Beijing’s Attempt to Influence Wisconsin Official Backfires, Results in Resolution Condemning Virus Cover-up

Beijing’s Attempt to Influence Wisconsin Official Backfires, Results in Resolution Condemning Virus Cover-up
Chinese police officers march in formation at Beijing Railway Station on April 4, 2020 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Cathy He
The Chinese regime’s attempt to get a Wisconsin state senator to voice support for Beijing’s CCP virus containment efforts has resulted in the lawmaker introducing a resolution slamming Beijing’s coverup of the outbreak.
Wisconsin Senator Roger Roth.
Wisconsin Senator Roger Roth.
Wisconsin Senate President Roger Roth on March 26 introduced a resolution to condemn the actions of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for “deliberately and intentionally” misleading the world about the outbreak in Wuhan, which has resulted in a “global pandemic the likes of which has not been seen for generations,” according to the resolution text.

Roth told The Epoch Times that the resolution would not have been introduced were it not for the Chinese consulate’s actions.

He received two emails from an official in the Chinese consulate in Chicago, asking him to pass a resolution the consulate drafted that would tout Wisconsin state’s support for Beijing’s efforts to combat the outbreak.

When the senator’s staff handed him a printout of the first email, dated Feb. 26, he saw that it came from a Hotmail account and thus dismissed it as a fake.

“I threw it away and thought nothing of it,” Roth said.

But when he received a followup email on March 10, the senator asked his staff to verify the email address. After inquiries through state government sources, Roth’s staff confirmed that the message was indeed sent from the consulate. Roth was told that Chinese consulate officials routinely use private email accounts.

“I got really angry, because ... by that point, the United States started to be hit by the coronavirus ... and we’re trying to prepare, and we realized that we’ve been lied to,” Roth said. “I was more than angry. I was downright furious.”

So he sent a one-word response to the consulate: “Nuts.”

“Then I signed my name and that was it,” the senator said. The consulate official replied back expressing shock to Roth’s email, but he didn’t respond.

A few days later, Roth decided to take further action. He said he told his staff, “We are introducing a resolution on China, and we’re going to pass it; it’s just not going to be the one China wants.”

The Chinese consulate in Chicago didn’t return a request for comment.

Emphasis Added

Roth said the resolution “lays out point by point” how the CCP has been “lying to the world” in relation to the outbreak.
It also calls out the Chinese consulate’s attempts to influence Roth, complete with bold, italics, and underline for added emphasis:
“The Chinese Consulate reached out to the Wisconsin Senate President requesting that the Senate pass a resolution — written by the Chinese Consulate — including propaganda and falsehoods such as: 'China has been transparent and quick in sharing key information of the virus with the WHO and the international community, thus creating a window of opportunity for other countries to make timely response.'”
While Chinese authorities first reported on the outbreak in Wuhan on Dec. 31, 2019, a South China Morning Post report, citing government records, said the regime knew about the first patient in November 2019. Authorities also silenced and reprimanded those who tried to sound the alarm about the outbreak in late December.
And while the regime confirmed human-to-human transmission on Jan. 20, evidence shows authorities knew the virus was spreading between humans well before that time.
The Chinese regime also obstructed efforts to research the virus. On Jan. 1, the Hubei provincial health authority instructed a genomics company to stop testing virus samples and to destroy all existing samples, Chinese financial magazine Caixin reported.

“The only window of opportunity they gave the world was an opportunity for this virus to spread around the world and turn into a pandemic,” Roth said.

The resolution also acknowledges that the Wisconsin senate “stands in solidarity with the Chinese people,” a reflection of the senator’s efforts to distinguish between the Chinese people and the CCP.

“I think that the Chinese people are a wonderful and great people,” Roth said. “They’ve just been held hostage by this brutal, oppressive regime for the last 70 years.”

Oppressive Regime

The resolution also highlights the communist regime’s widespread human rights abuses, including its treatment of Tibetans, its internment of Uyghur Muslims,  and forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, including Falun Gong practitioners.

“When you look at the forced abortions and sterilizations, and organ harvesting, you realize that this Communist Party of China is just a terribly oppressive and brutal regime,” he said.

It was for this reason that Roth said Wisconsin should not lend legitimacy to the CCP by passing the resolution proposed by the Chinese consulate, which the regime would in turn use for its domestic propaganda efforts.

“It’s so imperative that we in Wisconsin don’t do that and that governments around the world don’t do that,” the senator said. “Because we’re giving legitimacy to a government that has the worst human rights violations of any modern state that I’m aware of.”

In Wisconsin, like the vast majority of U.S. states, people have been directed to stay at home in a nationwide bid to contain the outbreak.

Roth said he wants the people of Wisconsin to know that “they’re sheltering at home right now, and their kids can’t attend school right now, and their spouse or relative or friend may have lost their job because the Communist Party of China decided to lie to the world.”

But he’s also hopeful that this crisis presents an opportunity for the Chinese people, once they discover the truth that the CCP lied to them.

“This could be, I hope, the catalyst to bring down the Communist Party of China and allow those people to rise again.”

Cathy He is the politics editor at the Washington D.C. bureau. She was previously an editor for U.S.-China and a reporter covering U.S.-China relations.
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