The corona lesson: Cozying up to Xi’s China has a heavy cost

Columnist  | Maura Moynihan

Opinion, Columnists

Let us stand with the Chinese people, but not the men in black who have kept them in bondage for over 70 years

In this Feb. 10, 2020 photo released by Xinhua, Chinese president Xi Jinping gestures near a heart shaped sign and the slogan 'Race against time, Fight the Virus' during an inspection of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Chaoyang District in Beijing. As the rest of the world grapples with a burgeoning virus outbreak, China's ruling Communist Party has turned to its propaganda playbook to portray its leader as firmly in charge, leading an army of health workers in a "people's war" against the disease. (AP)

2020 is the Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac, and the social media is exploding with memes of Chinese president Xi Jinping wrestling a plague -- the coronavirus outbreak that first took place in Wuhan, in Hubei province, and then spread across the world. Indeed, the vaunted efficiency of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP's) 'authoritarian capitalism' is being sorely tested by the CCP’s disastrous mishandling of 'Xi’s Disease' -- a global pandemic that could crash the world economy and infect and kill millions of people.

The China Price has a cost; the normalisation of the world’s largest and richest dictatorship, where human life comes really cheap, and power and control come first.

Communist China has been thoroughly integrated into the international economic order by the global elites who willingly exploited the slave labour of the Chinese people while abetting the crimes of their Communist masters. Chinese firms are not audited by the New York Stock Exchange. China’s human rights abuses are shrugged off by the United Nations. The mainstream media in the West has for years printed Xinhua propaganda as fact, and never reports on the vicious power struggle that has for years raged within the CCP; the “Red Hands” Faction of Jiang Zemin and Bo Xilai versus the “White Hands” faction of Xi Jinping and Wang Qishan, a cabal of old men who rule China’s 1.3 billion people with an iron fist.

With the coronavirus raging and half of China under quarantine, Xi Jinping’s 'White Hands' faction is busy burning mosques, churches and temples and arresting Jimmy Lai in Hong Kong, when they should be mobilising citizens to contain the pandemic.  The spectacle of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO's) delegates flattering Xi Jinping in Beijing provoked outrage across the globe. In December 2019, Dr Li Wenliang of Wuhan alerted the authorities in Beijing about the virus. In an open society Dr Li would have been hailed as a hero, but the CCP punished him for “spreading rumours about the government”. On February 7, Dr Li died from the coronavirus and is a martyr to the Chinese people. 

For decades, the CCP’s manifold atrocities -- genocide, concentration camps, forced organ harvesting -- none of this proved an impediment to FDI. Rosemary Gibson’s seminal book China RX documents how American medical companies moved their factories to China, with no consideration for national health and security consequences. The last US penicillin factory closed in 2004, and today 90 per cent of the core chemicals of most medicines are made in China. The logic of relocating vital supply chains in a Communist empire half a world away is colliding with reality, as Americans will soon discover when their medications run out -- some analysts give that 2-3 months.

China’s global partners are trying to spin the narrative while the stock market careens towards catastrophe; everywhere are op-eds and talking heads condemning travel bans and praising the CCP’s leadership, while Twitter feeds from China show footage of the police beating children, shoving screaming parents into police vans, chaos and death in makeshift quarantine centres. The CCP is now blaming the pandemic on the United States -- on January 26, a Chinese military blog published an essay stating that the coronavirus is “a biochemical weapon produced by the US to target China” Later, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo reacted with clarity: “No less an authority than the Chinese Communist Party has said that it came from Wuhan.”

It is long past time for the West to reexamine its support for the CCP. No one would think of walking into a party in New York, Paris or London wearing a T-shirt of Hitler or Stalin, but it is chic to display the grim visage of Mao Zedong, history’s greatest mass murderer. Western think tanks have for years published tomes proclaiming that China is the 21st century’s true hegemon. Which China? The China of Dr Li and Hong Kong’s democrats? Or the China of the CCP’s Red Hands and White Hands, whose methods of torture would make a Nazi proud?

Nations that tethered their fortunes to the CCP, like Italy and Iran, are now overwhelmed by the virus, whereas India and Taiwan, which are not on Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative roadmap, have far fewer cases. Liu Xiaobo, author, poet and recipient of the Nobel Peace for Literature, has castigated the CCP for "clinging to an authoritarian political way of life, which has caused an unbroken chain of human rights disasters and social crises, held back the development of the Chinese people, and hindered the progress of human civilization”.  Liu Xiaobo was jailed for the same crime as Dr Li: “spreading rumours about the government” -- and he died in prison in 2017.

Let us stand with the Chinese people, but not the men in black who have kept them in bondage for over 70 years.