Editor's Notes: "We will accelerate the development of China's discourse and narrative systems, better tell China's stories, make China's voice heard and present a China that is credible, appealing, and respectable." President Xi Jinping said in the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. As an Italian-American living in China for 24 years, Mario Cavolo, author, independent entrepreneur, and a senior fellow with the Center for China and Globalization, has witnessed remarkable changes in China over the past decades. He wants to tell these admirable stories of China to the world.
Chongqing- Around 1999, when Mario first arrived in China, he thought China was not on the world stage. In just two decades, China's become the largest safe, most stable, successful, capable civil, and peaceful country on the planet in his word.
"Over the years, my work in China, my life in China evolved into putting me in a place where I've become a voice, doing my best to connect the communication between China and the world." After about ten years of living in China, Mario felt naturally motivated for people to want to help people to understand what China really is.
"The impression you get in the West from the media and governments is completely different from reality. Those things are either completely wrong, highly inaccurate, and terribly distorted." Mario describes developing the search for the truth as a personal mission.
"If people want to deal with reality, then they should have a clear and reasonable explanation of what reality is, not some distorted, politically driven propaganda." So over the years, he has published three books on China.
"When I finally wrote an important article that pointed out the hypocrisy of criticizing and attacking China in February 2020, it became globally viral," Having experienced China's rigorous and orderly fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Mario thought it was outrageous to blame China for the pandemic.
The article, titled Something's Not Right Here Folks, delves into the overreaction of some Western governments, discrimination against the Chinese people, and the smear coverage of the Chinese government's epidemic prevention and control by the Western media.
"During the 2009 H1N1 outbreak, I don't recall xenophobic anti-America attacks across the globe, do you? Do you recall it took six months for the United States to declare a national emergency? Did any government, from the onset in April 2009 through the end in April 2010, including June, when H1N1 was declared an international emergency global pandemic, then send out a notice to its citizens that they should leave the US? Close their borders to American travelers? Nope, not a peep." In his article, Mario also compared China's response to the novel coronavirus outbreak to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic in the United States and highlighted the contrast between the reactions to the two health crises.
Millions of views and extensive discussions have put Mario Cavolo even more in the spotlight. "My voice has become larger. I appreciate and enjoy that. I also accept the responsibility that comes with that."
More than two years have passed since Mario published that article. Now, he often writes commentaries to express his actual views on China. His third book on China has been officially published, and the fourth one is in the planning stage.
Mario is grateful to live in China and witness the miracle of development that this great country continues to create.
Concerning the 20th CPC Congress, Mario believes China's future development will continue. "We have the 14th Five-Year Plan in place. This is a country whose government has demonstrated that its responsibility, job, and role is to serve and govern the society for the people."
One example he mentioned is the health care reform in China. "I've used the healthcare system myself the entire time I'm here. I also have a green card as well." Mario is familiar with the Chinese healthcare system and believes it is constantly being updated and improving. "Not to mention it's wonderfully inexpensive."
"In responding to the sudden outbreak of covid-19, we put the people at the top of all else and pursue a dynamic zero-covid policy in launching all out people's world to stop the spread of the virus. We have protected the people's health and safety to the greatest extent possible and made encouraging achievements in both epidemic response and economic and social development," President Xi Jinping said in the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Mario knows this achievement well.
"One of the big challenges that China's health care system face right now is the dynamic Zero-Covid policy, which I regard as an amazing success. There's nothing easy about any country's experience facing the pandemic. In the case of China, we as a society work together, and all have to do our little part in civic duty."
Facing some skepticism suggesting the dynamic Zero-Covid is politically driven, Mario said: "I've lived here long enough to know that that's ridiculously untrue. China's public health policy has nothing to do with politics, and I don't expect any major changes. Leading into or after the CPC 20th Congress, the country will continue to evaluate the pandemic and make small, slow adjustments. They will never sacrifice the health of the people in public health."
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