‘CHERNOBYL MOMENT’: China boosts military aid as Xi faces reckoning
Analysts warn failure to contain the coronavirus outbreak will lead to a “Chernobyl moment” for Chinese leadership, amid fears the virus could infect 60 per cent of the world’s population if led to spread unchecked.
On Thursday, Chinese president Xi Jinping announced an extra 2600 military medical personnel would be sent to Wuhan to treat patients taking the total number of reinforcements to 4000.
It comes amid growing criticism of Chinese authorities from both inside and outside the country, with many experts predicting the virus could become China’s “Chernobyl moment”.
The 1986 nuclear disaster in what is now Ukraine was exacerbated by a failure to admit mistakes, a culture of secrecy among leaders and incompetent handling of the fallout.
President Xi has kept a low profile during the virus outbreak, leading to speculation he is trying to create layers of bureaucracy on which to lay the blame.
But in China and abroad the demand for clear information is growing. Hong Kong pro-democracy activist and leader of opposition party Demosisto, Joshua Wong, said “by covering up the severity of pandemic with force & fear, #China has turned whole crisis into the Chernobyl disaster of the 21st century.
“China’s still clamping down on coronavirus coverage as cases surge day by day,” he tweeted.
“Under the surface, we see the powerlessness of power. Burnished by the personality cult, this rigid regime rules the people with fear and distrust. Beijing’s iron-fist control on citizenry also makes it unresponsive to social grievance.”
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