World Book Day was last Thursday and now a leading German publisher has belatedly marked the occasion by pulping copies of a children’s picture book. Its crime? Saying something that is almost certainly true: that Covid-19 originated in China.
‘A Corona Rainbow for Anna and Moritz’ was published to help kids understand the impact that Covid-19 is having on their lives. Based on scientific advice from a medical institute in Hamburg, it featured the fictitious protagonists’ father saying: ‘The virus comes from China and has spread out from there across the whole world.’
Offensive? Hardly. But it seems not everyone agreed. The Chinese consulate lodged ‘stern representations’ with Carlsen publishing house. The book’s Amazon page was also flooded with one-star reviews, with multiple accounts using similar language to accuse the authors of ‘spreading racism’ among German children. This is despite the fact that the first cases of Covid-19 were detected in Wuhan, China some 15 months ago.
Carlsen has now issued a grovelling statement:
If the phrases have hurt the feelings of any of our readers, we are very sorry… the copies that are still available will be destroyed. We have asked for the next edition to be corrected.
The news comes on the same day that a new independent report by a Washington think tank claims there is ‘clear and convincing’ evidence that China is committing genocide in Xinjiang and have now violated every single provision in the United Nations’ Genocide Convention.
Still, good to see the Chinese diplomatic corps is focusing on the important issues…
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