In direct and vivid language, the Chinese President succinctly covers a broad canvas ranging from nature to sports to space exploration. He reflects on the great achievements of an extraordinary year that saw the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China and the adoption of a major resolution on party history:

Standing on the Tian’anmen Rostrum, one could only marvel at the extraordinary journey traveled by this major Party, a journey of Chinese Communists leading the Chinese people, in their hundreds of millions, in an unyielding struggle against all obstacles and challenges, and scoring spectacular, epoch-making achievements over the past century.

China’s historic victory over extreme poverty was naturally another major theme. As a seasoned Marxist, in his Address, Comrade Xi integrated the general with the particular on the basis of the mass line:

The myriad of things we attend to all boil down to matters concerning every household… The concerns of the people are what I always care about, and the aspirations of the people are what I always strive for.

Reviewing his country’s signal contribution to the global battle against Covid-19, the Chinese President noted:

Only through unity, solidarity and cooperation can countries around the world write a new chapter in building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Embedded below the text is CGTN’s video version of the speech, with English subtitles.

My greetings to you all. The year 2022 is approaching. From Beijing, I extend New Year wishes to all of you!

The past year has been a year of exceptional significance. We have lived through landmark events in the history of our Party and our country. At the historical convergence of the Two Centenary Goals, we have set out on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in all respects and are making confident strides on the path toward the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

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Radhika Desai: The pandemic has turned out to be a tale of two systems

This insightful article by Radhika Desai, originally published in CGTN, seeks to understand why the advanced capitalist countries – particularly the most neoliberal and financialized ones – have performed so poorly in the face of Covid-19; and why socialist countries have done so much better.

As the world marked the second International Day for Epidemic Preparedness (IDEP) on December 27, 2021, nothing is clearer than the world’s richest and most powerful countries’ un-readiness before the pandemic. The highly transmissible Omicron was causing flight delays and cancellations by infecting flight crews, especially in the U.S.

Why are the richest countries doing so badly against the virus? It is not just that they have hogged available vaccine supply, giving second and third doses, while the virus rages and mutates elsewhere. It is not just that they have left China to donate 600 million vaccine doses to Africa even as the U.S. leads a new Cold War with it, dividing the world, rather than participating in any united world effort against the pandemic.

The fact is that the pandemic has turned out to be a tale of two systems. The world’s richest countries, led by the most neoliberal and financialized ones, the U.S. and the UK, have performed abysmally while socialist countries, led by China, have performed far better.

Continue reading Radhika Desai: The pandemic has turned out to be a tale of two systems