China’s state-run Global Times gushed Wednesday that foreign-born Christians are celebrating Christmas freely in China thanks to its amazingly effective coronavirus response, thankful they are not trapped in the hellish, virus-riddled Western nations where the holiday season is filled with lockdowns and fear.
The Global Times article included no mention of Communist China’s brutal crackdown on Christianity and other religions. The frolicking foreigners interviewed for the article mostly talked about secularized and commercialized Christmas celebrations in Wuhan, the city where the pandemic began. One mentioned a desire to visit a state-approved church.
“In China, where virus prevention measures are still in place, daily life has regained a sense of normalcy. For many foreigners in China, it is a time of mixed feelings. They might be looking forward to the upcoming holiday as their families and friends experience different circumstances hundreds if not thousands of miles away,” the editorial intoned.
Each of the half-dozen anecdotes about foreigners celebrating Christmas in Wuhan was accompanied by a bit of grim editorializing about holiday horrors in non-authoritarian nations that cannot control the coronavirus.
“As Britain suffers from a new COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] outbreak, more than 30 countries and regions have suspended flights to and from the UK. Its neighbors also put in place policies to stop a fast-spreading coronavirus variant from crossing the English Channel. Many churches, such as the St. Paul’s Cathedral, have opted to hold their mass and hymn services online, reports said,” the Chinese paper noted after chatting with a Wuhan resident from a British family.
An interview with an Australian was followed by ruminations about the latest coronavirus outbreak in Sydney and the need to keep family gatherings small as a precaution.
“According to a CNN report on December 19, more than 210,000 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported each day in the US last week, and there were roughly 18,000 deaths from the disease. The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects estimated that another more than 237,000 Americans will die in the next three months,” the Global Times wrote after talking to an American in Wuhan.
“Meanwhile, Germany has started a hard lockdown amid the Christmas season that will last from December 16 to January 10 as the number of deaths and infections from the coronavirus reaches record levels, reported the BBC. Caroling and parties are not allowed and even Germany’s much loved Glühwein stalls will close, as drinking outdoors is banned,” the article noted after talking to a German.
“In another indication of how life is getting back to normal, many foreign nationals may have a better Christmas in China than in their home countries. In Shanghai, many foreigners have already started celebrating,” proclaimed another Global Times article Tuesday with a similar message.
The article began by celebrating the Western world’s tense Christmas as sweet revenge against the Westerners who dared to hold China responsible for the spread of a deadly disease from China:
Almost a year ago when COVID-19 cases emerged in Wuhan, capital of Central China’s Hubei Province, Western media were fixated on criticizing and slandering China’s unprecedented response to the epidemic, as one of the most important holiday season in the country – the Chinese New Year – was disrupted. Some even linked the epidemic to China’s political system and culture, sparking at times a racist attitude toward not just Chinese but Asian people.
One year later, much of the Western world could have a rather “dark” Christmas season, as orders for everything from Christmas trees to LED decorating lights for vendors in Yiwu, East China’s Zhejiang Province dropped sharply due to the raging pandemic and severe economic crisis. Some have even shifted their manufacturing line to provide Chinese-style holiday goods, as many in the country are preparing to reunite with their families to make up for lost holidays in 2020.
The article explored the idea that reduced orders for Christmas products from Chinese vendors are a sure sign of Yuletide calamity in the U.S. and Europe. The only ray of hope was that Western nations would finally begin following China’s lead, although even then they would “have some catching-up to do in comparison to China, where life is increasingly returning to normalcy, with no widespread restrictions and the economy remaining on a recovery trajectory.”