Dan O'Heirity

Let’s Not Forget That Beijing Has Murdered a Lot of People

Today I am feeling as though I have been remiss in three respects. First, it has been quite some time since I have recorded data for the number of confirmed CCP virus cases and virus deaths. Using my preferred data source – which is updated in real time for the number of new daily cases and deaths with the data being reset at GMT+0 – there have been 9,222,568 confirmed cases of the CCP virus. There have been 475,125 confirmed deaths. Secondly, I have of late failed to reiterate that China engaged in an act of biological warfare in deliberately sending the CCP virus around the world. In my not very humble opinion it follows logically from the act of biological warfare that we should refer to the CCP having so far murdered 475,125 people.

Staying with the Covid-19 data for moment, I have reported infrequently over the last few weeks that we are seeing the highest numbers of new daily cases and deaths since the beginnings of the pandemic. The reporting for new daily cases has shown over 100,000 cases per day for a week or so now and over 150,000 for the last 3 days. The number of new daily cases on Sunday 21st June, 2020, was 185,800 new cases. Around 80% of the new daily cases are being still being reported by just 13 countries. As of today 26th June, 2020 the figure for daily deaths has increased since I last looked. There has been 491,091 deaths worldwide. The previous two days have seen over 5,000 new deaths per day worldwide. Indonesia has accounted for 1,000 of these deaths on each of the days. It is clear now that the death toll will reach 500,000 within a couple of days.

The Has Never Been a Covid-19 Pandemic in Australia

I reported a couple of days ago that the news in Australia has been full of reports on a “second wave” of the virus and I argued very strongly that Australia never saw a first wave of the virus and that talk of a “second wave” was just sensationalist and irresponsible reporting. Think about it. We’re meant to imagine an almost unstoppable wave of Tsunami like proportions. A more balanced account of matters has been provided by an international story which reports that Australia pretty much has the virus under control with the exception of some community transmission in Melbourne. The same story reaffirms a point that testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine are all essential components of an effective plan to control the virus. The one component that is not mentioned is practicing good hygiene through using hand sanitizer.

Some Australians in the suburbs where community transmission has occurred are being utterly stupid and ignorant. One man said that he continues to hug and to kiss people in greeting on the grounds of being young and healthy and, therefore, not at risk from the CCP virus. Granted, deaths in Australia do seem to have occurred, for the most part, amongst the elderly but younger people can still contract the virus. Another man said that he was not worried because he had never met anyone with the virus. This statement just seems to me to be absurd if for no other reason than the fact that there is an asymptomatic strain of the CCP virus which means that the man could have been in contact with hundreds of people who have the virus without ever knowing that these people did in fact have the virus.

We Must Keep Writing About Beijing’s Arrogance and Bullying

The final way in which I have been remiss is in simply not keeping across stories about China’s nefarious activities. I have offered the opinion on previous occasions that China has been “testing the waters” of the world’s resolve to stand firm in the face of:

  1. A determination to manipulate the independent inquiry into the origins and spread of the CCP virus
  2. The passing of new security legislation in Hong Kong that will see China controlling free speech in Hong Kong
  3. Aggression against India along the “Line of Actual Control” that constitutes the de facto border between China and India
  4. Increasingly belligerent statements about using force against Taiwan should Taiwan try to secede from China
  5. Systematically setting about to destroy the Australian economy through tariffs on barley, ceasing imports of beef from Australian abattoirs and threatening that Chines students and Chinese tourists will cease to come to Australia.

This list is not exhaustive but it should suffice to give a reasonably broad picture of how China has been seeking to exploit the CCP virus to its advantage.

In my opinion China has now tested the waters or “tested its adversaries for weaknesses” and it has found the world wanting in its resolve to take a firm stand. Whilst this “testing” has occurred on many different fronts, China’s geopolitical aspirations in the South China Sea are a clear example of such behaviour. China has also tested the world by introducing new security laws in Hong Kong. China has also become increasingly belligerent and brazen in the statements that it is making to the world. The most recent example of this behaviour concerns China carrying out broad scale and sustained cyber attacks against Australia. The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has avoided pointing the finger at China. He has instead referred to a sophisticated state based cyber attack saying that,

This activity is targeting Australian organisations across a range of sectors, including all levels of government, industry, political organisations, education, health, essential service providers and operators of other critical infrastructure.

