China has left no stone unturned in shirking the responsibility for the coronavirus. China is acting vindictively against anyone who dares to call it the Wuhan virus and has undertaken a widespread disinformation campaign as it strives to blame the USA for the Wuhan virus. Of course, communists across the world, many of whom work for prestigious media houses and think tanks are aiding them as instead of focusing on China’s incompetence and callousness, they are blaming POTUS Trump for his response or patting China on the back for its ‘transparent’ handling of the Wuhan virus. As the Wuhan virus spreads to 108 countries, China needs to take up the responsibility for its creation and the impending global recession if the virus is not contained.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) also has to take its share of blame as it has completely followed the narrative set by the Chinese Communist Party. From initially denying to sound out the alarm bells to breaking its practice of naming the virus after its origin to publishing a biased report helping China with its narrative, the WHO has done it all. As was the case with Ebola and Nipah, the viruses were named after the places of origin. The WHO broke this practice when it came to the Wuhan virus.
While the Communist government has imposed a lockdown on Wuhan, the WHO report meekly mentions the lockdown as “strict traffic restrictions” and “the cordon sanitaire”. The report lauds China’s epidemic response measures — but conveniently ignores the late-December / early-January dates that might implicate the party’s initial mismanagement of the crisis.
If there was any doubts on the neutrality of the report, a line in the report reads that: “In the face of a previously unknown virus, China has rolled out perhaps the most ambitious, agile and aggressive disease containment effort in history.”
Emboldened by the WHO’s stance, China has stepped up the efforts to shirk all responsibility and entirely pin the blame on the USA. However, evidence suggests that the Wuhan virus is entirely because of the callousness of the Chinese government.
The origin of the Wuhan Virus
Various experts have concluded that the virus originated in Wuhan Huanan market, China as of the first 41 cases of the virus, 27 of them had been to the wet market. In a sequence of events which mirror that of the 2003 SARS outbreak in China, the Chinese government closed the market under the pretext of ‘renovation’. The SARS virus too originated in a similar market which spread to 29 countries and killed almost 800 people.
The Chinese are infamous for eating everything that moves under the sun and it comes as no surprise that China has on an average about 80,000 flu deaths every year. The Wuhan wet market where the virus is believed to have originated is a place where live animals are slaughtered for consumption.
Experts believe that just like Ebola, the coronavirus originated from the bats. While the intermediate source is yet unknown, it is widely believed that the virus travelled to pangolins from the bats and then finally to the humans. Wuhan wet market is one of the rare places were bats, pangolins and humans are found at one place, thus resulting in the outbreak of the virus.
The menu of Wuhan’s wet market includes the likes of tiger, camel, snakes, rabbits, bats, bears, foxes and many more varieties of exotic wildlife. The wet markets of China were emboldened by the Communist Party’s decision in 1998 to term wildlife as “resources owned by the state” and protected people engaged in the “utilization of wildlife resources”.
With this law, an industry was born and Just four years later, the SARS outbreak originated in a wet market in South China. When one connects Coronavirus with SARS, you have a simple fact – China refuses to take responsibility for its wet market business, illegal wildlife trade and refuses to crack down on the wet market economy.
The failure to contain the boom of the virus
Let there be no mistake, it was the Chinese government’s initial denial of the virus’s existence coupled with its lethargic handling which has resulted in the Coronavirus becoming a global pandemic. The Xi Jinping government ignored the warning signs and allowed the Lunar New Year celebrations to take place. The Lunar New Year celebrations result in the world’s largest annual migration taking place.
The airborne virus has virtually spread across the entire country as during the Lunar New Year celebrations on January 25, mass-scale travels took place in China after which Coronavirus has been spread to nearly every part of the country and also Hong Kong where Chinese patients were being taken to receive free and better healthcare until the Hong Kong leadership was pressurised to close the border. The virus has been the most fatal in the eastern part of the country which constitutes some of the most densely populated cities in the world.
Silencing the Truth
The Chinese government has a history of curbing dissent especially at the times of crisis case in point being the SARS outbreak in 2003, Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, Wenzhou train crash in 2011 and Tianjin chemical explosion in 2015. The Chinese government refuses to learn from their experiences and continue to ignore the fact that freedom of information, transparency and the respect for human rights facilitate disease control.
