As usual from the one-party dictatorship, the Chinese authorities are trying to erase information about the dangerous virus Covid-19 which has spread globally from Wuhan
The increasingly widespread Covid epidemic in Europe is of course a major theme in the French newspapers today March 12, 2020, highlighted by Le Figaro and Les Echos on the front page.
Although choosing other topics as the main title, Libération, La Croix and Le Monde also devoted many articles to Corona virus which is the great disaster of the humanity. La Croix has a very interesting article, continuing to expose Beijing’s recent intention to obliterate China’s role in the global pandemic.
In its article, “China wants to believe that the Covid-19 epidemic has retreated to the past,” the Catholic daily La Croix noted two opposing trends taking place: The epidemic in China is showing signs of retreating while in the rest of the world, the word “pandemic” was officially used.
The pandemic caused by the Wuhan Virus, despite efforts by President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party to try to prevent it, is still threatening to spread and re-spread throughout the mainland with over 1.4 billion people.
The Covid-19 epidemic has stepped back in China, but the risk of recurrence remains.
According to La Croix, when it first arrived in Wuhan, where originated the Covid-19 which spreads around the world on March 10, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that “the spread of the disease has been stopped.” However, he was careful not to declare victory, because the risk of an outbreak is still there in the context of a pandemic spreading outside China.
According to La Croix, China currently faces two key risks. First and foremost, the restoration of commercial and industrial activities will again create contact with the people everywhere, enabling the virus to spread again.
In addition, a pandemic raging outside of China could cause a boomerang effect, especially when thousands of Chinese who go abroad for the New Year holiday in January will repatriate. Many cases of Corona virus “re-importing” from Italy, Iran and South Korea into China have been recorded in recent days.
Beijing authorities are also trying to campaign for the media, to distract the public about the virus originating from Wuhan, even they blame other countries for causing this virus.
Propagating to erase China is where the virus spread
But overall, on the medical front, the atmosphere in China has been optimistic again. In this context, La Croix noted the “propaganda machine has restarted to start erasing the collective memory of both Chinese and foreigners, the Chinese origin and nature of the virus Wuhan.”
According to La Croix, from this week, China has launched “a diplomatic and media campaign aimed at erasing the exact moment when the disease broke out.”
The newspaper wrote “Every Chinese ambassador has to use his Twitter account (which is banned in China) to spread the message with the content ‘Even though the Corona virus came from Wuhan, but its true origin is still unknown. We are trying to find out exactly where the virus is coming from.”
For La Croix, China took an even more “aggressive” move by calling the Corona virus abroad by other names, such as the Chinese embassy in Tokyo that used the word “Japanese virus.”
The French newspaper concluded: “The Chinese Communist Party want to hold the historical truth exclussively, create a sense of suspicion of everything that attaches China to the virus, and to erase this relationship out of history books. Among other erasures of history since 1949, Beijing erased the 1989 Tiananmen massacre from the minds of all generations born after that event.”
Even during the pandemic, Chinese authorities did not forget to increase their influence on other countries in order to realize their intention to expand in the future, and Italy was the first country in the European community that signed the agreement to participate in the “Belt and Road” strategy, now must raise their hands to ask for support from the dictatorship in Beijing.
Les Echos: Northern Italy wanted the government to use the Wuhan isolation model
Also related to the role of China, the economic daily Les Echos paid special attention to the fact that Italy had just turned to China for help in combating the Covid-19 epidemic.
According to the special envoy of the newspaper in Italy, facing difficulties in dealing with the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic, health authorities in northern Italy have requested the Roman authorities to issue isolation measures more drastically.
The coordinator of the emergency operations in charge of the Lombardia region, which has been hit hardest by the epidemic, said bluntly: “Apply the Wuhan model to curb the spread of the disease.”
According to Les Echos, the presidents of Lombardia and Veneto, called on the central government to issue a complete blockade and quarantine to prevent epidemics, i.e. closing all factories, businesses and trade shops. reduce shipping industry operations to a minimum.
These radical demands have been received very cautiously by employers, as well as the Italian government, for fear of creating economic difficulties, causing social explosions.
And finally, China also reached an agreement with Italy to sell the country thousands of ventilators and many equipment and prevention materials just to cure the virus from Wuhan.
Ignored by Europe, Italy seeks support from China
In the immediate future, according to Les Echos, the Italian government has called for EU’s help. However, due to the slow response of Brussels, Rome turned to China and was immediately accepted by Beijing. As noted by Les Echos, China seemed to forget that the Italian government being one of the first countries to immediately suspend all flights to and from China when the Covid epidemic broke out in Wuhan.
And so Beijing is rushing to transfer to Italy 1,000 respirators (Italy currently has only 3,000 units), 20,000 medical protective suits … along with 9 experts in the campaign against Covid 19 in China recently.
Beijing has also promised to send Rome 100,000 high-tech masks and has asked Chinese companies to export 2 million regular medical masks to Italy.
On the Italian government side, Les Echos noted that Rome had pledged to buy a large amount of respiratory support. These are devices made by Chinese companies to cope with the local disease, now in stock, because they are no longer needed.
According to the French daily, on March 10, the Chinese foreign minister pledged to meet Italian requests. Minister Luigi Di Mario thanked the Chinese side and stated: “We will definitely not forget the country that was close to us.”
Les Echos commented: “This thank you is no different from a reprimand directed at Brussels.”
EU has also implemented measures to prevent and combat the Wuhan virus. German Chancellor Angela Merkel once again showed her leadership and was willing to support other countries in the bloc.
Front page of the newspaper
As mentioned above, Le Figaro and Les Echos have reserved the main file and the largest page for the endemic of Covid-19, while Le Monde, Liberation and La Croix paid attention to the French or international news.
Although exploring the subject of corona virus, Le Figaro emphasized the reaction of Europe with the big title: “Facing the pandemic, EU is trying to organize” how to respond. Meanwhile, Les Echos paid more attention to the situation in France, saying that “France is surrounded by (virus).”
For Le Figaro to avoid the selfishness of the nations, it is “the European Commission will coordinate the struggle against pandemic among the members of the European Union.” According to Le Figaro, this is not an easy task due to the tradition of “difficult cooperation” between European countries.
However, both newspapers seem to praise Germany’s decision, with Merkel’s willingness to let Germany join in helping other countries, and abandon the tough attitude on the issue of budget deficits so that countries can roll out anti-epidemic money.
Hoang Lan from Ha noi – Thoibao.de (Translated)