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The West’s whataboutism, a mere distraction

By Seddiq Hussainy

KABUL: An anti-China rhetoric in the West is at full blast. Their propaganda machinations have bred an unprovoked, gratuitous exasperation and a tsunami of xenophobia against China. They have eroded global harmony at a time of desperation and anxiety.

The West blames Beijing for the outbreak of COVID-19 and the U.S. President Donald Trump spearheads this vicious blame-game. In response to a question by CBS News recently as to why he put prodigious emphasis on the amount of coronavirus tests conducted in the United States, Trump unsurprisingly and absurdly slandered China for the thousandth time and said “Don’t ask me, ask China”.

The United States has badly been hit by the virus and the situation there is getting worse as it has failed. Nevertheless, every time Trump is posed a question about the technicalities and the mechanics of his government’s virus response, he unequivocally slanders China.

Trump is making himself ignorant of the century with his ponderous tirades and the uneasiness his foreign policy has generated. By repetitively calling the coronavirus as the ‘China virus’, he seeks to inflame hatred against the Chinese too. He does that quite often. With his pathetic tactic of ‘whataboutism’, he continues to shamelessly blame China for the failures of his own administration in containing the virus. But, it is utterly palpable that his circuitous blusters are a red herring—a mere distraction to try to trample on and ignore miraculous achievements of China since the inception of the outbreak.

The irrefutable reality—which continues to be obscured—is that China had warned the world before the epidemic spread beyond its borders. Not to mention its tenacious pandemic effort which has been nothing short of inspirational and hitherto unprecedented. Its draconian lockdowns and restricted social interactions have also set a paradigm for all coronavirus-stricken countries. Its largesse towards the entire globe in the fight against the COVID-19 has been robust and awe-inspiring.

And so on and so forth there goes a continuous spate of delirious rants and not to mention the U.S. unjust sanctions against China. If there was to be found any evidence insinuating China in any conspiracy to inflict a disease upon the world and itself it would have been known by now. But the U.S. and its allies are pushing their tales of conspiracy theories and ludicrous accusations to overshadow Beijing’s success story, only to the chagrin of their own peoples.

Just as much as people are infinitely malleable through fallacies and misinformation, this malicious propaganda and smear campaign is skewing public mindset, lending an aura of prejudice and stigma against China. All the theories that implicated China’s involvement in the spread or the outbreak of disease have been dispelled one after another. And yet the volume of the blame has not subsided.

Trump’s many narcissistic foibles in governance and rhetoric, his hostile neo-isolationism and xenophobia are doing the entire world an irreversible damage. He should realize that pageantries and flips flops don’t make for serious diplomacy in these hard times when the world needs solace and respite through a global collectivization of effort and harmonization. Blaming China is conceivably tantamount to Trump ceding ‘solidarity of his own country’ to China. That is absurd.

This tug of war is as dangerous for both of the world’s economic superpowers as it is for the entire world. Much of the world’s financial and trade stability hinges upon on the fecundity of the U.S. and China’s economies and their long tentacles which have stretched around the globe. The blame-game is as erosive as the trade war. Both of them should, instead of feuding, should engage in a constructive and collective effort to develop a vaccine or antibody to stop the disease, from galloping even further into a permanent menace.

The West should come in terms with the fact that China is an example of resilience and perseverance, its experiences should be used and its fertility and hard work extoled not trampled upon. We should all give the benefit of the doubt to Beijing because of its rectitude and virtuosity.

China is the epitome of globalization and internationalism. It is promoting its mantra of ‘a world with a shared future’ and is building upon that mantra with projects. That is drawing us closer to a world that cherishes prosperity, trade harmony and brotherhood. The world is in dire straits now. We need multi-lateral and inter-national cooperation to bind us to a conscious pursuit of prosperity. We need a global leader to spearhead this ambitious, daunting task. We don’t need inept leaders who have nothing but blame and unilateralist, nefarious penchants for a global hegemony.

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