Last week, we wrote about the global backlash to China's pattern of bullying and bogus humanitarianism in the midst of a global pandemic exacerbated by China's secrecy and lies. Undeterred, the communists of Beijing continue to press ahead with this alienation strategy, evidently determined that economic dependence will compel the world to ignore or at least soften its collective reaction to the regime's treachery. This cynical calculation may prove correct in some cases, but they're not making many friends these days. Let's start with Australia, whose government's insistence on an independent review of how the virus originated has drawn negative reactions from Beijing. It started with dismissive taunts and has now graduated to menacing:
Australia has been warned by the Chinese ambassador that it could face an economic hit if it does not back down from a push into the nation’s handling of the coronavirus. https://t.co/A6NVi0axjz— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) April 27, 2020
Australia has been warned by the Chinese ambassador that it could face an economic hit if it does not back down from a push into the nation’s handling of the coronavirus. Ambassador Cheng Jingye on Monday said the push was “dangerous” and could encourage Chinese citizens to not purchase Australian exports or travel to the nation. The government however is not backing down from the call for an independent inquiry, with Foreign Minister Marise Payne criticising the threat of an economic hit due to the push...“We reject any suggestion that economic coercion is an appropriate response to a call for such an assessment, when what we need is global co-operation."
Good for Canberra for not backing down. These threats are outrageous, and the United States should firmly stand beside our cousins down under. Prime Minister Scott Morrison is enjoying strong popularity at home for his handling of coronavirus, so he has the political capital to stay firm. Unfortunately, in Europe, China's pressure campaign is paying early dividends. The regime was able to push the European Union to tone down its report on China's pandemic-related disinformation campaign, resulting in frail avoidance:
Bowing to heavy pressure from Beijing, European Union officials softened their criticism of China this week in a report documenting how governments push disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents, emails and interviews. Worried about the repercussions, European officials first delayed and then rewrote the document in ways that diluted the focus on China, a vital trading partner — taking a very different approach than the confrontational stance adopted by the Trump administration. The initial European Union report, obtained by The New York Times, was not particularly strident: a routine roundup of publicly available information and news reports. It cited Beijing’s efforts to curtail mentions of the virus’s origins in China, in part by blaming the United States for spreading the disease internationally. It noted that Beijing had criticized France as slow to respond to the pandemic and had pushed false accusations that French politicians used racist slurs against the head of the World Health Organization...
The report also highlighted Russian efforts to promote false health information and sow distrust in Western institutions. “China has continued to run a global disinformation campaign to deflect blame for the outbreak of the pandemic and improve its international image,” the initial report said. “Both overt and covert tactics have been observed.” But China moved quickly to block the document’s release, and the European Union pulled back. The report had been on the verge of publication, until senior officials ordered revisions to soften the language. “The Chinese are already threatening with reactions if the report comes out,” Lutz Güllner, a European Union diplomat, wrote to colleagues on Tuesday in an email seen by The Times. The sentence about China’s “global disinformation” campaign was removed, as was any mention of the dispute between China and France. Other language was toned down.
If Europe can't bring itself to tell obvious truths about China's actions in the middle of this worldwide lethal outbreak, the prospects for long term courage and clarity are rather dim. As Margaret Thatcher once said, "They're a weak lot, some of them, in Europe. Weak. Feeble." Thatcher's country is preparing to adopt a much stronger line with Beijing, with officials telling the press that London's relationship with China will never be the same after all of this. There were initial reports that the government was moving toward axing its planned 5G partnership with the Chinese telecom giant Huawei, but those rumors were swatted down. But reports persist that key players within Boris Johnson's government still want him to pull the plug on the deal. We shall see what actually happens, but America's position has been quite clear all along, and recent events only vindicate it further. Meanwhile, the Chinese pattern of exporting junk continues apace:
In India, a flood of faulty COVID19 antibody test kits purchased from Chinese companies by the Indian Council of Medical Research has triggered a controversy. From @Teensthack pic.twitter.com/9FwNw4oqyu— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) April 27, 2020
This keeps happening, all across the planet. A White House adviser says he's concerned by what he's seeing on this front here in the US: “One of the things that’s on my radar though that’s really troublesome is there is a lot of these antibody tests coming in from China now that are low quality, false readings and things like that. We've got to be really careful,” Peter Navarro told "Fox and Friends." And China's ludicrous lies just won't stop:
This is not worthy of reporting given the source of information at the Chinese government’s desire to cover up the truth.— Yashar Ali ?? (@yashar) April 26, 2020
And it’s certainly not appropriate to use “breaking” which makes it seem like newsworthy info https://t.co/4CsnZmS44m
That risible statistic comes on the heels of similarly clumsy propaganda released last week, while China's persecution and human rights abuses march forward unabated. I'll leave you with polling data that demonstrates that the American people, generally across the spectrum, are seeing this pretty clearly:
Note that opinions of China became sharply more unfavorable in 2019, before coronavirus, and did so in bipartisan fashion, suggesting it was about Hong Kong and Xinjiang, not just trade. https://t.co/n2sWHQaMhQ— Rogue Works Progress Admi?nistration (@GabrielRossman) April 23, 2020
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