We are not quite back at the stage where western establishment media is re-running footage allegedly showing lads falling stone dead on the streets in China, but there is a new Covid Panic a-brewing. Apologies for breaking the news. The good part of that is that Gript, unlike the above, will report such phenomena with the same interrogating eye as we did throughout that interesting time.
Last month, China appeared to be in the grip of mass protests, but unsurprisingly they have been suppressed. Part of that, however, is being pitched by the Chinese Communist Party and its many paid allies around the world as the consequence of the regime having eased off on the restrictions imposed as part of their Zero Covid policy favoured by those allies and other fanatics in Ireland and elsewhere.
In November, the official line was that the authorities were continuing to place “vulnerable” people under “close monitoring.” This led to protests and evidence appeared to show that people who were believed to have contracted Covid-19 were padlocked into their apartments. This was claimed by some to have been a factor in the deaths of at least ten people who were trapped in a fire at an apartment block in Urumqi on November 24.
The widespread protests subsided, as they tend to do in an all pervasive totalitarian state, but the fire at Uqumqi, in the Uyghur province of Xinjiang briefly lifted the veil on the systematic repression, amounting to effective genocide, against the Uyghur people as documented in several reports.
The protests do appear to have had some impact in China, and the regime has been in the process of seeming to abandon or at least greatly ease the severe restrictions that have been in place since January 2020 when the Covid panic began in the city of Wuhan where many believe the virus originated as a consequence of gain of purpose research in a virology laboratory.
While still boasting about the effectiveness of its “strict dynamic zero-Covid policy,” the Communist Party People’s Daily yesterday published a very curious piece by a former advisor to American President Jimmy Carter, and regime apologist, Harvey Dzodin.
In the article headed ‘Three years fight paves way for re-opening,’ Dzodin implies that the easing is only possible because Zero Covid was a success, but proceeds with an ominous, if not threatening, prediction.
While the next few months in China and elsewhere can’t be predicted, experts say that globally, new variants and sub-variants of the novel coronavirus, and the emergence of new coronaviruses are a matter of when, not if, and that some could be more transmissible and deadly. Instead of fighting needless zero-sum international relations battles, it’s imperative that global attention and energy be laser-focused now on learning from the past three years’ experience and preventing future pandemics.
Dzodin is echoing the Party line of course which is optimistically declaring that “After three years, the virus is weaker but we have grown stronger. The country now has more resources, better conditions and more confidence in triumphing over COVID-19.” Yet, while the state news agency has been standing over the lifting of quarantine and claiming that the emphasis on achieving 100% vaccination and other health measures will be successful, there are similar mixed messages from regime supporters, and other advocates outside of China, who cling to the Zero Covid strategy.
Their pitch appears to be: “Okay, China has been hugely successful in limiting Covid deaths to just over 5,000, but hey, we’ll try it your way for a while, but don’t be surprised if things get really bad again.”
This is epitomised by a tweet from American scientist Eric Feigl-Ding, who was one of the very first advocates of a draconian lockdown outside of China and whose alarmist post regarding the consequences of “liberalisation” in China has been echoed this morning in much of the western media.
Despite his gross over-estimation of the number of deaths that would be caused by Covid, and despite his not being an expert in infectious diseases epidemiology, Feigl-Ding, who now has 750,000 Twitter followers, became a star of the anti-Trump American liberal media. He clearly thinks his day has come around once more.
National Public Radio in the United States, another media outlet that distinguished itself by its hardline on all-things-Covid and who published a study claiming that Republicans were three times as likely to die as Democrats, is reporting all of this with a certain amount of glee. They are citing “experts” who are claiming that there could be 800 million cases in China, leading to around 500,000 deaths, and that this will quickly infect 10% of the world’s population.
Amidst all the renewed hysteria, there are some grains of truth reflecting what is known to have happened in Ireland and elsewhere. Despite the more extreme claims, a certain level of “group immunity” does appear to have been attained which basically means that a virus loses its virulence the more prevalent it becomes.
That has not happened in China because the restrictions have prevented the type of normal interactions that lead to such immunity. Nor has the huge rate of booster-enhanced vaccination – of over 90% – prevented this latest epidemic, if that is what it is. Even such a former scare monger over “super spreading” and strong advocation of restrictions Ben Cowling is now admitting, although he probably would not use that term, that the vaccination programme “doesn’t protect against an infection.”
Strange times ahead, once more it seems. So, while the World Health Organisation head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was this week looking forward to the lifting of all remaining restrictions in 2023, he also made an oblique reference to the fly in the ointment that is China when he urged them to share data in pursuit of knowledge on the origin of the virus.
With China appearing to be facing another economic crisis and bearing in mind that the Chinese economy undoubtedly made relative gains at the expense of its locked down competitors, especially in the United States, that factor cannot be overlooked in what is taking place at the present time.
Have the Chinese actually been forced into re-opening to avoid the same economic consequences? And if so, are they thinking that if the price of re-opening is a massive increase in Covid infections and deaths then the burden ought to be shared. That it would be no harm if maybe the new outbreak spread beyond Chinese borders and forced the rest of the world back into the strait jacket that was largely tailored for it by the Chinese Communist Party in 2020.
Anyone who believes that the above constitutes “McCarthyite” scare-mongering has either not been following what has been going on over the past number of years, or is completely hoodwinked by the long term objectives of the Chinese Communist Party. If you want to know what they are really thinking, read their own words.
On December 6, President Xi gave a eulogy for Jiang Zemin, former general secretary of the Communist Party when he oversaw the brutal post Tiananmen repression and alongside Mao, Deng Xiaoping and Xi one of the historical “core leaders” of the Party.
While on the one hand, Xi’s praise of Jiang might be regarded as evidence of the Party’s continued adherence to the concept of “socialism with Chinese characteristics” based on a “socialist market economy” and a “multi polar world,” the CPC under Xi has pursued a much more aggressive foreign policy.
It is not a military one, other than the ongoing intimidation of Taiwan, but the reach of Chinese economic and financial power through the Belt and Road Initiative has increasingly been buttressed by what amounts to political subversion. This is reflected to a small extent even here where Gript revealed the existence of a Chinese police station in the heart of Dublin.
Following decades of basic isolation and disinterest in anything outside of China and its borderlands, Xi has aggressively promoted China as a model for the socialist development of the “global south.” In relation to the west, the key is Chinese capital and the friends that it buys. Chinese political influence knows no political boundaries and has corrupted, to call the spade a spade, parties and even states across the spectrum.
The Chinese Communist Party has ruled through terror for generations. It’s periodic campaigns of starvation, mass murder, internment, confiscation and genocide against the Tibetans, Uyghurs and other peoples have cost tens of millions of lives. Covid, whatever its origins or pathogeny, is another element in that campaign.
How the current scare plays out will be interesting to observe.