03/06/2020, 15.52
CHINA – VATICAN
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Party media post Wuhan video slamming leaders for falsehoods and formalism

by Wang Zhicheng

Papers removed the video from their online page, but it is still available on social media. Wuhan residents slam leaders’ phoney efficiency in handing out food and medicine to people forced to stay in their home. A video showing Pope Francis praying for China has also been posted on social media. This is not the first time the pope appears online.

 

Beijing (AsiaNews) – Perhaps for the first time in their history, media linked to the Chinese Communist Party carried a video strongly criticising party leaders for falsehoods and formalism.

The video went viral yesterday and today on Chinese social media and was posted, albeit briefly, on the websites of the People's Daily and the Global Times.

The video shows Deputy Prime Minister Sun Chunlan visiting Wuhan’s Qingshan district (pictured), the city at the centre of the epidemic, which has been isolated from the rest of the country since 23 January.

According to Party media, Sun was inspecting the distribution of medicines, food and fresh vegetables to residents banned from leaving home. Supplies are handed out through neighbourhood committees.

In the video, Sun and his entourage are seen touring a residential community when someone can be heard yelling “fake, fake, everything is fake”, whilst someone else shouts “Formalism,” a euphemism used to describe ineffective measures taken by government officials for the sake of appearances.

In fact, locals are very critical of the authorities’ silence and delays in raising the alarm about the outbreak.

The most likely explanation for the incident is that those who complained did not receive food or medicine at home, whilst state media praise the government efficiency against the coronavirus in Wuhan and across China.

According to official figures, there have been fewer cases for at least a week. About 145 new cases were reported today in Hubei, with 30 deaths, 29 in Wuhan and one in Hainan.

What broke new ground was the fact that the People's Daily, the Beijing Youth Daily, the Global Times posted articles along with video.

The video was later removed, but the articles remained. One says: “The central government guide group [. . .] ordered the local government to investigate and solve the problem immediately. [. . .] Wuhan has started an investigation among the residents in the community, with more than 3,000 of them, to understand the appeals.”

The video is still accessible on social media. It is not alone. Another video is also available on social media, from the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network (former Apostleship of Prayer) for the month of March, in which Francis prays for the Church in China and the Chinese people.

This is not the first time that the pope appears on Chinese screens and TVs. One appeared recently.

After the Vatican sent 600,000 protective masks to China. China Central Television (CCTV) publicly thanked the pope and the Holy See for their humanitarian aid to China.

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