Chinese YouTuber Simon Yu provides a clear, concise explanation for why incentives within China’s rigid meritocratic political system were largely to blame for the poor treatment of Africans and other foreigners in Guangzhou in recent weeks. In this 13-minute video, Yu says if one wants to understand why the crackdown happened, you have to first understand how the Chinese political system works. The racial aspects of the crisis is actually less important in his view.
Highlights From Simon Yu’s Argument Why the Chinese Political System is Responsible For the Problems in Guangzhou
- [5:38] THE SYSTEM, NOT RACISM IS TO BLAME: “Officials will spare no effort to make sure that this thing (COVID-19) is under control and that’s why you see a lot of radical actions have been implemented in China during this pandemic like blocking roads and locking people inside their apartments. You might ask won’t those actions upset the local citizens and breach some individual rights? Probably yes. But unlike Western countries, the priority for our officials is not to gain popularity among average people, the priority for them… is to make sure the infection numbers do not rise again and any action can be taken to achieve that (objective).”
- [7:09] THE ONE CUT POLICY (一刀切政策): “Imagine if you have a malignant tumor on your hand and your doctor tries to get rid of it for you. There are two ways to do it: the first way is he can give you a CT scan and then use a laser to meticulously cut that tumor off. This is the ideal option as it won’t hurt other tissue around the tumor but it’s super slow, takes a lot of time, resources and effort. Then, there’s the second option: just grab a knife and in one chop cut off the hand. That also works, right? It’s fast, it’s easy to implement but it will hurt a lot of innocent tissue and even damage the entire hand. That’s why we call it the One Cut Policy. Why does this policy exist? Because the meritocracy system only evaluates whether the doctor got rid of the cancer but doesn’t take anything else into consideration.”
- Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
- Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
- Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.