Reflecting on the Chinese Communist Party Virus: When Principles Are Neglected, Problems Will Arise
(Minghui.org) The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has spread to over 190 countries and territories, infecting 335,000 people and causing 14,641 deaths as of March 22.
Initially named after its epicenter, the pathogen was called the Wuhan Virus. As time went on, more people started to recognize how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s cover-up of coronavirus information led to today’s pandemic.
“Let’s just call it the ‘CCP virus.’ That’s more accurate and offends only those who deserve it,” wrote Josh Rogin in The Washington Post.
It is true that the CCP is responsible for the calamity. But how to get out of the chaos is the difficulty we are facing. Many people are trying to find a quick fix, but the explosion of cases has proven it a daunting task. As many countries scramble to contain the virus, it is worthwhile to pause and ponder what underlies the pandemic.
Those Closest to the CCP Hit the Hardest
Outside of China, Italy was the most heavily impacted, followed by the United States, Spain, Germany, Iran, France, and South Korea. All of them have been shown to have close ties with the CCP.
After the Chinese regime proposed its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013, many viewed it as an expansion of China's economic and political influence from East Asia to Europe. Ignoring such concerns that BRI could be a Trojan horse for China-led regional development and military expansion, Italy became the first and only G7 nation to join the initiative in March 2019.
After 29 deals were signed between the two countries, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister told CNBC, “There is nothing to worry about,” according to an article from cityam.com on March 27, 2019, titled “Italy's trade deal with China is playing with fire.”
The U.S.-China relationship is still evolving. According to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, “allowing China to enter the WTO in 2001 was a historic mistake that cost the U.S. millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in accumulated trade deficits.”
The U.S. is now bypassing WTO rules and threatening Beijing with tariffs on up to $500 billion of imported goods,” reported a Wall Street Journal article titled “When the World Opened the Gates of China” in July 2018.
The WSJ article stated that contrary to what WTO advocates had hoped for, “Beijing tamed the internet by limiting its use to commerce, technology and social media. It blocked political organizing by threatening and sometimes jailing those who posted critical comments. More recently, it has turned the internet itself into an instrument of the state by using it to identify and track dissidents. ‘It’s Orwellian,’ says Jerome Cohen, a New York University law professor and China specialist.”
Although Spain has not officially joined the BRI, Josep Borrell, former Spanish foreign minister who now serves as the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, said, “[The Belt and Road] is proof that China no longer considers itself a net receiver and has started to consider itself a contributor to the world, and this is something Spain welcomes,” before attending the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in April 2019.
Chinese firms in 2016 acquired two Spanish engineering firms, Aritex and Eptisa, as part of Beijing’s global drive to dominate high-tech sectors. This move was dictated by its national industrial plan, “Made in China 2025,” which serves as a blueprint for China to become a tech manufacturing powerhouse.
Madrid, the capital of Spain, boasts the largest Huawei flagship store outside of China. The Spanish telecom giant Telefonica also chose Huawei as an important partner in the deployment of its 5G network in June 2019.
“China's most successful achievements include porcelain, paper and: deception,” wrote Bild in an article on March 12, with the title of “This is how China lies smiling in the face of the world.”
The Bild article asserts that Germany's reliance on China made it willing to believe in the CCP's lies about the coronavirus and many other things. For example, “Because Volkswagen sells millions of cars a year in China, the VW boss doesn't want to know about Chinese re-education camps for Uyghurs and alleged troublemakers,” the article wrote. “There is only one thing to believe in China: on the way to [becoming a] superpower, its corona lies weren't the last deception in the world. It's up to us how we deal with their lies,” it concluded.
“China’s strategic interest in Iran is intensifying. Chinese manufacturers are looking to establish new operations in Iran, and Tehran is viewed as a vital transport and logistics hub,” reported oilprice.com in an article titled “Iran To Become Essential Hub In China’s Belt And Road Initiative.”
“The exact route of the virus is unclear. But Iran’s strategic partnership with Beijing has created a constellation of potential contacts that helped unleash the illness, called Covid-19,” reported the Wall Street Journal on March 11, 2020, in an article titled “Strategic Partnership With China Lies at Root of Iran’s Coronavirus Outbreak.”
