The SARS disaster was supposed to drag China into a new era of openness and responsibility. The deadly disease rippled across the world 17 years ago, abetted by a Chinese government that covered up its spread. As the scope of it became clear, China’s journalists, intellectuals and other critics helped shame Beijing into opening up about the problem.
“SARS has been our country’s 9/11,” said Xu Zhiyuan, then a young newspaper columnist and a fierce critic of the government’s handling of SARS, in a 2003 interview with The New York Times. “It has forced us to pay attention to the real meaning of globalization.”
Today, China faces the spread of another mysterious disease, a coronavirus, which so far has killed 17 people and infected more than 570. And while Beijing’s response has improved in some ways, it has regressed in others. It is censoring criticism. It is detaining people for spreading what it calls “rumors.” It is suppressing information it deems alarming.
Though China’s censors are busily scrubbing the Chinese internet, the country’s online community is registering its disappointment and alarm over Beijing’s handling of the new virus that has spread…
This News From Feed news.google title “China Silences Critics Over Coronavirus Outbreak – The New York Times”
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