Covid-180

Dan O'Heirity

The List of Reasons to Hate China Continues to Grow

According to my preferred data source, there have been 94,315,331 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across 219 countries and territories. We recently reached a grim watershed moment in the history of the pandemic recording 2,017,913 deaths. Anyone who has followed my blog knows that I refer to these deaths as murder on a global scale by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Why? Well, because the CCP covered up the virus in its early stages, lied to the world and sent its citizens overseas. Thus do I refer to Kósmocide, murder on a global scale. Here we are one year on and an independent inquiry has yet to get underway. Furthermore, as reported by The Conversation, China continues to try to control the Covid-19 narrative. I lack the adjectives to describe this behaviour. Appalling, disgusting, reprehensible, unconscionable. Rather then being cooperative and, dare I say it, contrite, China is in my view undermining the independent inquiry and behaving belligerently on the world stage. The Conversation seems to concur with me reporting that, ” Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, says the WHO investigation team will have to be politically savvy and draw conclusions that are acceptable to all the major parties“. Furthermore, citizen journalists in China who have reported on Covid-19 have either disappeared or been sentenced to prison. For example, “Zhang Zhan, was sentenced to four years imprisonment for the crime of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. Are those charges even real? Picking quarrels? Provoking trouble? Finally, whilst the CCP is no stranger to disappearing or imprisoning individuals who who are perceived to be undermining the will of the CCP, “What is new and disturbing is the use of this tactic to eradicate all dissent and perceived threats to the party’s rule from civil society“.

The Chinese Cultural Norm of “Saving Face” is Just Stupid

I’m going to report the next story just because I enjoyed the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson being so politically incorrect with respect to Chinese culture. As reported by ABC News, Johnson has said, “Whether it originates from bats or pangolins, from the demented belief that if you grind up the scales of a pangolin, you somehow become more potent or whatever it is that people believe it is, it originates from this collision between mankind and the natural world, and we’ve got to stop it“. Demented belief. Completely classic .Well done Boris. Zhao Lijian, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson responded almost immediately stating that Johnson was engaging in “pure speculation”. Sure but it’s very enjoyable speculation and it aligns with comments that I have made in the past with respect to Chinese culture. For example, the concept of “saving face” is an antiquated, outdated and entirely ridiculous cultural norm that, for all we know, resulted in this pandemic. It is also a cultural norm that continues to be at the heart of China’s management of the narrative around Covid-19. Saving face has been defined as, “a cultural understanding of respect, honor and social standing. Actions or words that are disrespectful may cause somebody to “lose face” while gifts, awards and other respect-giving actions may “give face”. So, you could see how saving face played out in the early days of the pandemic. Xi Jinping thinks, “Crap, yet another virus outbreak that has originated in China. Let’s cover it up and get the World Health Organization (WHO) to help us hide the outbreak”. And so it happens. China covers up the virus for a month or so whilst telling the WHO to peddle the lie that there has been no human to human transmission. One month later the virus has spread around the world as a result of China’s stupid cultural norm.

Australia Has a Whole Host of Reasons for Despising China

Two million people across the globe have died because China wanted to “save face”. You would be forgiven for thinking that Beijing might have learned something from this fact but no. China resisted an independent inquiry into the origins and spread of the virus and has been persecuting Australia for a year now because the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was vocal on the world state on the necessity of the inquiry. From a Chinese perspective, Morrison has embarrassed China. In other words, China has “lost face”. So, China spent 2020 placing tariffs and embargos on a huge range of Australian products in order to punish Australia. The odd thing here is that China has no other strategy. They just keep putting new tariffs in place and applying new embargos. The latest target is Australian Cherries. As reported by Australian News, the latest target has been Australian cherries. China’s state run media, the Global Times, has called Australian cherries ““inferior” in taste and quality. Apparently Chilean cherries are of a higher quality. If true, this fact would be very important in terms of another outdated and ridiculous Chinese social custom. Australian National University senior economics lecturer, Yixiao Zhou, has said that, “If people go to visit their relatives they would bring with them a box of cherries which is regarded as a very good, high-quality gift.” Zhou also says that,  “If you can afford to eat cherries it is regarded as you are living a good quality life“. So being able to afford cherries is a sign of social status as well as a way to “give face” by offering them as a present. Whatever. It is extremely unlikely that the actual issue here is the quality of Australian cherries. Rather, Beijing is targeting yet another Australian export in order to punish Australia and China will continue to seek new ways to punish Australia including finding alternative sources of iron ore, a massive Australian export to China.

China May Have Taken Hong King but It Won’t Take Taiwan

I have used many adjectives to describe China’s “presence” on the world stage. China is arrogant, aggressive, belligerent and dangerous to list but a few of the terms that I have applied to China. China’s aggression has been playing out in a host of ways. For example, imposing a new security law on Hong Kong which has brought democracy to an end in the Special Administrative Region. China’s aggression has also been seen in the South China Sea region where China has been making completely unfounded territorial claims whilst also creating man made islands and increasing its military presence. China has also indicated very clearly that Taiwan’s independence is unacceptable. Given that China just “took Hong Kong”, there would be reasonable cause for concern about what China might do in the South China Sea region and with Taiwan. Such a concern might be amplified at this point in history because American has been destabilised by Trump in too many ways to count. However, suffice to say that there is widespread belief in electoral fraud amongst Trump’s supporters and the recent Capitol insurrection points to the power that Trump holds, or at least held. No one knows right now how 2021 will play out in terms of what China does on the world stage. However, China may now be thinking twice about any military action in the South China Sea region. China will also likely be rethinking any military action against Taiwan. The reason. As reported by Australian News, an American government document showing that American would come to Taiwan’s aid has been declassified. Follow the link of download below.

National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien has written briefing paper cover letter. Follow the link or download below. O’Brien has said that “The original document has been declassified and released, to communicate to the American people and to our allies and partners America’s enduring commitment to this vital region“.

A key facet of the strategic framework is that it would see an alliance between America, Australia, India and Japan which would, I think, send a clear signal to Beijing that making a military move the South China Sea region, including trying to take Taiwan, would be met with strong resistance. This point is crucial because as Professor Gordon Flake from the University of Western Australia’s Perth US Asia Centre has said, “It (Taiwan) is the one area where I think major power military confrontation is probably most feasible so in that context, that’s one that certainly has to be discussed“. There is another way to look at China’s possible actions in this region. China simply took Hong Kong. Sure, leaders around the world made some noise as we enter 2021, Hong Kong is a done deal for China. Democracy is at and with even the slightest dissent being quelled through disappearing people or by arresting them on spurious charges. Now imagine that China did take Taiwan. Game over as far as the world is concerned because we would have a second instance of China simply ignoring the “rule of law” in order to do as it pleases. I don’t know what would come next but I do know that China would feel emboldened and would likely consider that the world is not long capable of standing up to China. Sure, there is some political naivety in my thinking but I would ask you to look back over the last 15 months at how China has behaved on the world stage. Whether through hard power strategies or soft power strategies, China is slowly expanding its grip upon the world. Someone once asked me why this matters. The west had dominated on the global stage for decades. Why not China? Well, we don’t tend to imprison people for four years for the crime of ““picking quarrels and provoking trouble”.

First Published 16th January, 2021

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