Dan O'Heirity

China is Sending Faulty Testing Kits Around the World

Today I am going to pull some stories together regarding India receiving faulty CCP virus testing kits from China. All but one of the reports come from Palki Sharma on World is One News (WION). The essence of the first story is that India received CCP virus testing kits from China that had an accuracy rate of less than 5% which made them unusable.

The report also includes questions that WION put to India’s Ambassador to China and, unbelievably, India’s Ambassador responded that India was working with China to try to identify “bona fide” suppliers. The Ambassador also stated that India would be getting 7-8 million PPEs from China and 1000 ventilators.

Palki Sharma argues that countries are buying testing kits from China because they have little choice but that a faulty testing kit is worse than no testing kit at all because faulty test kits do not help the response to the CCP virus and because purchasing these kits is just a waste of money. She also lists 6 countries – and the list is not comprehensive because Australia is not included – that have also received faulty medical equipment from China. Finally, Palki Sharma makes two points. First, the fact that China is repeatedly selling faulty medical equipment is a matter of China seeking to the world. Secondly, faulty equipment is not just about quality control. In a world ravaged by the CCP virus, faulty equipment is a matter of life and death.

China is Very Unhappy About Stories Reporting Faulty Chinese Testing Kits

The report from WION news led to a very rapid response from China. First Ji Rong, the Spokes Person for the Chinese Embassy to India, used her official Twitter handle to address the issue of the faulty test kits using . She pointed readers to a response on the Embassy’s website. China was of course “deeply concerned” – one of the CCPs favourite expressions – with the response going on to say that it was “unfair and irresponsible” to label Chinese products as faulty and to “look at issues with pre-emptive prejudice”. Palki Sharma – and you really do have to love her reporting – says that if China wants to talk about “unfair and irresponsible” then what is really unfair and irresponsible is China producing maps that label border regions with Indian and Pakistan and Tibet as a part of China.

Perhaps not surprisingly the map to which Palki Sharma is referring is available on the World Health Organization (WHO) website, even though the map is blatantly wrong. Palki Sharma concludes by saying that China should address its own issues of “land grabbing” and “expansionist behaviour” before preaching to the world about fairness and responsible behaviour. Palki Sharma could have extended her argument here because, as I have reported in previous journal entries, China also produces its own versions of world maps with respect to the South China Sea, maps that show that China’s understanding of its “stake” in the South China Sea is completely different from the view of the world.

India is Blamed for the Fact That the Testing Kits Did Not Work Properly

The next video shows China’s reaction to India’s claims about the faulty testing kits after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had told Indian states not to use the kits. A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the kits had been approved by the Indian National Virus Institute.

This may well have been the case but the approval would not have been based on inspecting the thousands of kits to be sent to India. The approval might, at best, have been based e.g. reviewing whether the kits were being used in other parts of the world and / or visiting the two Chinese factories producing the kits to carry out a low level inspection. The spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry also intimates that the fault may lie with India saying that storage, transportation and use of the kits must adhere to strict requirements.

China expresses the hope that India and China can work together to resolve the issue of the faulty testing kits. One might almost say that China is trying to do what is right in this instance. However, the trouble is that India is one of a half dozen countries that have received faulty medical equipment from China and so the lasting impression is, rather, that Chinese companies cannot be trusted to supply crucial medical equipment. There is another really interesting point in this story. China’s spokesperson refers to “donating medical equipment to India”. This may have happened in the past but, in this instance, India was to purchase the kits from the Chinese companies and so talk of donations is at best misleading and at worst an attempt by China to peddle more lies about their role in helping the world to respond to the virus that they sent around the world.

Wondfo Biotech Takes WION to Task for Mis-reporting the Facts

The Chinese company Wondfo Biotech, along with the Chinese Embassy in India, took WION to task for reporting the story about the faulty testing kits. Wondfo essentially claimed – in a press release that ran to 4 pages – that WION had misreported the facts about their testing kits and the company pointed out that a video clip in the original WION story showed that the right procedure for collecting blood samples using their kits had not been followed. The reason. Health workers were not using Wondfo capillary straws in the testing process.

Unfortunately for Wondfo, the video clip in the original story was just a piece of WION stock footage of testing for the Chinese virus being carried out in India. In other words, the clip was not a clip of health workers using the Wondfo kits. To be fair to Wondfo, it was not particularly obvious that the video clip in WION’s first story was a piece of stock footage. However, Wondfo’s defence does rather fall apart given that it seems to have rested on this single point.

Next, Palki Sharma reports that the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi has stated that it is “unfair and irresponsible for certain individuals to label Chinese testing kits as faulty. Palki also mentions that the Chinese Embassy has accused WION of “pre-emptive prejudice”. However, the real question here, as Palki Sharma notes, concerns why an embassy would be involving itself in the matters of a private company. Palki Sharma’s answer is that the lines between the State and private enterprise are blurred in China. The reason for these blurred lines is, I would suggest, quite straightforward. China is a totalitarian state and Beijing wants to control the Covid-19 narrative around the world. Stories of faulty Chinese testing kits damage the image of Beijing and so, in this case, the Chinese embassy in New Delhi has gone to work in defending Wondfo. The trouble is that four European countries have reported receiving faulty medical equipment from Chinese companies. Europe is not alone. Australian authorities have seized Chinese-made faulty face masks and other protective clothing that is being exported to Australia.

China Really is Dealing With a Problem of Its Own Making

And so we come to the conclusion of the story of the defective testing kits sent to India by Chinese companies. In these days of argument and counter argument it would be very easy to get lost in ongoing stories such as this one. However, having pieced together cases of Chinese “donations” of medical equipment along with sales of medical supplies by Chinese companies, one pattern has emerged. Multiple countries around the world have reported that Chinese medical equipment has been faulty. And yes, sure, there are also cases where supplies of medical equipment from China have been of the appropriate standard. However, the fact that some supplies have been of an acceptable standard, whether those supplies be donated or sold to countries, is simply not good enough. Quality control needs to be 100% in matters of life and death.

One can put another lens on Chinese donations and sales of medical equipment and medical supplies. There is exploitation in both cases. First, Chinese companies have obviously sought to profit financially from the pandemic by selling medical equipment and medical supplies around the world. What would appear to be an almost complete lack of quality control has meant that Beijing is now faced with a world that is highly critical of China’s exports. Secondly, China has sought to present itself as the “great benefactor to the world”. This is a “soft power” tactic that China is using to increase its influence with world leaders . Think about it. China can use the current pandemic to try to cement relationships with European leaders. However, that can only really happen should the world forget that China pillaged countries around the world to stockpile medical equipment and medical supplies in the early days of the pandemic.

First Published May 9th, 2020

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