Why the Chinese Communist Party Lied About the Outbreak

Why the Chinese Communist Party Lied About the Outbreak
A memorial for Dr. Li Wenliang, a CCP virus whistleblower, outside the University of California–Los Angeles campus in Westwood, Calif., on Feb. 15, 2020.(Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images)
Heng He

A group of 100 Chinese scholars published an open letter urging the United States and China to work together to fight the CCP virus.

This open letter was immediately echoed by about 100 former U.S. government officials. China’s ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, promoted this idea in a New York Times op-ed. Obviously, this is the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) new public relations effort, meant to turn the wave against it to its advantage.
The problem is: Is it possible for the United States and China to work together to solve a global problem? There is a difference between “should” and “can.” China’s dishonesty stands in the way.

A Pandemic of Lies

Now we all know that from day one, the Chinese authorities at different levels did everything possible to cover up the outbreak and lied to Chinese people and the world.
The most important events include: punishing Dr. Ai Fen, who first circulated a report about a new SARS-like virus, and the whistleblower Dr. Li Wenliang and other doctors; forbidding companies from sequencing the samples and reporting the results; ordering the destruction or surrender of existing samples by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Wuhan City and Hubei Province; shutting down the Shanghai lab that revealed the virus gene sequence to the world; hiding critical information about human-to-human transmission, and much more.

Even today, nobody knows how many people have been infected and how many have died of the Wuhan pneumonia in China. The lying and coverup are far worse than just inaction.

The real question is: If they had the chance to do it again, would there be any difference? The answer is no. The CCP would have done exactly the same because the whole system is based on lies and designed to lie. There is just no place for truth under the CCP’s rule.

Remember, after the CCP punished Dr. Li for telling the truth about the CCP virus, they then, after he died, announced he was a martyr for fighting it. Then, three citizen reporters—Chen Shiqiu, Fang Bin, and Li Zehua—were kidnapped by the local Wuhan police. What are their crimes? They reported the truth about what happened in Wuhan during the lockdown, which contradicted the CCP’s misinformation. They are still missing.

When the SARS epidemic ended, top anti-viral expert Dr. Zhong Nanshan was asked during an interview what lesson was learned. He said that there would be no coverup next time. The reality is that, this time, the CCP repeated every mistake it made during the SARS outbreak.

The only thing for sure is that if there is another outbreak in the future, there will be the same coverup and lies. It’s not some individual official’s decisions to coverup and lie; that should be much easier to handle and correct. From the Party boss of Wuhan Central Hospital to regime leader Xi Jinping, everybody played a role and nobody seems responsible. If the coverup involved officials being replaced by other officials, the results would be still the same.

History of Lying

Not long after I came to the United States about 30 years ago, I found out that everything I had learned about China’s modern history was a lie. Not only were the events lies, the CCP also created special terms to enhance the effects.

The following are some examples in standard textbooks: CCP was the leader of the anti-Japanese War, while in reality, the CCP hid in Yan'an doing internal cleansing to kill its own members; the Korean War, which, in China, is called the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea, was initially caused by an invasion led by the United States; and the great famine, which is named “the three-year natural disaster,” was caused by the Soviet Union’s demanding payment of debts after the disaster, instead of by the Great Leap Forward.

The lies not only exist in the propaganda machine and education system, they are everywhere, deeply permeating the whole Party and government system and ordinary people’s lives. For officials at different levels, it’s not why they lie, but that they have never learned to tell the truth. It’s just not in their blood. The system rewards the bad and punishes the good.

Anyone with the conscience to tell the truth either couldn’t get into the system or would have been kicked out long before they had a chance to be promoted.

The CCP considers any truth as a threat to its rule. Mao initiated many political campaigns to make sure that nobody dared to seek the truth. The persecution of Falun Gong and other religious groups also sends the message to people that believing in truth will bring danger to themselves.

The CCP’s lies are protected by the legal system. Whoever tries to expose the CCP’s lies will be punished by the legal system and even forced to confess on television, as many human rights lawyers can attest.

When the CCP didn’t keep the promises it made in 2001 to the World Trade Organization, it just extended its daily domestic practice to international affairs. People shouldn’t be surprised to see Huawei and other Chinese companies violating UN sanctions by helping Iran and North Korea.

Face Mask Diplomacy

During the early stage of the outbreak, China bought almost the entire U.S. stock of face masks, from regular face masks to N95 respirators, leaving U.S. health care workers defenseless. This wasn’t individual action by some companies and overseas Chinese. It was well planned and organized by the top leadership.

According to a Chinese media report, on Jan. 28, a chartered Boeing 747 cargo plane fully loaded with personal protective equipment (PPE) left for China from Chicago. While the report’s headline is “Overseas Chinese and Students Chartered Aircraft with Donated PPE to China,” the article’s content tells a different story. The event was organized by Yidianzixun, a news aggregation website, and the China Siyuan Foundation for Poverty Alleviation.

The chartered aircraft and 80 percent of the PPE were financed by Yidianzixun, and not by donations. The China Siyuan Foundation for Poverty Alleviation is run by the CCP Department of United Front Work, which specializes in recruiting individuals and organizations outside China to support the CCP. Perhaps the Foundation organized some donations, or just picked up the rest of the cost itself.

The major shareholder of Yidianzixun is Chen Ming, the vice president of Phoenix News Media. When a reporter from Phoenix TV asked President Donald Trump during a press briefing on April 6 if he wanted to work with China on securing medical supplies amid the pandemic, Trump asked her if she was from China’s state media and she denied it.

Actually, Liu Changle, the founder of Phoenix, once claimed that Phoenix was the little brother of the state-run China Central TV (CCTV).

The China model can’t be copied, whether regarding the economy or fighting the CCP virus. It requires not only lying about everything but also the no-escape censorship, one-voice propaganda, no free media, and the fast reaction of the police force to lock up citizens who don’t fit into the web of lies. How could any country copy that?

There’s also no experience that can be learned from China. When all data is faked, how can we know which measure is effective fighting the virus, even if the new cases have truly declined?

So far, not a single country or international organization has benefited from the CCP’s information and help. It turns out that the World Health Organization (WHO) misled and failed the world by endorsing all the CCP’s claims and data.

Taiwan is the exception. Not only didn’t it get help but was rejected and isolated by WHO, and look at how well it’s doing. The world would be better off without the CCP and WHO.

As for the medical supplies provided by China, they are either of inferior quality, such as recalled face masks in the Netherlands and the faulty testing kits in Czechia and Spain, or China has set conditions for receiving them. That’s not cooperation.

Everything is weaponized by the CCP.

If the co-signers of the statement by former U.S. officials really want the United States to work with the Chinese, the first thing they must do is to ask the Chinese regime to stop lying and offer the real data to the international community.

Cooperation should start with trust. How could anybody trust a regime that hasn’t told a single truth about the worst pandemic since the 1918 Spanish flu? The CCP has repeatedly cheated the world.

This time, maybe it’s the last time. It’s a real wake-up call.

Heng He is a commentator on Sound of Hope Radio, a China analyst for NTD, and a writer for The Epoch Times newspaper.
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Heng He is a commentator on Sound of Hope Radio, China analyst on NTD's "Focus Talk," and a writer for The Epoch Times.
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