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China Must Pay a Price for COVID-19

China's Xi Jinping at BRICS Summit
China's Xi Jinping at BRICS Summit. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

China Murdered a Million Americans, So Why Do We Still Have Diplomatic Relations with Beijing? – Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s major policy address on China, scheduled for May 5th, will now be delivered at a later date. America’s top diplomat tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and was experiencing, according to State Department spokesperson Ned Price, “mild symptoms.”

Irony lives. The disease came from China. 

There is wide disagreement over the source in China of COVID, some arguing it was the result of a series of zoonotic transfers and others pointing to an origin in biological laboratories. America’s 18 intelligence agencies reach differing assessments, as President Biden’s unclassified summary of their findings, released last August 27, reveals. 

Yet there can be no reasonable disagreement over Beijing’s actions once the disease began to spread from Wuhan in central China. Chinese officials knew for weeks, in December 2019 and the following month, that SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen causing COVID-19, was highly transmissible among humans, yet they told the world it was not. When they finally admitted contagiousness, they downplayed its transmissibility. 

At the same time, the Chinese central government was locking down large portions of the country but was nonetheless pressuring others to accept arrivals from China without restrictions or quarantines. Those arrivals carried COVID from central China to the rest of the world. 

These facts lead to one horrible conclusion: A ruling group, which tightly controls the bureaucracy and continually boasts about its competence, deliberately spread the disease beyond China’s borders. As of Thursday, that means the Communist Party murdered more than 6.2 million people outside China, a toll reported by the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. That total included 996,886 Americans.

Blinken, when he delivers his long-awaited speech, is expected to talk about both working with friends to contain China and establishing “guardrails” for Chinese conduct. We are, unfortunately, long past these recommended courses of action. China has killed Americans, and there must be severe consequences. 

So here’s a suggestion for Secretary Blinken. He should declare that the United States will end virtually all contact with the Chinese regime and impose the most severe costs on it

President Biden can use his powers under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 or the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 to end trade, investment, and technical cooperation. Biden should order all Chinese state banks and enterprises to leave the United States and other Chinese companies that have cooperated with the regime. He should order all American businesses off Chinese soil.

He has the inherent authority to close China’s four remaining consulates in the United States and cut the embassy staff to the bone. The President can—and should—close American consulates in China and similarly reduce the staff in the American embassy in Beijing. 

These recommended actions are drastic, but Americans must remember their casualties. 

China, after all, has just created nearly a million Gold Star families. Make no mistake. This is a war. Although it issues official denials, Beijing is conducting “unrestricted warfare”—the title of the landmark 1999 book by two Chinese air force colonels—against the United States. 

China’s acts were almost certainly in furtherance of a long-held national plan. As Cleo Paskal of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told me last year, “China’s Communist Party uses an empirical framework called Comprehensive National Power, or CNP, to rank countries.” 

Beijing can attain the No. 1 CNP ranking by either increasing China’s CNP or decreasing the CNP of others. “If Chinese leaders realize they have an epidemic on their hands that will lower China’s CNP, it is logical to turn that epidemic into a pandemic by restricting the spread domestically while not stopping the spread internationally,” Paskal said. “That way, China’s CNP might be lowered, but so will everyone else’s, and China’s relative ranking won’t be affected, in fact, it might even improve.”

Despite its maliciousness, the Chinese central government is trying to appear benign. Zhao Lijian, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, on Thursday, wished Secretary Blinken a “speedy recovery.” 

Although Zhao stated that China could not comment on a speech that had yet to be delivered, he noted that in a recent virtual meeting between Chinese ruler Xi Jinping and President Biden, the two leaders agreed that “China and the U.S. should respect each other, co-exist in peace, and avoid confrontation.”

If that is indeed true, President Biden has failed to discharge his most solemn Constitutional duty: to defend the United States and its people from foreign attack.

“The world deserves answers, and I will not rest until we get them,” Biden said in his August 27 statement on the disease’s origins. Nonetheless, there is no evidence that in his various virtual summits with Xi he has ever raised the question about COVID’s origins. 

