First we need to get something out of the way: Yes, local officials – not the national PRC government – apparently did censor doctors in Wuhan who were telling the truth about a novel coronavirus that broke out there. It delayed the response and was irresponsible,
I suppose, however, that these whistle-blowing docs were seen initially as dissidents. And do you know what dissidents are today in the vast Asian space around Russia and China? Typically, they are disgruntled misfits inspired, and often paid, by US-based activists working hard in US NGOs with billions in US financing, both governmental and private, to bring down these governments. Kyrgyzstan is crawling with them. So is Kazakhstan. Georgia and Uzbekistan, as well as Montenegro to the west. All are targets for regime change. But China is a prime target, as is Russia. These do-gooders see their task as dragging these countries away from their home governments and putting the Neo-colonial USA in charge of things. Their chef d’oeuvre is Ukraine, which they set about to democratize and freedomize in 2014, even sending the assistant secretary of state to the Maidan to hand out brochures and pastries to the unsuspecting protesters, who weren’t sure what it was they wanted – though they figured if the fabulously wealthy US is behind this, they’d prosper. The result? Ukraine is now the poorest country in Europe, according to IMF stats, is ungovernable, hopelessly corrupt and at war with itself.
These regime change interventions are China’s biggest fear. So they are quick to swat down dissent. The local officials were wrong in that case. But can you blame them for being nervous?
We recently read that Senator Marco Rubio, who ran against Trump in 2016 on the platform that Trump’s hands were too small, is now shrieking that the US is too dependent on China and this latest novel coronavirus outbreak supposedly proves this. Funny thing though. China managed to get the epidemic under control in record time while US officials are still saying “wha hoppen?” and running around like beheaded chickens. Could it be that dependence on China is not the real issue here? I mean, Rubio is a politician and his mouth was moving.
The reason for Rubio’s Chicken Little warning was an op-ed in a Chinese newspaper that Rubio – who would love to be president and saw how Trump succeeded by blaming scapegoats for all of America’s problems – claimed was a threat to all of America.
Rubio’s comment was picked up by major news outlets. The US government newspaper The Blaze ran the headline:
Communist China threatens to deny lifesaving coronavirus medication to the US,
with the subtext:
Sen. Rubio warns the US is 'dangerously reliant' on China
Rubio’s hysteria was over an article in a Chinese government online newspaper Xinhuanet. It was in Chinese and I went to the trouble of reading it just to see what the fuss was all about.
Here is what I discovered, not to my surprise.
1—it is not a threat. The fact that it is in Chinese shows it was not intended for Western audiences. You can't threaten someone if you don't communicate in their language. I translated the most relevant paragraphs for you. See below.
2—It is not written by a Chinese official. It was an anonymous selection from WeChat, a Chinese social media network. Although the Chinese author did not say it, the US has, after all, imposed vicious sanctions on at least 4 countries that most certainly killed many people through starvation and lack of medicine. Cuba, Iraq, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela and Iran, for example. Now that the US has been hit by the devastating epidemic, how do you like sanctions, folks? This is what the US has been doing for years to innocent civilians everywhere! And American msm and pols have the nerve to thow stones at China!
3—The author goes on to point out that the Chinese government is not like the vindictive US government and would never deny Americans badly needed medical supplies and equipment. So how is this a threat?
Below is our translation of the most relevant passages of the Xinhua op-ed referenced by the US government news outlets, with notes by Vince Dhimos [in brackets]. The first three paragraphs are the ones that caused all the hubbub, taken out of context, of course.
TRANSLATION FROM http://www.xinhuanet.com/2020-03/04/c_1125660473.htm published March 3:
If China retaliated against the United States at this time, in addition to announcing the travel ban on the United States, and if it also announced strategic control of medical products and a ban on exports to the United States, then the United States would fall into the ocean of novel coronavirus.
According to the US CDC officials, most masks in the United States are made in China and imported from China. If China banned the export of masks to the United States, the United States would experience a mask shortage, and the most basic measures to prevent the novel coronavirus would be impossible.
[The next paragraph makes an oblique allusion to Trump’s insistence on having all products made in the US and perhaps to his offer to buy out German company CureVac, having all its future COVID19 cures manufactured in the US with exclusive US rights to all its patents.]. The author is simply saying that China would never do anything this juvenile and selfish.]
Also according to US CDC officials, most of the drugs in the United States are imported, and some drugs are imported from Europe. However, Europe also places the production base of these drugs in China, so more than 90% of the US imported drugs are related to China. The implication is that at this time, if China announced that its drugs should be as domestic as possible and banned exports, the United States would fall into the hell of the novel coronavirus infection epidemic.
[The paragraph below shows why this was not a threat but a reminder that China behaves like a civilized country, unlike the US]
However, there is a great love in the world. The Chinese people and the Chinese government have never done this sort of thing. They have not insulted the United States, nor have they banned the export of masks and medicines to the United States. As China’s novel coronavirus infection epidemic is gradually controlled, China’s ability to export masks and medicines will be greatly enhanced, and the United States is one of the countries on the demand side. US government officials, such as Secretary of Commerce Rose, US Secretary of State Pompeo, and US White House Economic Adviser Navarro, have publicly gloated over China's novel coronavirus infection epidemic, saying that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus infection epidemic in China is good for the United States and will help companies return to the United States. It also called on companies around the world to consider the risks of China's supply chain. Even the infamous "Wall Street Journal" published a famous "China is the real sick man in Asia," and the "New York Times" in the United States also published a document condemning the closure of Wuhan, China, as a violation of human rights. The American culture of throwing stones is really shameless. Today, Feng Shui [a Chinese system of interior home design said to bring good luck] is turning around, and the United States has become a victim of the novel coronavirus epidemic. At this time, China has not thrown stones and has not condemned the United States. At this time, the United States should put its mistakes behind it and apologize to China for its actions.