WION Edit: China's authoritarianism vs democracy and transparency

Written By: WION
Delhi Updated: Mar 30, 2020, 10:07 PM(IST)

File photo of coronavirus Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Appreciating China's model is an endorsement to authoritarianism.

To fight the coronavirus, citizens were locked inside their homes in China, a draconian lockdown was announced, online criticism was tracked and dissent stifled.

The World Health Organisation hailed Beijing's response. Essentially, it turned a blind eye to Xi Jinping regime's dictatorial diktats. Appreciating China's model is an endorsement to authoritarianism.

Beijing has been dishing out advice to some of the worst affected countries, asking them to follow the Chinese model, but the truth is democracies have performed better than dictatorial regimes.

For instance - South Korea, a democracy whose response is now considered as the gold standard. It reined in the virus without shutting anything down. In fact, Seoul's handling of the outbreak is just the opposite of China.

It is a response with transparency at its core, South Korea did not restrict the movement of people, instead, it implemented focused and mandatory quarantine for infected patients. The public was advised to stay indoors, avoid public events, wear masks and practice good hygiene.

These orders were backed up with aggressive testing. South Korea carried out up to 15 thousand tests a day.  A comprehensive tracking system was implemented to monitor those infected.

Taiwan's response too was far better than China. Taiwan has reported a little more than 300 confirmed cases and only five deaths. After battling SARS, Taiwan set up a central command centre for epidemics.

After the coronavirus outbreak, the centre put together a list of 124 action items, this included a comprehensive effort to screen new arrivals from abroad.

Those who were infected were largely put under complete isolation at home. To ensure compliance, a fine of more than 33 thousand dollars was imposed. There were no mass lockdowns too.

The Singapore model has been praised by experts too. 

So, in no way, China's model institutionalised oppression, erased facts and enabled a cover-up.

World leaders should be wary of the coronavirus dictatorship. As the case of China has shown, dictatorial regimes have only made this outbreak worst.

(Disclaimer: WION Edit is the channel's take on the big events of the world)



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