Statements made by a number of American politicians and publicists that the criminal nature of the Chinese communist regime is at fault for the epidemic only suggest that the practice of international relations has regressed seven to eight decades, writes Vasily Kashin, Senior Research Fellow of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, exclusively for valdaiclub.com.
The politicisation of the situation with the coronavirus pandemic, which has gained ferocity in recent weeks, has led to a sad but logical outcome the search for the guilty. As a “genre”, the history of launching witch hunts for those responsible for contagious disease outbreaks is old and vulgar.
Throughout the written history of mankind, a rare epidemic happened without blame being placed on sorcerers and witches, those from other religious faiths, evil foreigners, hostile intelligence agencies, as well as the insidious doctors and heartless politicians who solve their problems.
China itself has historically often served as the birthplace of pandemics this was facilitated by the features of its fauna and climate, combined with population density.
This has led to periodic outbreaks of anti-Chinese sentiments and manifestations of racism since the 19th century. The Western press of that time often portrayed the Chinese as people who are dirty, licentious and therefore undesirable.
China itself, with the support of the USSR and North Korea, accused the United States of provoking a devastating smallpox epidemic in Northeast Asia back in 1951. It was assumed that American bombers specially scattered smallpox-infected flies over the territory of North Korea.
Thus, statements made by a number of American politicians and publicists that the criminal nature of the Chinese communist regime is at fault for the epidemic and that the PRC deliberately hid vital information and even deliberately contributed to the spread of the epidemic, do not bring anything new to international relations.
They only suggest that the practice of international relations has regressed seven to eight decades. Manners were simplified and returned to the era of the first years of the Cold War. All the plaque and gloss, all the apparent softening of moral pretention that has been going on since the 1960s, was blown away by the wind.