The plain fact is that Biden, Blinken, and others in the administration do not want to know what China did, because knowing would force them into taking action. 

The American people, however, deserve answers about the disease’s origins, but, more important, they deserve to be protected. COVID-19 is not the last disease that will come from Chinese soil.

Gordon G. Chang is the author of The Coming Collapse of China and The Great U.S.-China Tech War. Follow him on Twitter @GordonGChang

Written By

Gordon G. Chang is the author of The Great U.S.-China Tech War and Losing South Korea, booklets released by Encounter Books. His previous books are Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World and The Coming Collapse of China, both from Random House. Chang lived and worked in China and Hong Kong for almost two decades, most recently in Shanghai, as Counsel to the American law firm Paul Weiss and earlier in Hong Kong as Partner in the international law firm Baker & McKenzie.

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Commentar

    May 6, 2022 at 7:16 am

    China, or more accurately, xi jumping is in total cahoots with the USA in spreading the covid virus around the world.

    Xi jumping was ( still is ) chummy chummy with Obama, Biden, the US Democratic party and US Pentagon that signed a bio lab agreement with ukraine and subsequently staged the power grab or coup in kiev in 2014.

    After US signed the bio agreement, the Pentagon set up bio research labs eventually numbering nearly 30 and doing research in viruses, rearing insects and other deadly stuff including highly contagious pathogens like coronavirus and asf.

    Xi jumping must have known about those nefarious US acts because he was PERSONALLY involved in investing money in Ukrainian companies which are now WORTHLESS due to the war.

    Further, xi was so reckless he staged 2019 military world games in Oct 2019 despite already knowing USA had staged the f-o-r-e-b-o-d-i-n-g ‘crimson contagion’ live bio hazard exercise in Jan 2019. Like kissing the deadly spider even though spider already held poison in its fang….

    Xi jinping was in Myanmar signing a treaty for belt and road projects and later held photo ops in south when AFP was shouting SARS ! SARS! SARS in Wuhan !!!

    But xi jinping should be pulled from his high horse and sent straight to prison for one single reason – allowing foreign ‘tourists’ to converge in Guangdong and setting up factories exporting opioids to US while trump was president.

  2. MAGA MAGA

    May 6, 2022 at 7:48 am

    John Hopkins institute itself has been involved in unethical bio experiments in Latin America in the 1940s and early 1950s and thus the US is a major suspect in covid infecting the world.

  3. Jack

    May 6, 2022 at 8:12 am

    The US should develop a 5 year plan to stop all imports from China

    No need to fight, just disconnect from them.

    We should not send $$$ to people that are actively plotting against us

    • ReadandShare

      May 7, 2022 at 12:54 pm

      Reading this article makes me think of a bunch of spoiled children whining!

      Author blames China for basically failing to shut itself down right at the onset of Covid – before anyone knew what it was! But how did we handle this? Months after the word got out, and having seen devastation in both China and Europe (Italy, Spain, etc.) – in other words, armed with so much more information – we too failed to contain the disease within our borders! So how can we blame China for failure to deal with an unknown when we ourselves failed spectacularly even when armed with much more knowledge?

      As well, look at the likes of Taiwan or Australia or Vietnam, etc. who took Covid seriously and managed to come out almost unscathed! So stop blaming China for our own dysfunctions!

      But wait. Case numbers are rising worldwide in 2022 due to Omicron variants – including China itself and even Taiwan! Well, one could blame the VARIANTS on failure of the rest of the world to contain Covid. In other words, many Asian countries dealt with Covid successfully… until variants arising from ELSEWHERE made Covid many times more transmissible.

      So America, Europe and Africa should be made to pay for the devastations caused by Omicron? Actually, no. That would be just as ludicrous as what Michael Chang wrote above!

      • ReadandShare

        May 7, 2022 at 12:55 pm

        Correction to above: I meant GORDON Chang.

  4. Tallifer

    May 6, 2022 at 9:33 am

    China is the source of the Plague, but 1,000,000 Americans died because so many of them (or their neighbours who infected them) refused to wear a mask, keep a safe distance or get vaccinated. There are nations who have suffered a far, far lower per capita death ration. China is paying her own come uppance for secrecy and corrupt policy these days through death and economic lockdown.

