Covid-187

Dan O'Heirity

China Continues to Behave in Ways That Can Only Be Called Disgusting

Every now and then it comes to my mind that this blog might be at an end. Covid has been around for almost a year and by all accounts we’ll have it under some kind of control in 2021 as a result of the vaccine roll out. However, China just continues to behave in reprehensible ways that require commentary. As reported by the Australian News, Xi Jinping has used his speech at the the World Economic Forum Virtual Event of the Davos Agenda to tell the world that the “strong” must not bully the “weak”. Now, if he had been reflecting on China’s attitude towards the world, then this statement might have made some sense. However, Xi Jinping was referring to the fact that strong countries should not bully China, a weak country. Here’s a quote from his speech, “To build small circles or start a new Cold War, to reject, threaten or intimidate others, to wilfully impose decoupling, supply disruption or sanctions, and to create isolation or estrangement will only push the world into division and even confrontation“. Yahoo quite rightly points out that Xi Jinping’s speech is full of irony and points towards the fact that in 2020 China took Hong Kong, intimidated Taiwan, engaged in aggressive rhetoric and military manoeuvres to assert “ownership” of waterways in the South China Sea region and bullied Australia through imposing a lengthy list of trade tariffs and embargoes. Just yesterday, China announced that any attempt on the part of Taiwan to declare independence would lead to war. I’d say that threatening war is a pretty clear example of a strong country bullying a weak country. However, China does not see things as we see them. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s told reporters that Xi Jinping’s speech revealed China’s “wisdom and sense of responsibility”.

It has been over a year now since the world first learned about Covid-19 and it is only now that the World Health Organization (WHO) investigative team is beginning its inquiry into the origins and spread of Covid-19. Just think about that fact. According to a reliable data source, there have been 102,041,120 confirmed cases of Covid-19 along with 2,201,144 confirmed deaths and yet it has taken a year to get access to Wuhan to conduct an investigation into how the virus might have originated and spread. I’ve written many times in this blog that the WHO investigation into the Covid-19 outbreak is in fact controlled by the Chinese and I have provided evidence in this respect. Today I will report on a story from the Australian News that Chinese authorities are trying to silence families of Wuhan’s coronavirus dead in order to ensure that the “real story” of the outbreak is not heard. First off, a WeChat group used by 80-100 family members to discuss Covid was suddenly deleted. One of the group members, Zhang Hai, has said that “This was a criminal act, and I don’t want the WHO to be coming to China to cover up these crimes“. It is not entirely clear but I believe that Zhang Hai is saying that the way in which Chinese authorities dealt with the Covid outbreak was a criminal act. There are other accounts of people being visited by Chinese authorities to be warned not to talk to the media “or to be used by others” meaning the WHO investigative team. Call me prejudiced, and some of you most certainly will, but I would not believe a single word that came out of Beijing. China is obsessed with “saving face” and absolutely any negative fact in the WHO report would embarrass China on the world stage.

Australia Has Taken Absolutely the Right Stance in Standing Up to Beijing

I live in Australia which is, by any account, a small country of 25 million people and yet it is Australia that has shown the world how to stand up to China’s bullying and intimidation. I’ve written about Australian China relations many times so here’s a quick summary. Australia was vocal in calling for an independent inquiry into the origins and spread of Covid-19. This angered China and Beijing began to place tarriffs on Australian exports to China. Australia was undeterred and so China slapped on more and more tarriffs and embargoes. Australia was still undeterred and so China “released” a list of 14 grievances against Australia. Australia still stood firm and so here we are today with the South China Morning Post reporting that Australia is continuing to take a hard line with Beijing. New Zealand’s Trade Minister has advised his Australian counterpart, Dan Tehan, that being a bit more diplomatic might help to heal the rift between China and Australia. However, in my view, to be diplomatic would be to give in to Beijing and so, basically, it’s a stand off between the two countries. My reading is that Beijing has been humiliated by Australia. Really, China can’t bring a tiny country into line. Meanwhile, Australia will never back down to Beijing’s bullying and intimidation because to do so would mean surrendering some of our most important values such as free speech and the right to control our national interests through, for example, blocking Chinese companies investing in Australia due to security concerns. Furthermore, there is hope for the Australian export market. Whilst this is just one example, China appears to have “banned” imports of Australian coal and yet the Australian coal market is booming. Australia just needs to ensure that the same happens in other sectors where China has acted against Australia.

First Published 29th January, 2021

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