‘Sour grapes’: Chinese media boss mocks Washington Post’s ‘jealousy’ over Beijing’s strict Covid-control practices



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The editor-in-chief of The Global Times, a Chinese state-run publication, has taunted the US and The Washington Post after the American paper highlighted China’s small Covid-19 outbreak and criticized its strict countermeasures.

On Friday, Hu Xijin, The Global Times chief, took to Twitter to accuse The Washington Post and, more generally, the US of being jealous of Beijing and its ability to implement uncompromising measures to combat Covid-19, as he shared a story from the American paper. 

“Sour grapes. The US, the long time occupier of world’s No.1 position of COVID-19 cases and death toll, can only comment on China’s strict practices with jealousy,” Hu wrote. 

Along with his comments, Hu, a prolific Twitter troll, shared a story from the Post bemoaning the “public shaming, marooned travelers and a nationwide dragnet” that goes along with an outbreak of 300 coronavirus cases in China. 

Sour grapes. The US, the long time occupier of world’s No.1 position of COVID-19 cases and death toll, can only comment on China’s strict practices with jealousy. https://t.co/aPE4BstWAb

— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) October 29, 2021

The piece highlights China’s recent outbreak and the extent Chinese authorities are willing to go to in order to eradicate the virus. 

The article, which had been shared on Twitter by the paper, notes how the current outbreak of 300 cases in the country of 1.3 billion people, would be “untroubling” to most governments, but China is taking it very seriously. 

The author, Christian Shepherd, highlights some of the unintended consequences of sudden Chinese lockdowns, noting that some 10,000 tourists have been stranded in Ejin, a popular destination in the Gobi Desert, while authorities trace a long line of infections.  

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Shepherd also notes examples of interventionism which many in the West may consider unusual, such as the move by authorities on Thursday to halt two high-speed trains traveling to Beijing because of a single passenger who may have been a contact of a confirmed case. Despite no one on board testing positive, all of the 350 passengers were put in state quarantine. 

The story also contends that some of China’s measures are “theatrical” rather than effective, noting the use of drones to spray disinfectant. Shepherd notes that the authorities often release promotional videos highlighting their heroic efforts. 

While the US has registered more than 45 million Covid-19 cases, China has officially recorded less than 100,000. 

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