Citizen journalist Chen Qiushi who dared to travel to Wuhan and uncover the truth despite the threat of the Chinese Communist Party has mysteriously gone missing. Chen built his reputation by covering the Hong Kong protests in August. Though he was harassed and silenced by Chinese authorities after his trip to Hong Kong, he continued speaking out using Twitter and YouTube.
In one of Chen’s videos, he expressed his worries about human-to-human transmission inside the hospital as all the patients shared the same ward. Chen noted that the hygiene outside the hospital was also pretty bad — used masks, gloves, and vomit were everywhere. When Chen visited the Wuhan No 5 hospital, a nurse broke down and screamed out in the hospital car park as she was infected at the hospital but could not get a bed in any hospital. Rumours spread online saying that the hospital had a number of medical workers infected but doctors were ordered not to talk to media. Chen’s colleague and journalist Fang Bin secretly filmed 8 bodies in 5 minutes in 1 Wuhan hospital ward and he was immediately arrested the same night by the Chinese authorities.
Citizen journalist Fang Bin who was reporting from the epidemic epicentre in Wuhan has also disappeared, according to his friends and activists. The clothing seller turned journalist stopped posting videos or responding to calls and messages on February 9, 2020, according to activists Gao Fei and Hua Yong, citing Fang’s friends.
Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a nonprofit organization with extensive contacts in China, has already tracked more than 300 cases of internet users who were penalized for sharing unofficial information on social media. While Quishi and Bin’s account have been completely scrubbed off the Chinese web space, the government is now resorting to penalise those who dared to share their posts.
Internet platforms have removed a range of articles that suggest shortcomings in the Chinese government’s response or are otherwise negative about the outbreak. In a country where independent media barely exists, and where state media controls all narratives, paranoia and confusion is not surprising and this has been seen in Chinese chat rooms. However, the crackdown on communication with regards to the Coronavirus has made the country and the world highly reliant on China’s state media.
Ignoring the early warning signs
Chinese doctor Wenliang was one of the first whistleblower to raise the alarm over Coronavirus but the Communist party true to its characteristics, muzzled his concerns. When Wenliang on December 30, sent a message to fellow doctors in a chat group warning them to wear protective clothing to avoid infection, four days later he was summoned to the Public Security Bureau where he was told to sign a letter. In the letter, he was accused of “making false comments” that had “severely disturbed the social order”. He was one of eight people who police said were being investigated for “spreading rumours”. Local authorities later apologised to Dr Li. In his Weibo post he describes how on 10 January he started coughing, the next day he had a fever and two days later he was in the hospital. He was diagnosed with the Coronavirus on 30 January and succumbed to the virus in February.
After successfully exporting the Wuhan virus to the world, the Chinese government has shamelessly decided to shift the goalposts. While all the evidence points to the epicentre of the outbreak, Wuhan, which where the virus is widely believed to have originated, the Chinese government has come out and denied that the origin of the virus is in China in a bid to shed responsibility. The Chinese government instead has decided to pin the blame on the USA.
The Chinese government has refused to believe that the origin of the virus was in China despite the mounting evidence. As if living in a parallel world, the Chinese government has patted itself on the back and published a self-praising book titled: “A Battle Against Epidemic: China Combating COVID-19 in 2020”. Unsurprisingly, the book positions XI Jinping as a superhero who saved the world and how the Communist Party played a vital role in ‘containing’ the virus.
The virus has already caused irreparable damage to the Chinese government’s reputation with the economic damage of the virus is likely to be more serious with Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative on the line.
Thus, the Chinese authorities instead of taking up responsibility are trying to pin the blame on the USA and wash their hands off the virus. From initially blaming the USA for overreacting on the virus to now claiming that the virus originated in the USA, the Chinese propaganda machinery has come a full circle.
Nicholas Kristof writing for The New York Times perfectly summed up the situation as in his opinion piece, he wrote: “China’s mishandling of the Coronavirus outbreak has imperiled itself and the world because it is a land of 21st-century science and 19th-century politics.”