The New York Times took a brief moment from criticizing Donald Trump and running fluff pieces on Joe Biden to praise Chinese Emperor Xi for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of discussing China's fault for the pandemic, the Times thought it best to talk about the Chinese handling of the virus as if it were an inspirational coming-of-age tale.
The paper also continued its habit of being lukewarm on the brutality of the police state – which literally dragged sick people out of their homes, imprisoned the doctor who tried to warn the world, lied about true death numbers, and promoted insane conspiracies all year – highlighting China's quick action and brilliant collaboration.
Here was their headline:
"Power, Patriotism and 1.4 Billion People: How China Beat the Virus and Roared Back"
...and a ROAR!
So uplifting! So beautiful! What a tale for the ages!
"The Chinese Communist Party reached deep into private business and the broader population to drive a recovery, an authoritarian approach that has emboldened its top leader, Xi Jinping," the Times wrote, leaving their stance on said invasion of personal rights and property and authoritarian rule a mystery.
The Times walks a fine line in its words, pointing out the "technical" truths of China's hard-handed policies, but making sure to stroke the ego of the CCP a little bit.
"In the year since the coronavirus began its march around the world, China has done what many other countries would not or could not do. With equal measures of coercion and persuasion, it has mobilized its vast Communist Party apparatus to reach deep into the private sector and the broader population, in what the country's leader, Xi Jinping, has called a "people's war" against the pandemic — and won."
Again, so inspiring. So wonderful. They won, guys. They won.
The fact that such a thought doesn't terrify anyone at the Times is telling.
There's no presentation here of China's barbarity toward its citizens. No mention of the insane number of horrible things the CCP carries out on a daily basis. There's just a vanilla whitewashing of China's "victory" over the least lethal pandemic ever.
"While officials in Wuhan initially dithered and obfuscated for fear of political reprisals, the authorities now leap into action at any sign of new infections, if at times with excessive zeal."
"Excessive zeal." Mhmm.
The ambiguity continued as the Times continued to discuss how China had to brutally suppress rights to contain the virus, but boy if they weren't effective (according to the very truthful and transparent data of the CCP):
"Beijing's successes in each dimension of the pandemic — medical, diplomatic and economic — have reinforced its conviction that an authoritarian capacity to quickly mobilize people and resources gave China a decisive edge that other major powers like the United States lacked. It is an approach that emphasizes a relentless drive for results and relies on an acquiescent public. The Communist Party, in this view, must control not only the government and state-owned enterprises, but also private businesses and personal lives, prioritizing the collective good over individual interests."
Some wise old editor then threw in this one line to make sure Americans didn't think they were too excited about authoritarianism (but without expressly condemning anything):
"Chinese Communist authorities suppressed speech, policed and purged dissenting views and suffocated any notion of individual freedom or mobility — actions that are repugnant and unacceptable in any democratic society."
At least the Times is willing to throw democracy a bone or two from time to time. For now.
Most interesting, perhaps, was President Xi's thoughts on the pandemic. If this doesn't concern you, I doubt anything will:
"The present-day world is undergoing a great transformation of the kind not seen for a century, but time and momentum are on our side."
He sure is happy, isn't he?
The Times then detailed the government's tactics, and I have to give them a little bit of credit for pointing out how the CCP ruled by fear. Over 5,000 officials were canned last year for failing to contain Rona outbreaks. Here was President Xi relieving one of his duties:
The article then praised China for balancing its health needs with its draconian actions. I mean, sure, it was despicable to yeet people out of their homes and lie and plot and all that yucky stuff, but it slowed the spread and it led to a faster economic recovery!
"In many countries, debates have raged over the balance between protecting public health and keeping the economy running. In China, there is little debate. It did both."
You can almost see the target audience here. If only Americans would have stopped struggling so hard against Gavin Newsom and Gretchen Whitmer, the pain would have gone away. Just get with the program, guys!
I'm sure the Times will do a followup on how great the unemployment levels and economic growth in places like South Dakota are because they didn't close down, period.
The paper went on to praise China's inferior vaccine development (after spending months harping on Trump's Operation Warp Speed), noting how it's reaching out to its neighbors in a totally-friendly way with no hidden agenda.
"This is where China can come in and look like a real savior, like a friend in need," said Ray Yip, a former head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in China.
Remember, don't look at the lives that have been destroyed by this. Don't pay attention to China's surveillance and goals for world domination. Don't look at the fact that it practically enslaves its people and actually enslaves certain minorities like the Uighurs. Don't look at the abuse, the assault, the depression, the isolation, the stagnation, the suppression, and the corruption that stinks to high heaven as an affront to a holy and righteous God.
Just look at the bigger picture: China triumphant, a rising star in the East.
I once had a friend in China who sent me a picture of a guy weed-whacking a giant field behind his apartment. He told me there were many such workers around the city. I asked why the government didn't use lawn mowers, because it was going to take the guy all day to use that tiny trimmer to cut that big field of grass.
He told me that everyone needed to be employed. If the government used 20 riding mowers, they'd only need 20 people. Instead, they forced 200 people into the job and gave each an inferior tool to do meaningless and empty work.
If you want a visual metaphor for China, that's it. Stop praising them. Even if they had developed a vaccine in three weeks, is efficiency and speed the measure God uses to judge the nations? Or is it justice, liberty, truth, and grace that matter?
There's some food for thought.