This article is from Democracy Digest:
The Chinese authorities are clamping down as grieving relatives, along with activists, press the ruling Communist Party for an accounting of what went wrong in Wuhan, where the coronavirus killed thousands before spreading to the rest of China and the world. And as more voices overseas call for China to compensate the rest of the world for the pandemic, the party has cast its domestic critics as tools being used by foreign forces to undermine it, Vivian Wang, Amy Qin and Sui-Lee Wee write for the Times:
The party has long been wary of public grief and the dangers it could pose to its rule. In 2008, after an earthquake in Sichuan Province killed at least 69,000 people, Chinese officials offered hush money to parents whose children died. Following a deadly train crash in the city of Wenzhou in 2011, officials prevented relatives from visiting the site. Each June, the authorities in Beijing silence family members of protesters who were killed in the 1989 crackdown on the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement.
Such civic-minded citizens who commit small acts of bravery are the heirs of China’s celebrated May Fourth movement, according to Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger (above). Dr. Li Wenliang was such a person. Dr. Li wasn’t a demagogue in search of a new ideology that might save China. His small act of bravery, in late December, was to pass along a warning via WeChat to his former medical school classmates that patients afflicted by a dangerous new virus were turning up in Wuhan hospitals, he told the Miller Center at the University of Virginia.
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