    • ReadandShare

      May 7, 2022 at 1:56 pm

      Actually, you can argue that China (and Taiwan too) are suffering the effects of VARIANTS due to African, American and European failures to do the right things — thus allowing Covid variants to keep cropping up.

  5. Mike

    May 6, 2022 at 9:40 am

    There are only 2 possibilities: either it was an act of war, or an act of monumental incompetence, which the Chinese attempted to cover up. In either case, there needs to be a price paid.

  6. Louis Blaine

    May 6, 2022 at 9:45 am

    You are conveniently ignoring the fact that president Trump totally refused to acknowlege the serious nature of the virus while it spread across our country. There is a least as much blood on his hands as anyones. If we had taken the severe lockdown measures that China finally did hundreds of thousands of lives would have been saved. Cutting off Chinese trade, given the amount of Chinese investment in our country would destroy our economy. Trade is global, get over it.
    We may not trust China or like China but the portion of our trade that is sourced from China cannot be ‘brought home’ in any rational economic model.

    • Vladolph Putler

      May 6, 2022 at 1:06 pm

      We absolutely could return manufacturing to the US. Or some other friendly nation, or economic bloc. The only obstacle is raw materials, which also are merely a minor obstacle due to regulatory morass.

      As to your pal Trump? Yeah, he worked pretty hard to downplay Covid. And had some pretty walleyed off the cuff notions about treatment.

      But he also worked with Congress to secure critical resources such as PPE (which was a REAL challenge), ventilators, and delivered remarkably effective vaccines in astoundingly fast timelines.

      Lockdowns? Yeah. They bought some time for vaccines to come online. But China is still soiling the bed dealing with it in their own “special” way. Love China so much? Go move there. Lovely government. Has their own summer “camps”. Even with limited lockdowns in the US, consequences were SEVERE. There were no good options. Child abuse, substance abuse, domestic violence, suicide THROUGH THE ROOF due to lockdown despair. It may have been necessary, but it was not as glorious as China loving morons such as yourself seem to think.

  7. Eric

    May 6, 2022 at 9:45 am

    If there was proof that China intentionally spread the virus, wouldn’t the anti-China wing of the GOP pass some anti-China laws while they were in power? I don’t get it.

    Even if China’s leaders acted maliciously, I find it difficult to believe that they would have contained it when they tried. No large country on Earth managed to contain it. New Zealand and Australia did a pretty good job at containing the virus but at great cost to individual civil liberties.

    • Vladolph Putler

      May 6, 2022 at 10:07 am

      Um. They did. We put tariffs on their goods en masse. That China intentionally spread the virus IS proven.

      How they have avoided the damning circumstantial evidence that they manufactured it and fumbled it out of the lab like they did TWICE with SARS COV1 is sort of astounding though. That idiocy is why we helped them build a BSL3 facility. But tools don’t overcome incompetence, clearly.

      I mean seriously. China is a big place. And the epicenter of the outbreak is literally one freeway exit away from their premier biolab which is studying coronaviruses? Wuhan Institute for Virology is literally just across a bridge from the wet market. Look on Google maps.

      Probably like when the USSR had an accidental release of a huge tanker of anthrax and killed a town in Ukraine during the cold war. No one wanted to call them out because of concerns of uncontrollable escalation.

  8. Joe Comment

    May 6, 2022 at 1:11 pm

    Even if these premises are correct (which is far from clear), this argument is purely emotional: “Our rival did something bad so we must hit back.” That is not a sound basis for policy. If we believe hitting back would accomplish something, for example make China reform its health care system so they do a better job managing future virus outbreaks, it could be useful to do so. Otherwise, this is at most another narrative to help hype a hawkish stance toward China, not a main motive in itself.

