Hiding Behind “Wolf Warrior Diplomacy”
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Chinese Communist Party has done its very best; not to control the outbreak at home or abroad, but to control information about its own handling of the pandemic.
Instead of accepting responsibility for early misinformation- including the disastrous assertion by Beijing in January that Covid-19 was not transmissible through human-to-human contact- the Chinese Communist Party has been engaging in a classic communist-style campaign of disinformation and propaganda.
To this end, Chinese authorities in Beijing have willingly spread dangerous misinformation- at the risk of misleading the worldwide scientific community even as they work to find a treatment, vaccine and cure for Covid-19. The CCP has expelled U.S. journalists for seeking the truth.
At a time when Chinese authorities should be in full cooperation with the international scientific community, China is instead working overtime against them. Beijing is tightening its control over the publication of scientific research papers on the origins of the coronavirus.
The Chinese Communist Party still refuses to provide accurate information to world health authorities about how many people have been tested, infected and have died in China.
The lack of accurate statistics from Chinese authorities has become so egregious, U.K. health officials have struck Chinese data from their research; it is too unreliable. Other public health organizations are going to be forced to follow suit.
No one in the international community really believes that China has had only around 4,000 total deaths from Covid-19. It is statistically improbable, if not impossible.
“The claim that the United States has more coronavirus deaths than China is false. Without commenting on any classified information, this much is painfully obvious: The Chinese Communist Party has lied, is lying and will continue to lie about coronavirus to protect its regime.” — Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NB)
The CCP’s true purpose in maintaining this scandalous fiction is not to fool the world; it is the people of China who must be made to believe that the CCP is doing a good job. And, unfortunately, that part of Beijing’s disinformation campaign is probably working.
At heart, the Chinese Communist Party’s reaction to Covid-19 has always been about power and control; preserving the reputation of the CCP at home, even at the expense of costing lives in China and around the world.
Indeed, some of China’s closest trading partners, Italy chief among them, suffered the most from the CCP’s early failures to diagnose and contain the spread of Covid-19.
The government in Beijing calls their widespread efforts to deflect, diffuse and otherwise dodge any blame for Covid-19, accountability or calls for transparency “Wolf warrior diplomacy.”
“Wolf warrior diplomacy” is a strategy focused on maintaining the prestige and reputation of the Chinese Communist Party. It is not a strategy to save the world, or even the citizens of China, from the still poorly-understood dangers of Covid-19.
“The Chinese Communist Party now has a responsibility to tell the world how this pandemic got out of China and all across the world, causing such a global economic devastation. America needs to hold them accountable.” — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. April 29, 2020.
Yet, in spite of the CCP’s many efforts to deflect criticism, the list of failures by the Chinese Communist Party in regards to the Covid-19 outbreak is long indeed. And it keeps growing by the day.
The list of countries, companies or entities who feel the Chinese Communist Party owes the world more than just an explanation for its failings is also growing.
“I’ve been heartened to see Australia, other countries joining us, demanding an investigation, because while we know this started in Wuhan, China, we don’t yet know from where it started. And in spit of our best efforts to get experts on the ground, they [the Chinese Communist Party] continue to try and hide and obfuscate.” — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Not only have other countries joined the U.S. in demanding a greater degree of cooperation from Beijing, a spate of lawsuits have been filed.
Two U.S. states are suing the Chinese Communist Party, as are law-firms in Israel and Australia. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing pressure to follow suit.
Groups of small businesses are also suing the CCP for trillions in damages.
The Chinese Communist Party has been quick to dismiss the lawsuits as farcical. But the U.S. and the rest of the world needs accountable trading partners who can be depended upon to tell the truth and act in good faith.
In addition, lawsuits are only a small piece of the China puzzle post-Covid. Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, hawkish Republican outliers like Sen. Marco Rubio were the only ones raising the alarm that critical U.S. medical supply lines had come to be dominated by Chinese manufacturers.
As part of the CCP’s “Made in China: 2025” push to bolster Chinese manufacturing, this strategy had succeeded only too well. In the fullness of time, naysayers like Rubio have been vindicated.
“The Chinese government’s mismanagement of the novel coronavirus not only spread the virus worldwide, it shut down many supply chains that the U.S. and other countries had become accustomed to; indeed, that the U.S. deeply relied upon. As we consider how our post-pandemic country will look, we should be careful to avoid a repeat of these mistakes.” — Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN). “China’s Supply Chain Threat to U.S. National Security”.
With the list of those demanding accountability from the government in Beijing growing, Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping will find it difficult to return to business as usual with China’s trading partners.
The lawsuits might not go anywhere, the international pressure from the scientific community for accurate data might not make a difference. But these efforts at least show that questions about the CCP’s handling of Covid-19 aren’t going anywhere either.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)