China and Mexico are battling over China's treatment of Mexicans traveling to China in the wake of the H1N1 outbreak in Mexico. More than 100 Mexicans have been quarantined even though many have not had any contact with the disease. Now the two governments, who are bickering publicly about the issue, are talking about dispatching planes to each other's country to pick up their nationals. The Wall Street Journal has the best piece so far on China's treatment of Mexicans.
One Mexican family was rousted out of bed in the middle of the night and quarantined. A Mexican businessman was quarantined when he came to China from Thailand, even though he hadn't been back to Mexico. It makes you wonder: would China be meting out this type of treatment to people from developed countries?
The only confirmed case of swine flu in China is a 25-year-old Mexican in Hong Kong. CNN is reporting that officials there have quarantined nearly 350 people in relation to his case.
Obviously, China is worried about swine flu and must take steps to protect its people. It learned a rough lesson in 2003 with SARS, which Chinese authorities basically allowed to spread unchecked throughout China and overseas for five months so as not to interfere with the Spring Festival travel season and then with the yearly meeting of the legislature in Beijing. So this time the Party is going to do things differently. But will targeting people with Mexican passports really stop H1N1's spread?