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China criticizes Western media coverage of ‘zero-COVID’ reversal

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An editorial published in China’s state-controlled newspaper People’s Daily Thursday took aim at “some Western media” outlets over how they covered the reversal of the country’s ‘zero-COVID’ policy. Without naming any outlet specifically, the paper described the reports as “completely biased hype, smear and political manipulation with ulterior motives.”

After defending ‘zero-COVID’ for months, China began dismantling the policy last month. The abrupt decision followed economic pressure and street protests that broke out in Beijing and other major cities. Earlier this month, China took the further step of eliminating the requirement that those arriving from abroad quarantine upon arrival.

The ending of ‘zero-COVID’ led to a sharp rise in cases, leaving some hospitals and crematoriums overwhelmed. Since the initial wave of new cases, life in much of China has largely returned to normal.

“Thanks to meticulous medical preparations, sufficient production capacity reserves, and strong organizational planning and equipment, China has smoothly passed the adaptation period after the ‘transition’ and ‘shift’ of the epidemic prevention policy,” the People’s Daily editorial said. Addressing Western media outlets reporting on China’s ‘zero-COVID’ policy, the editorial added “all parties should focus on fighting the epidemic itself, avoid any words or deeds that politicize the epidemic, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and work together to defeat the epidemic.”

The editorial added that many cities have “passed the peak of the epidemic, and production and life are speeding up to return to normal.” Despite this, officials remain concerned about a further spread of the virus with the Lunar New Year travel rush now underway.

“Hong Kong, Macao, maybe Taiwan and a few other Asia-Pacific countries which are closer to China, we call the short-haul to medium-haul travel, may see quite a lot of tourism, tourists traveling to these destinations from China,” Haiyan Song, a professor of international tourism at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said. “But after that, you will see leisure travel to most of the destinations in the Asia-Pacific region, and even beyond.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We here at Straight Arrow News are one of many outlets around the world that’ve been tracking China’s reversal of its “Zero-COVID” policy.
Now — *China* is attacking some Western media outlets for *their* coverage.
People’s Daily — a newspaper that serves as a mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party — released an editorial today describing media reports as completely biased hype — smear and political manipulation with ulterior motives.
The editorial also defended the abrupt ending of Zero-COVID.
Quote — “Thanks to meticulous medical preparations, sufficient production capacity reserves, and strong organizational planning and equipment, China has smoothly passed the adaptation period after the ‘transition’ and ‘shift’ of the epidemic prevention policy” — end quote.
The reversal of the policy initially led to a sharp rise in cases and hospitalizations — though that has since died down.
Officials remain concerned the virus could spread again with the Lunar New Year travel rush underway.
“Hong Kong, Macao, maybe Taiwan and a few other Asia-Pacific countries which are closer to China, we call the short-haul to medium-haul travel, may see quite a lot of tourism, tourists travelling to these destinations from China.”

Media Landscape

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42 Other sources covering this story

Bias Distribution

L 32%
C 46%
R 23%

46% of the sources are Center

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An editorial published in China’s state-controlled newspaper People’s Daily Thursday took aim at “some Western media” outlets over how they covered the reversal of the country’s ‘zero-COVID’ policy. Without naming any outlet specifically, the paper described the reports as “completely biased hype, smear and political manipulation with ulterior motives.”

After defending ‘zero-COVID’ for months, China began dismantling the policy last month. The abrupt decision followed economic pressure and street protests that broke out in Beijing and other major cities. Earlier this month, China took the further step of eliminating the requirement that those arriving from abroad quarantine upon arrival.

The ending of ‘zero-COVID’ led to a sharp rise in cases, leaving some hospitals and crematoriums overwhelmed. Since the initial wave of new cases, life in much of China has largely returned to normal.

“Thanks to meticulous medical preparations, sufficient production capacity reserves, and strong organizational planning and equipment, China has smoothly passed the adaptation period after the ‘transition’ and ‘shift’ of the epidemic prevention policy,” the People’s Daily editorial said. Addressing Western media outlets reporting on China’s ‘zero-COVID’ policy, the editorial added “all parties should focus on fighting the epidemic itself, avoid any words or deeds that politicize the epidemic, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and work together to defeat the epidemic.”

The editorial added that many cities have “passed the peak of the epidemic, and production and life are speeding up to return to normal.” Despite this, officials remain concerned about a further spread of the virus with the Lunar New Year travel rush now underway.

“Hong Kong, Macao, maybe Taiwan and a few other Asia-Pacific countries which are closer to China, we call the short-haul to medium-haul travel, may see quite a lot of tourism, tourists traveling to these destinations from China,” Haiyan Song, a professor of international tourism at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said. “But after that, you will see leisure travel to most of the destinations in the Asia-Pacific region, and even beyond.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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