Let us all be very frank about this: What we are witnessing in Hong Kong is not about the coronavirus. The coronavirus is an unpleasant type of flu, with a mortality rate not unlike that of a flu. It is definitely not a plague, nor an Ebola.
It was reasonable for China to take precautions. It did precisely that, and it should be applauded for its actions.
But what is now going on in places like Hong Kong is simply madness. One person has died — a person with a serious medical history — and the territory is considering a total lockdown.
Every day, newspapers all over the world, including Hong Kong, are bombarding readers with the latest number of the casualties, which has unfortunately hit the 1,000 mark.
But are we going to build a wall between China and the rest of the world, as the United States has been building at its border with Mexico?
Go to the World Health Organization database and search their statistics. Find out how many people die in a much smaller place like France, Italy or Germany, just from the regular types of flu, on a monthly basis. More than 1,000; much more.
And China is the most populous nation on Earth! It has over 20 times more inhabitants than France.
Its population can be compared only to that of India. And in India, various epidemics are killing hundreds of thousands of people annually, and we do not even hear much about it, simply because India is not on the hit list of Western propaganda, as China is, constantly.
If Hong Kong locks itself down, hermetically, it will mean one and only one thing: That it has succumbed to Western interests and Western pressure. It will mean that it has lost its ability to think and to analyze objectively and independently.
Instead of converting itself into a hermetic can, Hong Kong should breathe. Its air is good; it is surrounded by mountains and the sea. It is one of the richest places on Earth, with some of the best medical care in the world.
What is it scared of; a flu?
The local government of Hong Kong should not yield to the foreign, mainly Western pressure. It should think how to serve its citizens best. This is an extremely difficult and challenging time for this wonderful but scarred city
Precautions, yes. But panic? Closing one of the busiest airports in Asia, and sealing all borders?
If this is done, many more people will die. Because hundreds of thousands will lose jobs, because stores will close down too, prices of basic supplies will skyrocket, and old people will find it difficult to feed themselves. The lives of the vulnerable citizens will turn into hell.
Is anyone thinking about this; about the long-term impact on the city, if it really decides to become a fortress?
The People’s Republic of China is coping with this emergency. It is acting rationally, dealing with what comes its way, step by step. Wuhan is basically quarantined, but not Beijing, Shanghai, or Xi’an. So why should Hong Kong be?
The local government of Hong Kong should not yield to the foreign, mainly Western pressure. It should think how to serve its citizens best. This is an extremely difficult and challenging time for this wonderful but scarred city.
We all know what has taken place here, for weeks and months. The city was converted into an ideological battleground. Attempts were made to recolonize the territory, to break it, and to take it away from where it truly belongs.
I was here, on several occasions, defending reason, and exposing lies. And I will return to Hong Kong soon, within a few days, if the airport is open.
And I want it to be open. Because the city can win the battles against subversion and the virus only if it fights with generosity, zeal, and great honesty.
The coronavirus is being used by the West as a propaganda tool, as a way to isolate Hong Kong from the Chinese mainland and the world, so it will collapse into a hospital bed even if it is not really sick.
Fear and phobia — that is what is being injected into Hong Kong by London and Washington in great doses, right now. Fear of everything: fear of China, fear of communism, fear of a relatively benign illness, fear of basically everything.
It has to stop. Hong Kong people are not weak. They are intelligent human beings. It is time they realize what has been done to them.
Theirs is both a Chinese and international city; a daring, proud place. It is not built on weakness.
Please, keep the city open. Stand tall! And be proud of what you are.
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. He is the author of 20 books including“China’s Belt and Road Initiative”, and “China and Ecological Civilization”.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.
By Andre Vltchek