Will Covid-19 become a proxy war between the US and China?


IN THE PAPERS - Thursday, April 16: We look at reactions to tensions between China and the US. Also, the French sports paper L'Équipe focuses on the Tour de France and finally, a Florida judge urges "court decorum" to lawyers taking part in virtual court sessions!


There is a lot of focus on Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping in the press today. Certain media, like the conservative British magazine The Spectator, suggest that the Covid-19 pandemic might be a proxy battle between the two leaders, as you see in this front page cartoon. But, the magazine asks, will either of them win this battle?

Trump’s strategy towards China is much like pouring oil onto the fire, as the Daily Telegraph’s cartoonist Bob Moran depicts here. After supporting China early in the crisis, Donald Trump has since shifted blame onto China. He’s called the virus the "Chinese virus" and suspended funding to the World Health Organization after accusing it of basically being in China’s pocket.

Perhaps that’s why one writer for the China Daily urges Washington to work with Beijing in finding an end to the pandemic. The paper presents China in a heroic light, claiming that it has helped other countries while the US has "tried to smear China". 

Here in France, there’s some relief in the sports paper L'Équipe, which finally has some news to talk about! The Tour de France organisers have announced new dates for the race, beginning in late August for the first time in its history. Even if there are still questions around protecting cyclists and spectators’ health, after weeks of uncertainty, the paper rejoices that finally there’s some light at the end of the tunnel.

Finally, confinement has of course moved many professions to work online, even lawyers and judges - with court proceedings via video conference. One Florida judge issued a stern warning about respecting court decorum even in virtual court. This after he said one lawyer appeared to be shirtless, another looked like she was still in bed and a third was clearly working in a bathing suit by the pool! You can read all about it in The New York Times.

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