3/13/2020 – The Origin of the Virus? Xi Is Using Every Dictator’s Playbook

Posted on Mar 13, 2020

Jianli Yang
March 13, 2020

On February 28, I wrote a letter to Vice President Pence who is in charge of the US response to Wuhan virus also known as Covid-19.  (Read Letter Here)

In the letter I asked Vice President Pence to take lead in enforcing an international investigation into the origin of the virus and press China for its cooperation. The day before, on February 27, Professor Zhong Nanshan, China’s leading expert on COVID-19, publicly said that given outbreaks of the disease elsewhere, the virus may not have originated in China. I thought that given Zhong’s official status as the leading expert of China’s National Health Commission and, hence, one of the faces of the country’s effort to contain the virus, his statement, largely overlooked by the international media, would have important implications.

In the letter, I informed Vice President Pence of numerous conspiracy theories about the origin of the virus spreading in China, including those attributing it to the United States with many believing the rumor that the U.S. Army launched the virus as a biological bomb through the 7th CISM Military World Games, which had been held in Wuhan on Oct. 18-27, 2019. I said in the letter “Nobody knows the role of the Chinese government in the origin and spread of this rumor.”

Here you are. Now we all know what role the Chinese government has played.

Zhao Lijian, the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tweeted yesterday “… …It [the virus] might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owes us an explanation.”

The CCP regime has engaged in massive propaganda maneuver ever since the outbreak of the Wuhan virus. It has controlled information, and spread misinformation. It has praised Xi Jinping’s leadership, blamed local officials, and invited the people to love and loyal to the Party and its leader. Signified by Professor Zhong Nanshan’s statement, at the end of last month, China’s propaganda underwent a sharp narrative shift to turn to blame America.

People may wonder why China would have to resort to the gamic risking international relations crisis. This is not new at all; Xi Jinping is drawing formulas from the old playbook of world dictators: diverting internal pressure to external.

The epidemic has exposed the bankruptcy of the CCP ruler. Xi Jinping, surrounded by criticism, mocks and angers, has in recent months met multiple rounds of resistances from people both from without and within the party and undergone many public relations disasters. These names and stories have illustrated the beginning of the unraveling of the CCP’s propaganda and control: Li WenliangXu ZhangruiXu ZhiyongHe WeifangChen QiushiFang Fang , Ai FenZhao ShilinRen ZhiqiangYe Daying …

We are also seeing the trend of the brave voices going from without to within the Party. There are many indications (I don’t have space for elaboration) showing Xi is meeting increasingly wide and strong opposition within the Party. The opposition is not beginning today but can be traced back at latest two years ago when Xi removed the term limits from China’s Constitution clearly revealing his ambition to become President for life; only the opposition has been awaiting opportunity to become viable. Here you are. Now it is critical time for him not only to struggle to enter the third term but also to hold on to power itself. Yes, America has become a convenient enemy for him to divert crisis and pressure away. Fierce confrontation and conflict with America, he thinks, will help him to mobilize people behind his nationalist banner, strengthen his hand in suppressing opposition both in and outside the Party and to help him gain a mandate to be King.

The US must understand Xi Jinping’s playbook and must have countering strategies and a contingency plan on a drastic political change in China during and after the epidemic. First of all, America must counter China’s narrative on the origin of the virus. I agree with Zhao Lijian on one point that the U.S. Government owes us an explanation. So does every government owe its people an explanation regarding the question of the origin of the virus.

I am urging, as I did in the letter to Vice President Pence, that the U.S. and the international community forcefully pursue this question. Press China to be transparent in all respects, and to welcome and facilitate international investigations on the question of whether, and how, the coronavirus was originated from China. In this connection, the United States, in cooperation with other governments, WHO, and other relevant international bodies, should press China to be open to and cooperate with such investigations.