CCP Wants to Infect the World as It Rejects International Travel Curbs, Conceals COVID Data: Gordon Chang

CCP Wants to Infect the World as It Rejects International Travel Curbs, Conceals COVID Data: Gordon Chang
A patient on oxygen is wheeled on a gurney into a busy emergency room at a hospital in Beijing, China, on Jan. 2, 2023. (Getty Images)
Jan Jekielek
1/6/2023
Updated:
1/11/2023
As a deadly new virus first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, the regime downplayed its severity and concealed the true scale of the outbreak.
It wasn’t until late January 2020 that Chinese officials disclosed that the mysterious virus was capable of transmitting between humans. The delay in public warning allowed the disease to develop into a global pandemic. By the time Wuhan was locked down, cases had already been reported in the United States, Thailand, and several other countries.

To contain the virus’s advance, dozens of nations imposed travel restrictions on Chinese visitors around February 2020. The regime, in response, lashed out at countries taking precautionary measures, with the Chinese Foreign Ministry accusing these nations of “sowing panic,” even though a swath of China had shut down.

“You put those two things together, and it means they deliberately spread this disease beyond its borders,” Gordon Chang, author and a senior fellow of Gatestone Institute, said in a recent interview with EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program, which premiered on Jan. 7.

“The reason why we need that context is because we’re seeing something similar today. As this disease ... is ripping through China, they are now opening up the doors to Chinese leaving [the] country for tourism. And they are not sharing sequencing. They’re not telling the world what’s actually going on in China right now.”

Gordon Chang, China analyst and author of "The Coming Collapse of China," in New York on Jan. 3, 2023. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)
Gordon Chang, China analyst and author of "The Coming Collapse of China," in New York on Jan. 3, 2023. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

His comments come as the regime becomes increasingly angry at countries requiring travelers from China to take COVID-19 tests, measures taken ahead of the regime’s border reopening on Jan. 8.

“We will take corresponding measures based on the principle of reciprocity according to different situations,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, said on Jan. 10.

China is battling with a massive outbreak that has yet to peak. The World Health Organization is appealing for transparency, stating that China’s official tallies are underreporting the actual scale of the outbreak.
China’s top health body stopped publishing daily infections and has acknowledged only a handful of deaths during the current outbreak. But as many as 248 million people, or 18 percent of the country’s population, were estimated to have caught the virus between Dec. 1 and Dec. 20, according to a memo from the health regulator’s internal meeting leaked online and confirmed by media outlets. Local officials and domestic health experts estimated that the infection rate likely exceeded 50 percent in multiple provinces and reached 80 percent in Beijing.

Amid the explosive outbreak, the lack of reliable data has stoked global concerns, particularly regarding the possibility of a new, more dangerous variant circulating in the country.

Travelers of a flight from China enter the COVID-19 testing center of the Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport in Roissy, outside Paris, on January 1, 2023. (Julien De Rosa/AFP via Getty Images)
Travelers of a flight from China enter the COVID-19 testing center of the Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport in Roissy, outside Paris, on January 1, 2023. (Julien De Rosa/AFP via Getty Images)
The United States and more than a dozen nations now require a negative COVID-19 test result for visitors from China. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the measure is to impede the spread of COVID-19 on American soil, given “the lack of adequate and transparent epidemiological and viral genomic sequence data.” The agency is now considering measures such as sampling wastewater from flights from China to track potential new variants.

Such responses aren’t enough if the regime is once again seeking to “deliberately” infect the world, according to Chang.

“That’s entirely wrong. I mean, if China is doing this again, and it’s clear that they are, then we should not be allowing arrivals in from China until we know what the devil is going on,” he said.

Reasons for Abandonment of Zero-COVID

Since the initial lockdown of Wuhan, the regime had vowed to eliminate every infection among communities through repeated testings, swift lockdowns, prolonged quarantine, and digital surveillance. By mid-October 2022, when Chinese leader Xi Jinping claimed an unprecedented third term in office during the 20th Party congress, he doubled down on the communist-style campaign, known as zero-COVID, despite the growing economic and human toll.

Then, following historic nationwide protests in late November 2022, the regime abruptly reversed course and scrapped most of the zero-COVID policy.

In reality, the long-held strategy was already under strain ahead of the reversal, Chang noted.

“The World Health Organization actually said that the virus was surging through China before the lockdowns were lifted on Dec. 7, so that they were saying the lifting of the lockdowns didn’t cause the surge because it was already there,” the analyst said.

“When you start looking at the data ... we’re seeing that there really were infections, and now it is just completely out of control.”

The COVID-19 crisis set off even before the protests. Official daily infections surged to nearly 40,000 on Nov. 27, 2022, up from 3,837 new cases on Nov. 5, 2022—a record high in cases prompting more local controls. However, the official figures are still likely a vast undercount given the communist regime’s practice of covering up data that may tarnish its image.

Protesters shout slogans during a protest against the Chinese Communist Party's strict zero-COVID measures in Beijing on Nov. 28, 2022. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Protesters shout slogans during a protest against the Chinese Communist Party's strict zero-COVID measures in Beijing on Nov. 28, 2022. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
From Nov. 26, 2022, rare protests against the draconian curbs erupted in major cities and prominent university campuses across the nation. Some young demonstrators in Shanghai went even further, calling for Xi and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to step down.

“[That bold voice] frightened the Communist Party,” Chang said. “That means that the mood was revolutionary.”

Beyond the widespread anger, the fight against COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on the economy. The daily testings and constant tracing of close contacts over the prior three years have drained local finances and hammered the country’s shaky economy, he said.

As COVID-19 outbreaks kept repeating, the implementation of the costly approach was “just not possible anymore for the party,” according to Chang.

“They just didn’t have the resources to do it,” he said.

Mounting economic costs, a slowing economy, and a rapid COVID-19 surge despite tightened lockdowns combined with the biggest display of public discontent in decades finally pushed the regime to relinquish the zero-COVID policy long championed by the CCP, according to Chang.
“Those four reasons are essentially why the Communist Party didn’t change its policies on Dec. 7, it just capitulated to the disease,” he said. “This is the collapse of Communist Party policy.”

COVID ‘Conquered Communism’

Outbreaks are now spreading unabated through the nation’s population of 1.4 billion people who have low natural immunity after three years of strict lockdowns, leaving ill-prepared hospitals inundated with patients and crematoriums overloaded with bodies, essentially a reprise of what happened in Wuhan and other Chineses cities in early 2020.

The chaotic scenes reveal that the “communist party policy was a failure,” Chang said.

The anti-COVID campaign originated from a Chinese communist ideology that humans are over heaven.

“Battling with heaven is endless joy, fighting with the earth is endless joy, and struggling with humanity is endless joy,” Mao Zedong, the first leader of the CCP, once said.

“Mao talked about conquering nature, well Xi Jinping obviously thought he could conquer the disease,” Chang said.

“We saw the Communist Party, despite its great efforts, was not able to stop this. And that’s why we’re having just unfolding tragedy in China right now.

“And eventually the disease conquered communism.”

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