Whilst Scott Morrison was not prepared to name China, government sources have confirmed that the attacks have their origin in China. The attacks appear to be trying to secure two types of data. First attackers are looking for data that would help China to undermine the Australian economy. Secondly, the attacks are trying to secure data on the CCP virus such as research into a vaccine for the virus. China has of course denied that they have anything to do with the cyber attacks, stating that the allegations come from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian has said that, ASPI is funded by US arms companies and that the claims of ASPI are completely unfounded.

China Is Seeking to Manipulate the World on Multiple Fronts

It would be fair to say that China is less than enamoured with ASPI as the institute recently published a damning report about the overseas activities of China’s United Front Work Department. I have covered the activities of the United Front Work Department on many occasions. All I will say here is that United Front Work Department essentially operates around the world to try to influence or coerce the Chinese diaspora communities, business leaders, academics and politicians in order to further Beijing’s strategic aims. The United Front Work Department is a clandestine organization and it is therefore, impossible to determine the extent of their activities in Australia. A spokesman for the Australian Values Alliance, a group of Chinese Australians strongly opposed to the CCP has said that, only a small minority of the Chinese community in Australia are involved with the CCP . I’m going to say that the jury is out on the question of the influence of the United Front Work Department in Australia and, indeed, in other countries around the world.

I’ve covered the covert activities of Chinese Language newspapers and Chinese backed radio stations in Australia in quite some depth in previous posts. However, I have not written as much on China’s manipulation of social media or what have been referred to by “The Conversation” in a story dated 26th June, 2020, as “state based cyber campaigns“. According to “The Conversation” these cyber campaigns can be seen as existing along a continuum of “different cyber warfare techniques” that include the massive state based cyber attacks mentioned a few paragraphs ago. These campaigns would also include China making sure that they have foreign journalists in their “back pocket” so that a “good story about China” is told around the world. Such is the seriousness with which these cyber campaigns are now taken that, the Australian government has announced plans to establish the country’s first taskforce devoted to fighting disinformation campaigns.

We Just Don’t Like China Anymore, If Indeed We Ever Did

The following quotation from The Conversation is of note in respect to the attitude of Australians towards China.

The Lowy Institute’s 2020 “Understanding Australian Attitudes to the World” poll has found “unprecedented shifts” in Australian public opinion, with more people feeling unsafe in the world, optimism about the economy at an historic low, and a precipitate decline in trust in China.

There’s a lot of interesting data in this report but first off I’ll just concentrate on one data set. In 2015, 77% of respondents saw China as more of a trading partner with 15% seeing China as more of a threat. The figures remained pretty constant for the 2017 and 2018 reports but in 2020, 55% of respondents saw China as more a trading partner and 41% saw China as more of a threat. I am not quite sure why the figures do not add up to 100% in each case but the usual reasons have to do with respondents spoiling their returns in some way. So, basically, it seems fair to conjecture that the CCP virus along with the many impacts of that virus around the world have made Australian’s significantly change their view of China. Let’s face it, killing 500.000 people is not going endear people to you.

There is additional data in the report which is equally fascinating. For example, in 2020, 5% of Australians would oppose “Working to find other markets for Australia to reduce our economic dependence on China” with 94% agreeing that Australia should take this course of action. The reasons for these figures is clear. China has been trying to bully Australia through imposing all kinds of economic sanctions. 17% of Australians would oppose, “Imposing travel and financial sanctions on Chinese associates with human rights abuses” whilst 82% would agree with pursuing this course of action. So, hurrah, perhaps Australians are waking up to the horror that is Beijing. However, worryingly, whilst 58% of respondents opposed “Allowing Chinese companies to supply technology for critical infrastructure in Australia”, 39% of respondents supported this course of action.

It seems to me that it is a bit concerning that 39% of Australians would support allowing Chinese companies to supply technology for critical infrastructure in Australia. However, one interpretation to be placed on these figures is that Australians are focussing on the facts that they perceive to be most relevant to their well being, namely China’s attempts to cripple the Australian economy which will, rather obviously, directly and indirectly impact Australians should they succeed. On the other hand, Chinese technology is possibly not perceived to be much of a worry because it is not seen to be directly impacting Australian lives. This is a plausible explanation but it does suggest to me that Australians should be slightly better informed about what a technology trade relationship with China would very likely entail. I mean, of course, China spying on us.

First Published 26th June, 2020

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