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Regarding the opinion pieces “Crisis exposes China’s institutional problems” by Stephen R. Nagy in the March 13 edition and “COVID-19 crisis reveals CCP’s true colors” by Denny Roy on March 7, both authors use the COVID-19 crisis to bash China and its political system.

Of course China’s initial response could have been a lot better. But the same could be said of most countries, including the U.S. Does this also reflect “institutional problems” and “the reliability of governance” under their systems?

Roy blames the poor initial response on the Chinese Communist Party’s desire to “survive.” The government of any country wants to “survive.” U.S. President Trump downplayed the seriousness of the situation in order to mitigate a market collapse — which could in turn hurt his chances of re-election. As for the CCP trying to influence domestic opinion and shift blame away from it, Trump is constantly trying to cow the U.S. media and the holders of any opinion opposing his — including his blinkered and tardy response to COVID-19.

Also based on China’s original inept response, Nagy asks a series of leading questions regarding China’s decision-making. Many of these could be asked of all countries, including the U.S. The answers in most cases would likely reveal lack of preparedness and just plain ineptitude. But then Nagy suggests that this means that China’s decision-making system regarding the South and East China seas and Taiwan is also incompetent and dangerous. That is quite a leap of logic. Adding to the confusion, he then admits that Beijing’s response has eventually slowed the spread of the corona virus to a “trickle.” Does this reflect the “advantages” of China’s political system?

The point is that these analysts seem to look for any opportunity to bash China while casting logic to the wind.

MARK J. VALENCIA
NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR SOUTH CHINA SEA STUDIES HAIKOU, CHINA

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.