The Expansion of China and the rise of Covid-19 virus
While the exact origins of the current pandemic remain a little murky it is clear that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) of China under Xi Jinping are absolutely committed to increasing that country’s expansion and power by any means possible. As the world is preoccupied with the virus and what to do about it, China is ramping up its aggression towards other nations like there is no tomorrow. Common sense, fair play and genuine diplomacy have been tossed out the window.
Presented with any action, statement or communication it doesn’t like, the spokespeople for the CCP respond with classic twisted logic that would make any sophist proud. Almost anything that you might think of is claimed as an internal Chinese matter. Therefore, other countries should simply butt out. According to these officials, the complaints of Britain, and any other country, over the introduction of the new all encompassing and vague security law in Hong Kong are totally unreasonable and a gross intrusion into China’s internal affairs. Never mind the fact that China has trashed the formal agreement with the UK of one country, two systems that was solemnly promised for 50 years, beginning in 1997. The agreement didn’t even make it to the half way point.
Threats of economic punishment and the use of military force often spill from the mouths of the CCP. To date, only economic actions, along with arbitrary quasi legal detentions of foreign citizens (such as the fate of two Canadians after the arrest of a Huawei executive in Canada) have occurred. Threats of direct military action have so far been reserved for the island state of Taiwan.
The CCP has bullied the rest of the world into accepting its claim that Taiwan is an integral part of China for years, despite the fact that Taiwan has its own government, issues its own passports and has its own military. Its athletes have been forced to compete in Olympics under the name of Chinese Taipei. Airlines around the world have been pressured into listing flight destinations as Taipei, China. Many have acceded to these demands out of fear of losing mainland China flights.
A brief history of Taiwan
The CCP and its online trolls love to distort history. Although it is true that both PRC China and Taiwan ROC claimed each other’s territory, for years Taiwan was not historically part of China. After the civil war in China concluded in 1949 the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan, angering many of that island’s inhabitants. Dreaming of a return to the mainland the Nationals or KMT claimed that they had the right to rule over all China. Taiwan ROC was the rump that was left of the Republic of China. In effect, mainland China was a breakaway region of the ROC having begun as an illegal insurgency.
Returning to the history, the indigenous folk of Taiwan were a native group akin to Malays and other dark-skinned peoples. They were not ethnically Chinese. The first group of foreigners to occupy the island were the Dutch who called it Formosa (beautiful island). They arrived in the early seventeenth century and stayed for almost a hundred years. During the late seventeenth century Chinese traders from Fujian and Guangdong began to arrive and settle.
The Qing dynasty sent an army to Taiwan in 1683 and annexed the island. Taiwan was a part of China until the first Sino-Japanese war when the Qing dynasty ceded it to Japan in 1895. Japan ruled the island until 1945 when it is was returned to the Chinese Nationalists after WWII ended. The Nationalist forces fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the civil war. Their forces had borne more of the fighting against the Japanese than the Communists had and were therefore weakened, contributing to their defeat.
It is a fact that the British ruled over Hong Kong for a longer period of time than China ruled Taiwan. The New Territories were leased from China but Victoria Island and Kowloon were ceded to Britain in 1842 following the first Opium war. Yet nobody claims that Hong Kong was not historically part of China. Using the logic of truth and historical fact Taiwan is not an integral part of China. Quite apart from historical facts, why should the majority of people be forced to accept the authoritarianism of the PRC? Likewise, why should Taiwan’s 25 million people be compelled to join authoritarian China when it is clear that the overwhelming majority of them do not want to. Tsai Ing-Wen, the president of Taiwan, has very eloquently and rationally explained Taiwan’s position. The criminal and rogue regime of Xi Jing ignores this common sense and continues its quest to dominate as much of the world as it can.
The emergence of the Corona virus
Despite some claims that evidence of Covid-19 has been found in Europe a year or more earlier (the research is not solid enough to be accepted) it is all but certain that the virus did indeed first emerge in Wuhan, China late last year. Reports within China began in November 2019. Initially, the Chinese government tried to completely suppress any information about it and sanctioned the doctors who reported it in the first place, one of whom later died from the disease.
