Covid-78

Dan O'Heirity

The Covid-19 Figures Continue to Climb

There are two reasons to start today by looking at the CCP virus statistics. The first is that we have seen another milestone with respect to the number of confirmed cases around the world. The second reason is that there is what we might refer to as a second wave of the CCP virus as certain countries around the world report significant increases in the number of confirmed cases. In terms of the milestone, my preferred data source reports that there are now 6,026,375 confirmed cases affecting 213 countries and territories around the world. There have been 366,418 deaths – or rather murders by the CCP – from the CCP virus. In terms of overall figures, as of now 11 AM AEST on the 30th May 2020, we have seen an increase 125,468 cases within a 24 hour period. There have been 4,869 new fatalities within the same 24 hour period. These figures for an increase in confirmed cases and deaths within a 24 hour period hark back to the early days of the virus when the virus was rampant in Europe.

Brazil has reported 468,338 confirmed cases which is an increase of 29,526 cases over yesterday. There have been 27,944 deaths in Brazil, an increase of 1,180 fatalities over yesterday. Russia has reported 387,623 confirmed cases an increase of 8,572 cases over yesterday. There have been 4,374 deaths in Russia, an increase of 232 deaths over yesterday. India has reported 173,491 confirmed cases, an increase of 8,105 cases over yesterday. India has reported 4,980 deaths, an increase of 269 fatalities since yesterday. Peru has reported 148,285 confirmed cases, an increase of 6,506 cases since yesterday. There have been 4,230 deaths in Peru, an increase of 131 fatalities since yesterday. Mexico has reported 81,400 cases, an increase of 3,377 confirmed cases over yesterday. There have been 9,044 deaths in Mexico, an increase of 447 fatalities over yesterday.

Trump, for All of His Flaws, is Standing Up to China

I will never be a fan of Donald Trump, but the world does need a leader who will decisively stand up to China. The reason for this fact is, as I have written on previous occasions, the world is completely mistaken if it believes that it can negotiate with China’s leaders. Reasoning with China is impossible because the leadership does not occupy the same moral frame of reference as those who would try to engage with them to come to a negotiated solution on points of difference. And so, I can only applaud Trump’s decision to “terminate” America’s relationship with the World Health Organization, an organization which has become fatally comprised through its willingness to do China’s bidding. In taking this course of action, Trump has sent a clear signal to China that “China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying which is approximately $450 million a year.

Some of you will undoubtedly disagree with me regarding my comment on Trump’s re-election but, honestly, you need to wake up to the reality of China’s aggressive, and potentially militaristic, strategic moves to further its agenda to become the world’s dominant superpower. In this respect, China is set to impose a new security law on Hong Kong that will, in essence, bring about an end to the “one country, two systems” form of government in Hong Kong. In doing this China has shown that it is now prepared to defy world condemnation of its actions in Hong Kong. The fact that China will pass this security law should not be underestimated. It is a clear signal that China believes that it is now too powerful and does not need to pay any attention to what the world has to say about its actions.

China Clearly Has No Care for What the World Thinks of Its Increasingly Aggressive Actions

China is also threatening Taiwan with a Chinese military Major General, Li Zuocheng, saying that should Taiwan secede, then China will attack Taiwan if there is no other way to stop the island from becoming independent.

The general made this threat at the same time that the Chinese Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang, stated that China would promote the “peaceful reunification of Taiwan”. Then, in almost the same breath, Li Keqiang said that China remains opposed to Taiwan’s independence. China also plans to engage in “military drills” in August 2020, to rehearse for an assault on islands controlled by Taiwan. All this said, it is important to note that the political analyst interviewed in this report says that Taiwan is very used to Chinese statements about Taiwan and to China’s military drills as both happen regularly.

Whilst China is becoming increasingly belligerent, “World Is One News” (WION) reports on five “levers” that can be used against China.

