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Ian Bremmer Praises China’s Authoritarian Policies In Combatting Coronavirus

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Shelby Talcott Media Reporter
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TIME columnist Ian Bremmer praised China for its authoritarian policies towards containment of the novel coronavirus Wednesday.

Bremmer spoke on “MSNBC Live with Velshi and Ruhle” about how China has reacted to the spread of the virus. He praised the country for having “a handle” on its cases and for how they shut down the country as the virus spread.

Bremmer did not mention that China downplayed the virus’s threat when it first began and made attempts to cover-up the novel coronavirus. He also did not speak about Lijian Zhao, deputy director of China’s Foreign Ministry Information Department, who has pushed conspiracy theories aimed at deflecting blame from China. (RELATED: REPORT: Chinese Censors Jumped In To Suppress Online Messages Warning About Coronavirus Spread)

“In fact, they’re actually on a path by the end of April, beginning of May, to have the economy fully functional again. Don’t we wish we could say that in the United States or in Europe,” Bremmer said.

“But right now the Chinese are showing the world that you really do have the ability through technologically empowered surveillance, incredible data and control of all their citizens. They’ve been able to get a handle on a massive outbreak that, by the way, they were responsible for, and now it’s virtually over in China.”

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Host Stephanie Ruhle noted that this is largely because China is “uniquely qualified” to “lock everyone up and force them to stay home.”

The TIME columnist continued on to praise the country’s authoritarian policies. He admitted that the U.S. does not want to be like China in this way, but mentioned a “chilling” video he saw that showed the “control” the country has over its people. He said the video was also “humbling in terms of just how extensive in so many different aspects of life they were able to get this stuff up and running.”

“I think that the Chinese model is going to be seen as a lot more attractive to a lot more non-Americans around the world,” according to Bremmer.

Bremmer also pushed the idea that “the Americans are going to have to start competing” with the country after seeing how China has dealt with the coronavirus.

“The Chinese are not weak sort of irrelevant ‘at the margin, do what we say or we’ll crush them,'” Bremmer said. “If we want to win, and I really hope we do, because I certainly prefer to live in our system, I know you do, we’re going to have to take them a lot more seriously, because they’re coming out of this crisis a lot stronger than they were going in, and frankly, I’m not sure the same can be said of the Americans or the Europeans.”