While reports out of China have trickled in of new Covid outbreaks, of massive floods, the reality can be hard to come by. What’s omitted can be as important as what is reported. To make head or tails of the truth, one has to have their ear to the ground. And there are few who can tell the fire from the smoke like Gordon Chang, an expert on the US-China relationship and long-time friend of The Cats Roundtable.
“China is a mess,” he stated on Sunday, “they’ve got twin problems internally. One of which is the flooding, which is getting worse and worse, and the other is the delta variant.”
As the delta variant surged back into the major cities at the end of July, torrential rains swept across the countryside. To Chang, it’s shown China’s inability to take on the disasters and fix the problems in its own backyard. But it showed China’s inability to be truthful with itself and the world.
Over a year into the pandemic, Chang told The Cats Roundtable it was clear Beijing bore the burden for the catastrophe. He said Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the CCP, had “lied about contagiousness” when first informing the world about the first cases of Covid-19.
“He knew it was highly contagious—he told the world it was not,” Chang noted about Xi Jinping. “And then, while he was locking down his own country, he was pressuring other countries not to impose travel restrictions and quarantines on arrivals from China.”
New outbreaks this summer have Beijing reimposing the “draconian methods” that were first used in Wuhan in 2019. The new rise in Covid in China has also seen the closure of the world’s third-largest container port. While only one worker has officially tested positive, Chang said there were likely many more. It showed the foolishness of Beijing’s approach to the pandemic, which amounted to a “method to just overpower the disease.”
The port closure has also sparked concerns of a new supply-chain lag, and encouraged discussions of a move away from China by US shipping companies. The impact will almost certainly add to the continued economic tensions between China, the US, and US allies.
As a result, Chang feared it was increasingly becoming dangerous to go to China as a US citizen. He cited the sentencing last week of a Canadian citizen, Michael Spavor, by a Chinese court on accusations of espionage. Chang said Spavor’s trial was a kangaroo court in response to the extradition hearing of Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, from Canada to the US.
“They’re going after Canadians as hostage diplomacy,” Chang warned. “And this says that China is not safe for foreigners, especially not safe for Canadians, but certainly not safe for Americans either.”