Chinese state media on Thursday pounced on the winter storm and blackouts in Texas as evidence the United States is inferior to Communist China.
Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the state-run Global Times, took the opportunity to dance on the graves of Americans killed by China’s coronavirus while arguing his government is better at investing in infrastructure, organizing disaster relief, and learning from its mistakes:
The extreme cold weather in the central and southern US has caused at least 31 deaths, leaving million families to endure days without electricity. Texas, a US state with huge resources, has been severely hit. This is not supposed to be the scenario in the US – the world’s most developed country. But what kind of scenarios are supposed to happen there? COVID-19 has taken nearly 500,000 lives in the country. Was that supposed to occur? Yet it is happening.
The US has once again fallen down from the altar. The Chinese people care about this because we used to treat the country as a standard of modern governance. Since the 1980s, many Chinese intellectuals idealized the US, and took it for granted that the US-style system could effectively eliminate various drawbacks that the Chinese people hate to see in our own country.
But China has developed to a level where we no longer need to look up to the US. The internet has brought us more information. And a growing number of people have gone to the other side of the Pacific, and we seem to have “rediscovered” the US.
Wuhan whistleblower Dr. Li Wenliang might have had some different thoughts about the Chinese government’s ability to acknowledge and learn from mistakes but, unfortunately, he was unavailable for comment.
Hu made a great fuss over Colorado City, Texas, mayor Tom Boyd, who posted an exasperated rant against “people looking for a damn handout” in the midst of the Texas crisis on Tuesday morning and resigned before the end of the day.
“Boyd has resigned. But if he were a Chinese official, this would not only be a question of resignation. He would at least suffer a ‘social death’ from society,” Hu asserted ominously.
In reality, the Chinese government has been notoriously willing to let its peasants freeze, or suffer various other calamities, when their lives conflicted with the official agenda. For example, when the residents of Chinese villages complained their children were suffering in the winter of 2017 because the government banned coal to reduce smog, without bothering to check if the rural poor had access to natural gas or other alternatives, arrogant officials told them to stop complaining and “wait patiently.”
Another Global Times article on Thursday worried the Texas power outages would “worsen a global shortage” of computer chips, as the semiconductor plants in Austin were obliged to shut down. This could particularly affect automakers reliant on the chips for modern vehicles. However, the Global Times quoted Chinese corporate officials saying their own operations would be minimally affected because they rely on chips manufactured in Europe, not Texas.
“China is accelerating semiconductor R&D to ease reliance on foreign companies, and IC Insights predicted that the total installed capacity of the Chinese mainland would surpass that of South Korea in 2022 and rank second globally,” the article concluded.