Beijing | China on Tuesday praised its management of the new coronavirus, a “test” recognized President Xi Jinping at a time when the epidemic has killed nearly 900,000 around the world.
The official propaganda, echoed in chorus by the state media, has for several months credited the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its management with the virtual eradication of the virus on national soil.
China officially has only 4,634 dead from COVID-19 since the start of the epidemic. And authorities have largely contained the disease in the country. Only a handful of new daily cases are now identified.
It is in this context that Chinese President Xi Jinping presented medals on Tuesday to four “heroes” of medical personnel, in front of hundreds of guests wearing masks who had taken their places in the imposing People’s Palace, on the edge of Tiananmen Square.
“We have fought a great battle against the epidemic which has proved to be overwhelming for all of us. We have gone through a historic and extremely difficult ordeal, ”said Xi Jinping in his speech.
“We are now at the forefront of the world in terms of economic recovery and the fight against COVID-19,” he said.
China is in the crosshairs of the United States, which in particular question its management of the epidemic and accuse it of having hidden the severity of the new coronavirus, discovered at the end of 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan (center).
A position criticized by Xi Jinping: “any egoism, any rejection of responsibility on others and any distortion of the facts” risks “causing harm” to his own population and to the rest of the world, he warned.
Tuesday’s ceremony began with a minute of silence in tribute to the dead from COVID-19.
Among the four decorated people are Zhong Nanshan. This 83-year-old renowned specialist in respiratory diseases became the face of the battle against the new coronavirus in China from the start of the epidemic.
He promised to “continue to work hand in hand with health care workers in China and the rest of the world” on the origin of the virus or the design of vaccines.
If the new coronavirus was spotted for the first time in China, Beijing stresses that its origin has not yet been scientifically proven.
No mention was made of Li Wenliang on Tuesday.
This Wuhan doctor had warned fellow doctors of the emergence of a mysterious respiratory illness but had been reprimanded by the police who accused him of spreading “rumors”. His death from COVID-19 in February sparked outrage against the government.