“In closed-door meetings, member state officials vent their frustration about China, but at the end of the day, short-term opportunism prevails,” Jonathan Holslag, professor of international politics at the Free University of Brussels and special adviser to the first vice president of the European Commission, told The Diplomat in January 2020.
When Chinese leader Xi Jinping visited France last March, “One day, [French President] Emmanuel Macron calls [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel and the [EU] Commission president to meet President Xi Jinping together in Paris. The next day, he desperately tries to sell Airbus planes [to China],” Holslag said. “I’m a Maoist … a good political programme is one that works,” Macron once remarked.
In Asia, South Korea has the most confirmed cases. On February 20, 2020, Kang Seung-seok, South Korea’s newly appointed consul general in China’s outbreak epicenter of Wuhan, visited the city with donated relief supplies from his home country.
Kang told Chinese media upon arrival that it’s “very meaningful for the South Korean government to dispatch me to Wuhan during this very difficult period,” according to the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece newspaper People’s Daily.
Also on the same day, Chinese leader Xi Jinping had a phone conversation with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Chinese state media said Moon had “specially called to express his condolences and support,” which “show[ed] the friendship between China and South Korea, as close neighbors look out for each other and share life’s ups and downs.”
Taiwan and Hong Kong
Despite their geographic proximity to China, Taiwan and Hong Kong have relatively few infections. Taiwan has taken a tough stance against the CCP for many years. The landslide victory of President Tsai Ing-Wen also affirms Taiwanese’ determination to uphold democracy and its opposition to the CCP’s invasion threats. Hong Kong residents have also rejected the CCP, as shown by the recent months of mass demonstrations.
Perspectives from History
So how can we rationalize the observation that working closely with the Chinese regime is associated with high numbers of infection cases? As a communist country and the second-largest economy in the world, China has many, if not the most, incidents of human rights violations, including the persecution of many religious beliefs.
A lot can be learned from plagues in ancient times, both those in China and the West. During the Ming Dynasty, for example, a plague broke out in 1580 and infected more than half of the families in Datong (in today’s Shanxi Province), and it later spread to Beijing as well as southern China. When it broke out again in Shanxi Province in 1633, many people fled, and some families had no survivors. Another surge of the plague in 1641, three years before the dynasty’s end, wiped out a significant portion of the population in China.
Besides plagues, the Ming Dynasty also faced other threats, such as the rebelling forces from Li Zicheng (also known as the Dashing King). The plagues, though, seemed to infect only the Ming Dynasty’s troops, not soldiers of Li Zicheng or the invading Manchus. Moreover, after infecting China for decades and weakening the Ming forces, the plague diminished in 1644 after the Manchu established the Qing Dynasty. To some extent, this plague seemed to be a catalyst for the transition of dynasties.
In the West, the plagues in the Roman Empire are also well known. After Nero began to persecute Christians, several major plagues took place: the Autumn Plague in 65 AD, the Antonine Plague (165-180), the Plague of Cyprian (250-270), and the Plague of Justinian (541-542).
During the Antonine Plague, for example, there were up to 2,000 deaths a day in Rome. With a mortality rate of about 25%, the total deaths were estimated at five million. The disease killed as much as one-third of the population in some areas and weakened the Roman army, ending a relatively peaceful period of Roman history.
The plagues stopped miraculously after people awakened in 680 and began to reflect on the cruelty against Christians as well as the general moral decay of society. In 680, Roman citizens carried the bones of Saint Sebastian (256-288, killed during the persecution by Diocletian) and processed through the streets. As people repented for their wrongdoings, the plague vanished in Rome.
People in other areas of the empire followed their example, asking for the bones of Saint Sebastian to offer repentance. When a plague broke out in Venice in 1575, about 50,000 people died. Similarly, a plague occurred in Lisbon in 1599. In both cases, people marched with the bones of holy people in repentance, and the plagues ended.
Huangdi Neijing (The Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor), one of the most respected books on Chinese medicine, wrote, “With righteousness residing inside, no viciousness is able to invade.” This explains how conscience, safety, and epidemics are connected.
The CCP Cancer
As described in a recent three-month review of the outbreak by Minghui, the CCP became aware of human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus back in December 2019, but it didn't take any preventive measures outside of the Chinese military. Several physicians and other whistleblowers were disciplined for talking about the potential outbreak.
