IThere is a new reality show in China that is currently attracting 30 million people online. Their stars are not, as usual, singers whose operated eyelids make their eyes appear larger. Or actors whose taut skin shimmers as wrinkle-free white as snow.
Instead, a construction worker walks across the screen. “Without a helmet, what a guy,” writes a viewer under the live image from Wuhan. The forklift, which the public has given the nickname “Cha Jiang”, is currently not to be seen. “Are you sick?” A commentator worries. Workers stretch cables over containers, the fans want to know more details: “Is there a senior engineer who can explain what they are doing?”
It is a hospital that the workers build on the screen. Just a week should pass from planning to completion. The construction site is located in the Caidian district, near a swamp and far from the center of Wuhan. The city in central China where the coronavirus is said to have broken out and which, according to the government, killed more than 300 people by Sunday.
Test for the system
There is the Chinese people who suffer from the virus and there are their rulers who are responsible for the fight against the disease. In the crisis, it is hard to separate the two from one another and then to take stock of what went well and what is not possible in a country in which the ruling Communist Party, according to its secretary-general Xi Jinping, is “everywhere” in the ” East and West, South and North “. The virus is a “test” for the “superiority of the Chinese system”, which “can mobilize the whole nation and focus on progress”, comments the “Global Times”.
The Beijing party newspaper wanted to convince the world so much that the country was able to create the logistical masterpiece of building not only a hospital with 1,500 beds within a few days, but even a second one with a further 1,000 beds for those infected with viruses reported on Monday that the first hospital building was completed in just 16 hours. A photo was used as evidence, which was also published by the government’s mouthpiece “Volkszeitung” and was commented on by the deputy press officer of the Foreign Ministry with the word “China-Speed”. Then it came out that the photo showed simple living containers. An embarrassment that, of course, cannot deny that the Chinese are real builders. By 2035, the country will open an average of 14 new airports a year. This is how Beijing’s planned economy wants it, and it will probably happen.
Take Wuhan, for example: On January 23, the local building authority set up a crisis center; two evenings later, caterpillars had already leveled an area of 5 hectares and moved soil that could fill 60 swimming pools. The next day were the containers in which the management of the new hospital should start from Saturday.
Doctors should not only win the fight against the virus, but the battle for the reputation of the dictatorship. To date, 20 countries have confirmed cases of infection, including at least five in Germany. Including China, the number of sufferers rose to more than 14,000 by Sunday.