Global Opinion Starts Shifting Against Beijing Amid Pandemic

By Bowen Xiao
Bowen Xiao
Bowen Xiao
Bowen Xiao was a New York-based reporter at The Epoch Times. He covers national security, human trafficking and U.S. politics.
April 28, 2020Updated: May 8, 2020

Global opinion has started to shift against Beijing as an increasing number of leaders and officials have challenged or sought to seek accountability and transparency from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over it’s handling of the pandemic.

Experts told The Epoch Times that an international falling out is occurring and will only continue to ramp up as countries start to seriously rethink their relationship with Beijing. They said leaders are becoming more wary of the communist state due to how it responded to the outbreak.

Australia—in a bipartisan effort—recently called for an independent review into how Beijing dealt with the CCP virus, widely known as the novel coronavirus. Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the probe would require “international cooperation” and “has to be made a reality.” In the wake of Payne’s remarks, Chinese Ambassador Cheng Jingye threatened Australia with an “economic hit” if it didn’t back down. Payne later responded by criticizing and rejecting the ambassador’s threat.

In Britain, politicians such as Tom Tugendhat, a Conservative Parliament member and chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, have directly called out China for covering up the virus and hampering the global response by spreading lies—while also questioning if allowing Huawei’s 5G technology into the UK was the right call.

Downing Street officials say Beijing will face a “reckoning,” as reported by The Mail, while Britain’s intelligence community—MI6 and MI5—also believe the country needs to reassess its relationship with China.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged China to be “more transparent” about the origin story of the virus, saying that it would benefit the global response.

French President Emmanuel Macron said it would be “naive” to say China has handled the pandemic better than Western democracies, and that there is no such comparison.

In a letter dated April 22, the German interior ministry said Chinese diplomats approached the country’s officials to try to persuade them to make positive statements about Beijing’s response to the pandemic. The ministry noted that “the federal government has not complied with these requests.”

Downing Street has since removed China from its comparison virus charts, which include data from a number of other countries, over concerns that the regime’s statistics are inaccurate.

In the United States, a number of lawsuits have been filed, including from state attorney generals, U.S. law firms, and everyday Americans, who have sought justice over China’s bungled response, which they argue led to the global spread of the virus.

Carole Lieberman, a forensic expert witness and legal analyst, said countries around the world are waking up to the idea that the CCP may not have benign intentions, and that for some, it’s an “inconvenient truth because they want to keep their trade deals and other benefits.”

Countries are generally considered to be immune to lawsuits unless they come under the exception of their actions being akin to terrorism, Lieberman told The Epoch Times. Some of the probes are pursuing the origins of the CCP virus and whether it was intended to be a bioweapon, or if it was from China’s reckless laboratory conditions.

“Though China may not end up having to pay the trillions that lawsuits are seeking, their reputation has suffered an irreparable blow,” Lieberman said. “The whole world will be wary of anything to do with China for the foreseeable future.”

Internal government documents obtained by The Epoch Times have highlighted how the CCP purposefully underreported cases of the CCP virus and censored discussions of the outbreak, fueling the spread of the disease.

“For years, people have more or less let things like toxic pet food and baby products, carcinogenic products, shoddy manufacturing, and so on, slide by,” Lieberman said.

“But coronavirus will be the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Officials from a barrage of countries have publicly complained about receiving shoddy medical supplies they had bought from China in order to fight the pandemic. Among this list are Spain, the Czech Republic, Turkey, the Netherlands, Canada, and Ireland. In one of the instances, rapid CCP virus tests from China failed to detect the virus accurately in 70–80 percent of all cases.

An April poll (pdf) by survey firm McLaughlin & Associates found that 75 percent of Americans felt the United States should end its dependence on China for medical imports.

Casey Fleming, chairman and CEO of intelligence and security strategy firm BlackOps Partners, said free world countries will start to join together to hold the CCP accountable “not only for the false response but also monetary losses and loss of life.”

“We need to expect China to try to control the narrative, shift blame, and use coercion in the process,” he told The Epoch Times.

The Epoch Times has documented stories of some Chinese citizens—including whistleblower doctors, citizen journalists, scholars, and business people—who have been silenced by the regime for exposing the truth.

In one of the more forceful actions in response to China, Japan is putting aside $2 billion of its stimulus money to pay companies to shift their production outside of the communist country, which ranks 177 out of 180 on press freedom in the 2019 Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index.

Waking Up

It is “unquestionable” that more and more people are waking up to the realities of what the CCP is, according to Frank Gaffney, vice chairman of the Committee on the Present Danger: China.

“What country that has suffered at the hands of this Chinese Communist Party is going to think well of them, especially as the evidence shows that if this was not a weapon that they unleashed, it certainly is serving as one,” he told The Epoch Times.

Gaffney, who was assistant secretary of defense for international security policy during the Reagan administration, said that while it would be difficult to hold a foreign country like China fully accountable for its actions, “at least we’ll do some things that will hurt them for what they’ve done.”

“I think what you’re going to see is certainly decoupling in terms of supply chains; that’s beginning already,” he said. “I think there’s some rethinking that’s going on in terms of companies planning to do a lot of business with the Chinese.”

Meanwhile, a new policy in India requires foreign direct investments to now require government approval, which could further sour relations between China and India.

But it’s not just politicians and leaders who are speaking out against the CCP, everyday citizens are starting to voice much of the same sentiment.

As Americans struggle to combat a crisis not encountered before in their lives, an April 21 poll by the Pew Research Center found that 66 percent of Americans now have a negative opinion of China—the highest percentage recorded since the center first began asking the question in 2005. These views were held similarly by both Democrats and Republicans.

In a UK YouGov poll conducted on April 17, a majority, 50 percent, voted that they did not trust “at all” the CCP virus death numbers reported by China. The second-highest option, receiving 32 percent of the vote, was that they “don’t fully trust them.”

The CCP’s coverup, which has made the pandemic exponentially worse for the rest of the world, marks the awakening of citizens around the world to “fully understanding the true evil of Chinese communism,” according to Fleming.

The growing sentiment against the CCP could cause a massive shift by U.S. and Western companies to decouple from communist China and spread their supply chain risk around the world, Fleming added, while also noting that U.S. national security policy is shifting, as seen in the new national counterintelligence strategy.

“COVID-19 has forced the world to stay at home with loss of freedom and income and plenty of free time to watch the pandemic, how the CCP has responded, and the carnage it has caused,” Fleming said.

“It is natural for citizens and governments around the world to want to hold the violator responsible. By doing so, they will remove the cloak to the true evil of communist China.”