Much of China, including Beijing, remains on lockdown.
Some local company officials in China are turning the lights on and running machines, just to say they’ve opened.
During a recent tour of Wuhan, China’s vice-premier, Sun Chunlan, was met by chants of “fake, fake,” “it’s all fake,” and “we protest” by residents of the hard-hit city.
The global reputation of China has dropped more precipitately in the last two months than the global stock markets. A country that two years ago thought it would soon vie with America for global leadership is now being called the “Sick man” of Asia.
The response of China’s communist party (CCP) to these disappointments has been to come roaring back rhetorically, in a way that will fuel more distrust of China and continue help the rest of the world de-couple from China.
The rhetoric will not help China’s reputation amongst the global business community.
The CCP has said that while the first cases of the Wuhan flu were identified in China, they are not sure in which country the virus “originated”. Since the start of the outbreak, Chinese state-controlled social media has been pushing the theory that the virus is a US bio-weapon.
China’s own researchers at the South China University of Technology, Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao, believe that it’s likely that the virus originated from the ironically-named Wuhan Center for Disease Control. (Communists are notorious for their ironic naming conventions). The Chinese scientists cited the fact that the genome sequence of the bats most commonly associated with the Wuhan flu are from bats identical to the bats in the lab and not bats native to Wuhan.
Next, China’s CCP spokesman, in tortured communist rhetoric, suggested that China was actually the hero of the virus story.
Via the Economic Times India:
“China has acted as a responsible big country,” said an article this week in Global Times. “Nonetheless, due to ideological and political prejudice against China, American elites don’t believe China’s moves and experience are reliable and helpful.”
Even Chinese commentators have pushed back on this as the Times notes:
Wu Qiang, a political analyst in Beijing and a critic of the party, said a propaganda campaign was unlikely to satisfy the public.
“It is difficult to believe that the Chinese Communist Party has played the role of a hero or leader in the so-called coronavirus prevention in the world,” he said.
He added that Xi would most likely struggle to regain trust.
“This crisis has caused a fatal blow to Xi Jinping’s personal image,” he said. “For a long time to come, the public.
But perhaps the most damaging thing the CCP said recently was an in an article published by Xinhua, the official state press agency of China.
In an article dated March 3, 2020 and titled The World Should Thank China, the CCP warned that if China banned exports of drugs to US manufacturers, “the United States will fall into the hell of the new Corona epidemic.”
That’s some threat, and wholly unacceptable from a supposedly responsible government.
In August of 2019, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) warned Health and Human Service and the FDA that “80 percent of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients are produced abroad, the majority in China and India.”
The totality demonstrates how foolish it is to think that a China involved in world affairs makes the world a safer place.
2019 demonstrated the political and economic risks of relying on China.
2020 is demonstrating the existential risks of relying on China.
The world needs a vaccination against Chinese Communist hubris, before we all get locked down.
John Ransom, founder of SanctionChina.com, is politics and economics writer/editor with offices in Washington DC, Singapore. You can find him on Facebook @ here and here.
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