WE grew up being told that the US is the defender of democracy, not just in books and newspapers, but more so in Hollywood’s portrayal of American soldiers fighting oppressors, tyrants and dictators.

China, on the other hand, has been the subject of attacks in the mainstream media — especially after the fall of the USSR — as the biggest threat to democracy.

But it’s now the time of Beijing to rebuke the touted US-style democracy, particularly with Washington’s “poor handling” of the pandemic response.

In the “Report on Human Rights Violations in the United States in 2020” released recently by China’s State Council Information Office, the study highlighted how “Washington’s incompetent pandemic containment led to tragic outcomes and that American democracy disorder triggered political chaos.”

The handling of the pandemic, the report noted, exposed the racial discrimination, social unrest and growing polarization between the rich and the poor in the US.

The report also noted the actions of the US that went against international rules, punctuated by its withdrawal from the World Health Organization, that resulted in humanitarian disasters.

An article published in Chinese news agency Xinhua, on the “Report on Human Rights Violations in the United States in 2020” said “African Americans are three times as likely as whites to be killed by police and one in four young Asian Americans have been targets of racial bullying.”

It cited the death of African American George Floyd, who called out “I can’t breathe” as a police officer knelt on his neck, and how it sparked a national outcry. More than 10,000 demonstrators were arrested in the ensuing protests for racial justice that erupted in its 50 states.

And how did the US handle its pandemic response? The report noted that because of “the US government’s reckless Covid-19 response, the virus spread beyond control in the United States and became a human tragedy that has claimed more than 500,000 American lives.”

“Home to less than 5 percent of the world’s population, the US accounts for more than a quarter of the world’s confirmed Covid-19 cases and nearly one-fifth of global deaths from the virus,” it said. “The United States was too slow in locking down cities and limiting social contact, and too hasty to restart its economy due to political concerns.”

We have been looking for models that we can emulate in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. With how the way things have turned out in the US, as pointed out in the Beijing study, the American way is certainly not the route that we should take this time.

P.S. The Philippines just received the second batch of Sinovac donation — 400,000 doses — last March 24. Beijing has now donated a total of 1 million Covid-19 vaccine shots to Manila, with the initial batch of 600,000 shots arriving last February 28.