We don’t know how much the Chinese Communist Party pays the New York Times to place pieces in its pages, but we’re guessing it’s a good income stream for the paper. In Monday’s New York Times, Li Yuan explains that although Beijing keeps its uncompromising grip on power through surveillance and censorship, you have the freedom to walk around during the pandemic.
My latest on how the pandemic has upended many perceptions, including ideas about freedom. Chinese don’t have freedom of speech, freedom of worship or freedom from fear, but they have the freedom to move around and lead a normal day-to-day life.
— Li Yuan (@LiYuan6) January 5, 2021
Mr. [Duncan] Clark, a businessman and an author, returned to China after spending nine months in the United States and France, his longest time away from the country since he moved to Beijing in 1994. He had been spending more time outside China over the past few years to get away from air pollution, censored internet and an increasingly depressing political environment.
But when he returned in October, he felt something new: safe, energized and free.
“The ability to just live a normal life is pretty amazing,” he said.
While many countries are still reeling from Covid-19, China — where the pandemic originated — has become one of the safest places in the world. The country reported fewer than 100,000 infections for all of 2020. The United States has been reporting more than that every day since early November.
China resembles what “normal” was like in the pre-pandemic world. Restaurants are packed. Hotels are full. Long lines form outside luxury brands stores. Instead of Zoom calls, people are meeting face to face to talk business or celebrate the new year.
So the guy who left China to get away from internet censorship is now calling life in China “amazing” because the bar has been lowered so far he can go to a restaurant.
People in wonderful virus-free China don't enjoy many freedoms but unlike America they have freedom to move, unless they get thrown in a gulag
— Razor (@hale_razor) January 5, 2021
Millions in forced labor camps would beg to disagree.
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) January 5, 2021
Not having freedom of speech and freedom of worship is not normal day-to-day life.
Most of us will be willing to put our lives on the line to keep those things.
— Mark Compliant Not (@mkos66) January 5, 2021
They don't have freedom of movement or freedom to lead a normal life either. Those are controlled by the gov't as well.
— illinidiva (@illinidiva12) January 5, 2021
What if they would like to move around to Taiwan?
— art jones (@drivenbyart) January 5, 2021
I don’t know if it’s normal to live in fear or be constantly surveilled.
— Jocelyn (@goinggodward) January 5, 2021
Blink twice if you are in need of assistance
— Patrick Goodwin (@patgoodwinESQ) January 5, 2021
Sounds super awesome.
— Just Jenn (@ZoeLightly) January 5, 2021
what is wrong with you
— Jerry Christmas (@JerryDunleavy) January 5, 2021
I think the journalists that have been arrested for going off the state-directed narrative would like to put in a word on this article
— iorek (@svalbald) January 5, 2021
How’s Jack Ma’s freedom of movement?
— No Followers, Please (@NoFollo92476663) January 5, 2021
Okay but then using your same statement their day to day life is devoid of freedoms so we have to ask if they lead good lives.
— The Geyest (@Heathering2) January 5, 2021
Uighurs not available for comment…
— JRP (@JRPSD) January 5, 2021
— Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) January 5, 2021
Quite the trade-off.
— lukem (@DumbintheRain) January 5, 2021
— Don Nantwich (@DonNantwich) January 5, 2021
The sweet freedom of living in a fascist slave labour state
— Facepalmer 🤦🏻♂️🇨🇦 (@zasaryegin) January 5, 2021
The Communist Times
— Joey 🇭🇰 🇮🇱 (@Joey19814) January 5, 2021
— Je suis Charlie 🇫🇷 (@freespeechabi) January 5, 2021
— Jason Michael Boyce (@boycethechoice) January 5, 2021
— THE Buckeye Jason™ (@Jason33887) January 5, 2021
When abject tyranny is your starting point, 'normal day-to-day life' isn't a particularly high bar to clear. It's more like casually strolling over a broom stick lying on the ground.
— aidanjt (@aidanjt1) January 5, 2021
"Mr. Dong decided to leave Hong Kong because the city has felt anemic during the pandemic, while many mainland cities seem to glow with energy and hope." 🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮
— Joel Goldenberg (@JoelGoldenberg1) January 5, 2021
“In this year of pandemic, the Communist Party has provided the public a social good: stability,” said Dong Haitao, an investor who moved to Beijing from Hong Kong in August." 🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮
— Joel Goldenberg (@JoelGoldenberg1) January 5, 2021
LOL I'm sure this sounded better in your head.
— Mostly peaceful ponysoldier (@C0nservatlve) January 5, 2021
This tweet is embarrassing and stupid
— Logan Sajdowitz (@sajdowitz_logan) January 5, 2021
🧐 ok, I'll say this, I teach (7 years college) many many many international students. I won't exaggerate, but I can honestly say MOST of them (from China and elsewhere) end up confiding in me that they came to the US for FREEDOM!!
— cmarie (@stopthebattery) January 5, 2021
This is unbelievable that someone would tweet this.
— Jay Novotny (@theforgottenGOP) January 5, 2021
Well we have all those freedoms in Florida so… guess we win.
— James Fountain 🇺🇸 (@JamesAFountain2) January 5, 2021
Yahoo News correspondent tries to dunk on Federalist piece about life feeling normal in Florida https://t.co/1vkAi5Xyvl
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) December 22, 2020