The BBC reported that the Chinese city of Wuhan is set to build a hospital in six days in order to treat patients suspected of contracting the coronavirus.
The outbreak began in Wuhan, home to around 11 million people. Hospitals in the city have been flooded with concerned residents and pharmacies are running out of medicine.
According to state media, the new hospital will contain about 1,000 beds. Video footage posted online by Chinese state media shows diggers already at the site, which has an area of 25,000 square metres (269,000 square feet). It is based on a similar hospital set up in Beijing to help tackle the Sars virus in 2003.
“China has a record of getting things done fast even for monumental projects like this,” says Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.
He points out that the hospital in Beijing in 2003 was built in seven days so the construction team is probably attempting to beat that record. Just like the hospital in Beijing, the Wuhan centre will be made out of prefabricated buildings.
“This authoritarian country relies on this top-down mobilisation approach. They can overcome bureaucratic nature and financial constraints and are able to mobilise all of the resources… The engineering work is what China is good at. They have records of building skyscrapers at speed. This is very hard for westerners to imagine. It can be done,” he added.
It is indeed shocking for citizens of capitalist countries to hear of any large construction or development project being completed in months instead of years, let alone a week. People are so used to seeing the rivalry and competing of interests of capitalists hampering progress that they cannot imagine humanity working together for a common goal.
In Britain, far from being the envy of the world, the National Health Service (NHS) relies upon dilapidated hospital buildings and the people cannot dream that the government would ever care enough about them, nor even be able to organise the construction of replacement hospitals at any meaningful pace. They are currently witnessing the bickering and mismanagement of the high-speed railway linking the north of the country (HS2) which is not expected to be completed within two decades, if at all.
Britain is the fifth-largest economy in the world, yet access to wealth is not the main obstacle standing in the way of such progress; capitalism is. If there is a political will to commission a project to benefit the people, which is a big if in the West, the squabbling and rivalry of the capitalists, driven by their greed and determination to exploit the situation for every last penny, along with the inevitable corruption, means that projects are endlessly delayed, as more funding is sought to pay the rising costs that were not factored into the original quote. This is the story of construction in a capitalist society, eaten apart by the jealousy and rivalry of the capitalists’ elite.
The BBC article could not hide its seething envy, as it tried to explain that it is the authoritarian nature of China’s government alone that makes such projects possible. Ironically, George Soros used his Davos speech this week to accuse both China and America of having authoritarian governments.
Muslims should not be dismayed by the failures of the West and their attempts to malign their rivals. The petty bickering of the capitalists, wherever they are from, only further exposes their system as being unfit for humanity to rely upon. Wherever there is a political will to achieve a goal and the absence of jealous capitalists actively working against the common good, great development can be achieved rapidly, in weeks and months, not years and decades.
The coming Khilafah (Caliphate) is expected to match and even overtake the pace of Chinese development, as the Khaleefah is primarily a servant of the people, not the party to which he belongs, nor the capitalist corporations. Contrary to notions of the Islamic Caliphate being a religious dictatorship presiding over an authoritarian system, the head of state is elected within an open transparent election and is directly accountable for all his actions to the people. This accountability is maintained by having a vibrant open society and political parties, the presence of strong institutions including independent courts as well as the presence of strong values of taking care of all the people, not only the wealthy elite, as is the case in both the capitalist east and west today.
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by Yahya Nisbet
Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in Britain