The End State of Communist China’s Opportunism

September 14, 2021 Updated: September 17, 2021


The aggressive and expansionist actions of the Chinese Communists (ChiComs) over the past several decades are part of a grand plan to return China to its historical prominence as a world leader—this time under communist control.

After all, China was once the most advanced civilization in the ancient world. As noted here, “China was once the standard setter in advanced civilization, the center point around which the economies and cultures of much of the Earth revolved.” But the modern world is perhaps more complex than in ancient times, and the ChiComs have been playing catch-up since 1949.

Since the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976, communist China has implemented an intricate long-range strategy aimed at dominating all spheres of human endeavors. Part of that strategy involves being opportunistic when circumstances warrant, both in response to events beyond Chinese control, but also for those opportunities created through direct ChiCom manipulation—and instigation—of world events.

Opportunism might seem to be standard fare for any nation-state: to mold current events, crises, natural disasters, foreign wars, and other calamities and circumstances to its collective benefit. All nations generally act in their own self-interests if for no other motivation than self-preservation. Even corrupt third world dictatorships are opportunistic in seeking to preserve their own political power and economic control.

However, opportunism is greatly amplified by the totalitarian social controls that exist in China, as there are no real checks and balances on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) decision-making since dissension is tightly suppressed and the media are state-run and tightly controlled. Once an opportunistic course of action is decided and approved, no matter how crackpot or cynical, the ChiComs benefit from their enormous investment in both state-run media and also heavy influence in and manipulation of the foreign press to parrot CCP supporting propaganda narratives that facilitate reaching their opportunistic goals and objectives. And there are no self-regulating mechanisms in Chinese society such as legal protections for individuals and free expression that exist in many Western countries, which can curtail or redirect CCP decisions once made. The only self-regulation is the greed, competition, and factionalism within the CCP itself.

Let us examine ChiCom opportunism in the context of one of the most important issues of the day: the COVID-19 pandemic.

Epoch Times Photo
Security personnel stand in front of a residential area under lockdown near Yuquan East Market in Beijing, China, on June 15, 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)

The ChiComs early on decided to exploit the virus for their own economic, geopolitical, and psychological advantage. There has been a constant deluge of agitprop from state-run media covering every facet of the pandemic over the last 18 months that continues to this very day:

In combatting the virus in their own country, the ChiCom methods that have been employed make the natural opportunism of foreign countries look inept and haphazard by comparison. They used a “whole of government” approach, with messaging to Chinese citizens and the rest of the world in lockstep across all of their governmental agencies, controlled media, diplomatic corps, scientific exchanges, international institutions, and CCP leadership. All dissent and contrary views were and are rapidly and harshly suppressed and attacked. It was certainly no surprise that foreign correspondents were forced to leave China in the early months of the virus spread in Hubei Province and the city of Wuhan in particular. What better way to control the narrative to the rest of the world than to squelch foreign news service reporting from China?

Workers place barriers outside the closed Huanan Seafood wholesale market during a visit by members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team, investigating the origins of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China’s central Hubei Province on Jan. 31, 2021. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

One aspect of total control of the narrative was ChiCom manipulation of all virus-related statistics. The number of mainland Chinese deaths has remained fixed at 4,636 since May 2020, which is absurd since virus variants and cases have been sporadically reported in China since then, and the probability that no one has died from the virus from then to now is precisely zero in a population of nearly 1.4 billion people.

Another example of statical manipulation was a study conducted by the University of Hong Kong and published in April 2020. The study examined China’s reporting of new cases during the first wave of outbreaks through February 2020. The Chinese authorities changed case definitions seven times during the period covered, almost certainly to reduce the number of cases being publicly reported. The Hong Kong researchers developed a model using one of the inclusive case definitions and concluded that there would have been between four and six times as many cases reported than the official 55,508 cases reported during the period. To report the actual number of Chinese cases and deaths would have undermined the propaganda narrative that “Communist Chinese methods defeated the virus and need to be implemented worldwide under benevolent ChiCom leadership.”

This uniformity of purpose and action coupled with repetitive messaging is very effective in controlling the narrative. If that was not so, then countering actions by other countries, independent entities/individuals, and international institutions would be widely known and supported around the world. That virtually no one knows about it is a clear indication of the effectiveness of ChiCom messaging and influence in foreign media and institutions.

Some of the conclusions in an open letter sent to the FBI and the UK’s MI-5 are particularly startling but virtually unknown. Lockdown measures have been quite popular but deceptive and ineffective, “bankrupting millions of families and depriving millions of children of education and food.” Support for lockdowns has been more psychological and political than practical or effective because the experts have been proven wrong and/or have flip-flopped in their recommendations throughout 2020. The most profound conclusion in that letter was this: “Given the gravity of the decisions being made, we cannot ignore the possibility that the entire ‘science’ of COVID-19 lockdowns has been a fraud of unprecedented proportion, deliberately promulgated by the Chinese Communist Party and its collaborators to impoverish the nations who implemented it.”

That last sentence in a nutshell describes the cynical opportunism that the ChiComs have put in play during the virus “pandemic” since they reported Patient Zero to the WHO on Dec. 31, 2019. It is not about Chinese altruism or benevolence or concern for other people; it is all about seeking and gaining geopolitical and economic advantage at the expense of others by sowing chaos and fear through psychological warfare aimed at getting others to readily accept authoritarian decision-making. Because once people have been conditioned to acquiesce to unscientific measures such as medical-related lockdowns, the road will have been paved for the implementation of other authoritarian measures in the future. This is the ultimate price that the world will pay for ChiCom opportunism—the loss of personal and economic freedoms in exchange for ChiCom leadership and false benevolence.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Stu Cvrk
Stu Cvrk
Stu Cvrk retired as a captain after serving 30 years in the U.S. Navy in a variety of active and reserve capacities, with considerable operational experience in the Middle East and the Western Pacific. Through education and experience as an oceanographer and systems analyst, Cvrk is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he received a classical liberal education that serves as the key foundation for his political commentary.