It seems more than likely that the Beijing government was to some extent aware of the danger the virus posed by December 2019. It began the lockdown of Wuhan on 23 January 2020 and soon extended lockdowns over much of China. Three flights a week from Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, to Milan continued until Italy suspended them on 31 January. The Beijing government banned all flights between Hubei province and the rest of China on 23 January in an apparent effort to reign in the outbreak domestically. Further harsh lockdowns followed in many regions. Yet it happily allowed international flights to continue until the end of March. By that time this new plague had been fully unleashed on the world.
Taiwan health officials informed the World Health Organisation (WHO) of the dangers of this virus back in December, 2019 but senior officials at the WHO refused to even listen. Canadian Dr Bruce Aylward a senior adviser the WHO, when interviewed by Yvonne Tong of Hong Kong’s RTHK about why Taiwan’s warning was not acknowledged, replied: “Well, we’ve already talked about China. And when you look across all the different areas of China, they’ve actually all done quite a good job.” and then apparently cut off the video interview link.
The head of the WHO, Dr Tedros, was praising Beijing’s response to the virus and downplaying its seriousness for quite a while. It was only some months later that he was warning the world to take the virus much more seriously. By this time the pandemic was totally obvious. It would certainly appear that the PRC government pressured the WHO to ignore the seriousness of Covid-19 until the contagion had well and truly spread.
Taiwan is probably the country in the word that has had the most successful response to the virus with few cases and hardly any deaths.
It achieved this without even imposing lockdowns apart from the isolation and monitoring of returned travellers. Taiwan reacted earlier than anybody else to the virus by ignoring what China and the WHO were saying and implementing sensible measures such as mask wearing and contact tracing.
When Australia’s PM, Scott Morrison, announced the banning of arrivals from China and advised Australians not to travel there on 1 February, the Beijing government complained bitterly. It certainly appears that it wished the virus to spread as far as possible globally.
A purely natural virus or not?
Although many experts and China itself claim that the virus originated in a Wuhan wet market (when it is not claiming that the virus came from the USA) one has to wonder. It is a fact that a number of countries are researching viruses under the guise of looking for medical breakthroughs. It is more than likely than likely that some of them are researching biological weapons although these are outlawed under the Geneva Convention.
As time has gone on the awful effects of this virus are becoming more apparent. Not only does it cause damage to the lungs but can also cause strokes, heart attacks and damage to the brain. Additionally, there are long term effects emerging amongst some survivors, which include chronic pain. I find it difficult to believe that such a complex virus could simply come from nature. More likely, I suspect, this is a virus that has been tweaked in a laboratory. Wuhan has one such lab amongst a number in China. Whether the release of the virus was deliberate or accidental is a matter of pure conjecture.
The People’s Republic of China has obviously caused the spread of this Corona virus to other parts of the world such that it has become a global pandemic, with massive loss of life and inestimable economic damage. It is continuing to use the pandemic as an ideal opportunity to increase its power and aggressive expansion. The outrageous imposition of the security law in Hong Kong is a prime example. Even before the outbreak of the pandemic China was economically bullying small countries in the Pacific and Africa by seemingly bribing their political leaders to accept dubious loans under the One belt, One Road program and then threatening to take over parts of their infrastructure if they are unable to repay these loans. A few countries have experienced just such a result. Sri Lanka is one of them.
Another example of Chinese expansionism is the illegal annexation of parts of the South China Sea and the construction of military bases on artificial islands created there. Another one is the attack on Indian troops in 2020 while trying to expand over the line of control that separates the two countries.
China continues its march toward world domination and the emergence of the Corona virus is just another battleground. Xi Jinping and the CCP have no interest in ethics or real diplomacy. They are only interested in power and money. Any reasonable actions they have performed are generally the result of their having been compelled to take such, again by the exercise of power (economic or other) on the part of others.