According to Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., Chinese officials arrested at least 325 residents between January 22 and 28 alone. Most of them were charged with “spreading rumors,” “creating panic,” or “attempting to disrupt social order.” They were punished with detention, fines, or disciplinary education.
Fang Bin, a resident of Wuhan, recorded videos related to the coronavirus epidemic and posted them on YouTube on January 25, 2020, two days after the city was locked down. On February 1, he recorded video footage at five hospitals, including one that transferred out 8 corpses in 5 minutes, and again showed it on YouTube. Fang was later arrested, and his whereabouts has remained unknown since February 10.
The CCP formed a coronavirus control task force on January 26, 2020, with members selected from the Central Propaganda Department and the Ministry of Public Security. No medical experts from the National Health Commission were invited to join the task force.
The task force issued a policy on its first day, forbidding medical staff from discussing the epidemic at home or in other places through in-person conversations, phone calls, text messages, WeChat posts, Weibo blogs, or emails. The policy applies to all coronavirus-related information, including new cases, treatment plans, control, and prevention. Anyone who violates the policy could be sentenced to 3-7 years in prison.
When Premier Sun Chunlan and other officials inspected a residential area in Wuhan on March 5, a local resident said everything officials could see during the brief inspection tour was “fake.” Officials also arranged for people to pretend to deliver food to the residents. “It’s fake, everything’s fake!” shouted one woman furiously from her building. She was soon joined by many others.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, author of The Gulag Archipelago, once wrote, “We know they are lying, they know that they are lying. They know that we know that they are lying, we know that they know that we know that they are lying. Yet they continue to lie.”
“Survival has been the CCP’s greatest interest since its inception. The desire for survival managed to overcome the fear hidden beneath its ever-changing appearance. The CCP is like a cancer that diffuses throughout and infiltrates every part of the body, kills the surrounding normal cells, and grows malignantly, beyond control,” wrote the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.
When Principles Are Neglected, Problems Will Arise
“While historians and others have documented numerous communist atrocities, much of the public remains unaware of their enormous scale,” wrote Ilya Somin, a law professor at George Mason University, in a 2017 article in The Washington Post titled “Lessons from a century of communism.”
“Collectively, communist states killed as many as 100 million people, more than all other repressive regimes combined during the same time period. By far the biggest toll arose from communist efforts to collectivize agriculture and eliminate independent property-owning peasants. In China alone, Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward led to a man-made famine in which as many as 45 million people perished – the single biggest episode of mass murder in all of world history,” wrote Somin.
David Satter, American journalist and author, agrees. “If we add to this list the deaths caused by communist regimes that the Soviet Union created and supported—including those in Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia—the total number of victims is closer to 100 million. That makes communism the greatest catastrophe in human history,” he wrote in a 2017 Wall Street Journal article titled “100 Years of Communism–and 100 Million Dead.”
This figure translates into an average of one million per year, or more than 2,700 per day, surpassing the peak death rate during the Antonine Plague. The difference, though, is that this tragedy has continued for 100 years—and it is totally man-made. Is this accidental or conducted by some communist officials mistakenly? It is not the case, according to Somin. “Like any great historical development, the failures of communism cannot be reduced to any one single cause. But, by and large, they were indeed inherent,” he wrote.
Freedom of belief and democracy are some of America's founding principles, which are fundamentally different from the CCP’s dictatorship and atheism. Since the Nixon administration, however, the U.S. has relaxed its vigilance against the danger of communism. After the former Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991, many Western countries hoped that China would become a democratic country with their support and its open-door economic policies.
But this turned out to be wishful thinking. Collaboration and assistance from Western countries were viewed as an attempt of “peaceful evolution,” which was considered by the CCP as “the biggest threat to its continued rule.” On October 26, 2010, selected works from Deng Xiaoping were republished in China Daily with the title of “We must adhere to socialism and prevent peaceful evolution towards capitalism.” Deng wrote the piece on November 23, 1989, nearly six months after he ordered the Tiananmen Massacre.
Deng’s successors, Jiang Zemin and others, continued his directive to adhere to socialism and prevent capitalism. On the one hand, they portrayed the U.S. as “Anti-China Forces” and intensified communist ideology; on the other hand, they worked with Western countries for economic gain by selling cheap labor and products, forming a global supply chain.