  9. Glenn

    May 6, 2022 at 2:20 pm

    China spawned covid-19 but the US triggered the 2008 economic collapse. That caused a $2 trillion loss in the global economy, thousands of lives upended or just plain ended, and devastated national economies from Greece to Mexico. The US response, tellingly, was similar to China’s. No accountability, no investigation into the root causes, no apology. I’m as anti-CCP as Gordon Chang, but his hysteria is as wide as is the US’s hypocrisy.

  10. Luis Espinal

    May 6, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    As much as I dislike China’s initial attitudes on COVID19, it is bs to claim it killed a million Americans.

    With our stupid attitudes about social compromise, and public health, in particular against mask mandates and vaccinations, we did this to ourselves.

    Regardless of what China did (and I do agree the CCP needs to pay for this), we cannot pretend to wash our hands from our own personal responsibility on this mess.

    It’s possible that 200-300 thousand COVID fatalities were unavoidable, but 800 to 600K fatalities, that’s our own doing for not doing enough at the government, social and individual level.

  11. Mort

    May 6, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    The Black Death, that killed half of Europe, came from the same province as Wuhan. SARS escaped a Beijing lab twice. China has the bird flu, pig flu, and other animal viruses. And now COVID-19 comes from: Wuhan. It will happen again in China. It is just a matter of time.

  12. Hugh Roberts

    May 7, 2022 at 7:23 am

    Even if the Virus came from China, it came from the lab that’s under AMERICA’S control. It came from Dr. Fauci and co’s controlled lab. The US obviously is behind Covid. Not to mention the US’s 30 or so biolabs in Ukraine and over 100 around the world. The US wants the public to believe that all their biolabs in Ukraine on Russia’s borders are for good, ethical reasons like developing vaccines. What a joke.

  13. Vladolph Putler

    May 7, 2022 at 10:50 am

    Conspiracy theories to repaint what is obviously China’s screw up is idiotic. Those theories are spoon fed to the unwary in the comments sections of conservative news outlets by China’s “fifty cent army”. You are carrying water for Chinese propaganda. Quit being an idiot. Same goes for Russian misinformation. Quit being an IDIOT.

    Everyone here should glance at the JOE COMMENT.

    If the US made the virus, we would have already had the vaccine. But if we weren’t working with the Chinese to prevent further Chinese SARS1 escape debacles, we wouldn’t have had a leg up on a SARS2 vaccine. It was in the interest of the US government to be involved. Especially with the *BIZARRELY* irresponsible behavior in Chinese labs.

    Now to the left wing idiots: Masks don’t work and never did. Public Health never even made this claim. Contagion rate with masks except in the most controlled and professional environments never dropped below “1”. The purpose was merely to reduce spread and keep the hospitals from being overwhelmed. Everyone was going to get it, hopefully after being vaccinated.

    Viruses don’t give a squat about your political ideology. On either side. But foreign governments such as Russia and China do. They care quite a lot.

    Mussolini and Hitler aren’t on either of your sides, idiots! 😛

  14. Jacksonian Libertarian

    May 7, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    This was not an accidental release of the genetically engineer bioweapon. It was intentional, with multiple layers of Maskirovka and Disinformation, prepared over years in order to prevent an immediate counterattack. The actions of the Communist Regime were too well coordinated and planned, for there to be any other explanation. The results speak for themselves; with intimidation operations on China’s borders (India, China Sea, etc.), the oppression of Hong Kong which was successfully resisting Communist authority, the strategic elimination by infection of both US Aircraft Carriers in the region, the imposition of the Social Credit system which eliminated/silenced the phones of 75 million less loyal Chinese, the oppression of the Chinese people, the list goes on and on, with the loss of freedom and damaged economies around the world, rampant authoritarianism, the election loss of Trump to bribed Biden, the end of tariffs by Biden, etc.

    Actions speak louder than words.

  15. Alex

    May 8, 2022 at 4:17 pm

    Bandera Nazi in the comments even here recalls the USSR and Russia. Ass on fire at the Bandera pig.
    And now seriously: the truth may turn out to be much simpler – more than 30 biological laboratories in Ukraine speak volumes. It is good that the Ukrainians of Donbass and the Russian army have collected enough evidence to demonstrate it soon.

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