Pandemic Has Accelerated Beijing’s Plans to Surpass US, Chinese Scholar Brags

November 24, 2020 Updated: November 26, 2020

A Chinese scholar bragged last month about Beijing’s handling of the pandemic, gleefully comparing China’s low official death toll from the CCP virus to that in the United States, which now numbers more than 260,000.

Li Yi, who is a sociologist and also a U.S. resident, also said the pandemic’s global economic devastation means China’s plan to surpass the United States has been accelerated.

“This COVID-19 has been the most disadvantageous to Europe and America,” Li said in a speech at a forum in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen on Oct. 16.

“It has been the most beneficial to North Korea and China.”

He pointed to the regime’s official death toll of roughly 4,000—a figure that is likely vastly fewer than the true figure, given the regime’s systemic and consistent coverup and underreporting of outbreaks across China.

“But compared to the … United States, 4,000 equates to no deaths at all, right?” he said with a laugh.

Li went on to promote China’s economic recovery amid the pandemic.

“The day that China will surpass the U.S. has advanced,” he said, adding that “2027 will not be a problem.”

“America cannot survive.”

He said that Chinese people failed to realize that “it’s not the U.S. that is cracking down on China—in fact, we are the ones pushing America out of existence.”

The speech didn’t attract public attention until Nov. 23, when Chinese media promoted the video on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform.

Li, a sociology researcher with Renmin University of China, has previously studied in the United States, receiving his master’s degree at the University of Missouri and a doctorate at the University of Illinois at Chicago, according to Li’s LinkedIn page.

He has written several books, including two in the English language about Chinese society.

This isn’t the first time that Li has denigrated the United States. He is known for promoting the regime’s socialist ideologies, and Taiwan’s unification with the mainland by force. He also regularly touts the efforts of the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department (UFWD), which oversees the regime’s foreign influence operations aimed at subverting societies in favor of Beijing.

Last October, Chinese state-run media Kunlun Ce posted an interview of Li with Flushing, New York-based radio station ICN, during which he said that the Chinese regime had successfully stirred up an anti-U.S. atmosphere amid the U.S.–China trade war, by airing anti-U.S. war programs across the country.

“I went back to China and witnessed: the severe illness that had afflicted Chinese people for the past 40 years [pro-U.S. sentiment], had been cured in a matter of five days [by watching the movies and reading propaganda materials],” Li said.

In April 2019, Li was deported from Taiwan for planning to give a speech promoting the island’s unification with China, in violation of his tourist permit. Li had been invited by a UFWD organization in Taiwan to speak about Beijing’s plans to unify with Taiwan under the model of “one country, two systems” as applied with Hong Kong and Macau.

Taiwan’s immigration agency said at the time that Li was listed “as persona non grata and he is restricted from visiting Taiwan in the future.”