By downplaying ideological differences, the CCP highly promotes global markets and the “community of common destiny.” “China is engaged in a three-pronged campaign of subversion in the United States” known as “Blue-Gold-Yellow,” wrote The Washington Free Beacon in an article on October 9, 2017, with a title of “Dissident Reveals Secret Chinese Intelligence Plans Targeting U.S.” Blue represents large-scale Chinese cyber and internet operations, gold stands for money and financial power, while yellow refers to corruption through sex.
“The Economist, meanwhile, estimates that China is spending $10 billion a year to promote its image abroad through efforts like cultural festivals, foreign media (think of those China Daily inserts that are slipped into the Washington Post) and educational exchanges. Confucius Institutes are a vital part of this mission,” wrote Ethan Epstein, associate editor of The Weekly Standard in his 2018 article published by Politico.
Together with heavy propaganda, the CCP has nearly silenced criticism from Western society for the Tiananmen Massacre as well suppression of Falun Gong, Uighurs, the Hong Kong democratic movement, and others. The persecution of Falun Gong alone has negatively affected tens of millions of practitioners and their families. A large number of practitioners have been detained, imprisoned, and tortured simply for their belief. Some suffered psychiatric abuse or became victims of forced organ harvesting.
As Thomas Jefferson explained, “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
Efforts to Curb the CCP Virus
Since the publication of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party by The Epoch Times in 2004, over 352 million Chinese have renounced their memberships in the CCP and its youth organizations, namely the Communist Youth League and the Young Pioneers.
The coronavirus pandemic has further awakened many Chinese, including journalists, who are striving to make their own voices heard. This includes Jacob Wang, a journalist for a state-run newspaper in China. As the CCP claimed that life in Wuhan was returning to normal, he “knew that Wuhan was still in crisis — he had traveled there to chronicle the failures of the government firsthand. He took to social media to set the record straight, writing a damning post last month about sick patients struggling to get medical care amid a dysfunctional bureaucracy,” reported The New York Times on March 14, 2020, in an article titled “As China Cracks Down on Coronavirus Coverage, Journalists Fight Back.”
“People were left to die, and I am very angry about that,” Mr. Wang said in an interview. “I’m a journalist, but I’m also an ordinary human being.” He and other journalists wrote articles exposing the Chinese government’s cover-ups and calling for press freedom through social media.
In such a rare challenge to the ruling Communist Party, these journalists sometimes were overwhelmed by the pressure of the censorship as well as the death and despair caused by the pandemic. “You really couldn’t sleep at night seeing all these horrible stories,” Wang said, referring to his report on the Wuhan lockdown. “It was really upsetting.”
Tenney Huang, a reporter for a state-owned publication, also spent several weeks in Wuhan. “Everyone is in a state of feeling held back and wronged,” he said. “Free expression is a way for us to fight back.”
Huang said he and other journalists turned to social media as the censorship intensified. “Facts are like firewood,” he remarked. “The more you pile on, the more fierce the flame when a spark finally lights it.”
“The history of the CCP is a process of gradually accumulating every kind of wickedness, both domestic and foreign. The CCP has perfected its nine traits inherited from communism, giving them ‘Chinese characteristics’: evil, deceit, incitement, unleashing the scum of society, espionage, robbery, fighting, elimination, and control. Responding to the continuing crises, the CCP has consolidated and strengthened the means and extent to which these malignant characteristics have been playing out,” wrote the Nine Commentaries.
“Most faiths call their adherents to look up past the things of this world. In communism, this world is all there is—a world of productivity and material goods, but nothing else. Thus the regimes that rule in its name seek to destroy the soul and deny any freedom of conscience,” wrote Marion Smith, executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, in his August 2019 article in The Wall Street Journal.
Albert Einstein once said, “If I were to remain silent, I'd be guilty of complicity.” The coronavirus could be a wake-up call for people to fully understand the immediate danger of communism.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said he considered Chernobyl one of the main nails in the coffin of the Soviet Union, which eventually collapsed in 1991. He said when he was young, he used to be fervent about communism because it claimed “justice” and “equality.”
“But in reality that terrible Communist experiment brought about repression of human dignity. Violence was used in order to impose that model on society. In the name of Communism we abandoned basic human values,” he explained. “So when I came to power in Russia I started to restore those values; values of ‘openness’ and freedom.”
Now it is our turn to carry on the mission and take action to move toward a brighter future, for our Founding Fathers and mankind, before it is too late.