These five ways are: demand an investigation into the CCP virus outbreak; support Taiwan; economic distancing from China; calling out China’s abuse of Uyghur Muslims and Africans; and blocking Chinese technology giants like Huawei. I would add a sixth way to corner China. Countries around the world need to address China’s infiltration of governments and universities and, in this context, particular attention needs to be paid to Chinese spying, Chinese coercion of its citizens around the world and Chinese academics and students stealing research and sending it back to China. The the world needs to bring an end China’s covert operations to undermine Western democratic processes, to infiltrate governments, to infiltrate universities, and to seek to advance its own agendas through stealing research.

A Couple of Examples of Australian Stupidity in Regard to China

You would think that the case at this point in time that the argument for severing all ties with China would be unassailable. However, not so in Australia where the State of Victoria, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China in October of 2018 on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. It’s worth taking a look at the MOU, particularly “Article 2: Areas of Cooperation” to see the extent of the relationship that Victoria will have with China. In a press release in April 2019 Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews said, “I’m proud that Victoria is now seen as the gateway to Chinese investment and trade in Australia, and I look forward to deepening our longstanding ties.” The MOU was followed in October 2019 with a Framework Agreement “to provide guidance on implementing the MOU, this included setting up a joint working group.” Here we are on 30th May 2020 with all that the CCP virus has inflicted on the world and the State of Victoria continues to pursue its relationship with China.

The Australian Federal Government has said from the outset that it wants Australia to have nothing to do with the project. In this respect, Australian Strategic Policy Institute senior fellow Dr Anthony Bergin has made the point that, “federal government should not be undermined by state governments who did not have the same level of strategic intelligence as federal authorities.” Dr Bergin has also compared China’s strategy with Victoria to the approach China took in the Solomon Islands, where China tried to broker a deal with a provincial government to lease a whole island. I’m wondering why the Federal government doesn’t simply say, “Enough”. We want full disclosure on the State of Victoria’s relationship with China as a matter of national security and if there is a security threat to Australia, the relationship between Victoria and China will be terminated.

I’m going to furnish you with another story of Australian stupidity in relation to ties with China. This story, which I have been following for some weeks now, concerns the case of Drew Pavlou, a student at the University of Queensland who was facing expulsion from the University for “misconduct”. However, it does not take a genius to see that the student was more likely being targeted for his outspoken criticism of the university’s close ties with China. Drew Pavlou has now been suspended from the university for a period of two years, a ruling which he intends to contest. UQ’s Chancellor Peter Varghese has said that, “There are aspects of the findings and the severity of the penalty which personally concern me.” That may be so but the real question concerns how the University of Queensland, which undoubtedly does have very close associations with China, let matters go this far in targeting a single student for expulsion.

A Reflective Conclusion to Today’s Post

There are times when I reflect on Australia’s albeit recent Covid-19 “history” which has seen increasingly severe lockdown restrictions being imposed from mid-March, 2020. These months have seen me working from home, but I assume that the time will come when I shall have to return to the physical work space to sit in interminable meetings that too often seem to serve no real purpose. Unlike virtual meetings, where I simply turn off my camera and engage in other activities, I will once again be under observation in the real world. The time will also come when my gym will re-open. However, for now I’m happy enough to exercise at the local sports fields following a hybrid aerobic and anaerobic training schedule. The only part of the gym experience that I miss is chatting to the girls in the café after my workout.

The local food markets will once again open and I shall enjoy the return to my Saturday morning routine of visiting the butcher, the greengrocer and the delicatessen. Tattoo parlours will open up and I will go and get the stomach tattoo, a large British Bulldog, that I had planned just before Covid-19 hit Australia. Massage parlours will open up and I’ll be able to return to my bi-weekly therapeutic Thai massage which really did do me wonders. However, the experience that I am most anticipating is being able to get back on my motorbike to go for long rides of a couple of hundred kilometres or more. It is also my hope that I will bond with my motorbike which I purchased in late 2019 meaning that, basically, I have hardly been able to ride it.

First Published May 30th, 2020

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