Archive for March, 2020

REPUBLICAN SENATORS RUBIO, GARDNER, ROMNEY URGE CREATION OF TASKFORCE TO COUNTER COMMUNIST CHINESE PROPAGANDA

March 27, 2020

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), in a press release on March 23, 2020 reported that he joined Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Mitt Romney (R-UT), members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, in sending a letter to President Trump requesting the creation of a taskforce under the National Security Council (NSC) to counter propaganda emanating from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) surrounding COVID-19. Excerpts below:

“The Chinese Communist Party is manipulating facts surrounding a global pandemic that originated due to their own incompetence. While the rest of the world scrambles to clean up the CCP’s mess, they continue to seek geopolitical advantage and undermine the U.S. at every turn. It is critical that our country fight back against this propaganda and an interagency taskforce under the aegis of the NSC is a distinctive tool to formulate a coordinated, USG-wide response.”

Full text of the letter

Dear Mr. President,

We write to you requesting the formation of an interagency taskforce under the aegis of the National Security Council (NSC) with the purpose of countering the sinister propaganda campaign emanating from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA) (P.L. No: 115-409), which you signed into law in December 2018, authorizes funding “for United States Government efforts to counter the strategic influence of the People’s Republic of China,” developing the foundation for such an initiative.

In early December 2019, citizens of the city of Wuhan, China began experiencing symptoms of what would become known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This new virus has continuously proved highly infectious and in the four short months since its discovery, it has become a global pandemic and a crisis here at home. Despite early indications that this was a new virus comparable to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) from 2002, the CCP made concerted efforts to obfuscate and downplay information that would have been critical for the health of their citizens and later the world.

Now that COVID-19 has spread rapidly around the globe, the CCP and its officials have the audacity to spread disingenuous claims that the United States is responsible for this pandemic. This is not simply dishonest, it is dangerous. This tactic, in addition to being a despicable exploitation of a global emergency, threatens to undermine the worldwide coordination necessary to combat this coronavirus. It is for this reason that we request an interagency taskforce within the NSC to counter the malicious propaganda coming from CCP apparatchiks.

This interagency taskforce should include representatives from the Department of State, the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Treasury, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and from agencies within the Intelligence Community. These representatives should work together to disseminate accurate and appropriate information to U.S. Government (USG) employees and the global public at-large concerning the origins of COVID-19 and efforts at national and international levels to halt its spread.

To that end, this taskforce should focus on 1) producing a white paper on the origins of COVID-19 and subsequent CCP efforts to conceal its seriousness, 2) provide guidance to USG employees and U.S. Embassies on messaging surrounding COVID-19 and methods to counter false CCP narratives around its origins and containment, and 3) regularly coordinate with and brief the appropriate Congressional Committees on these efforts.

The Chinese Communist Party is manipulating facts surrounding a global pandemic that originated due to their own incompetence. While the rest of the world scrambles to clean up the CCP’s mess, they continue to seek geopolitical advantage and undermine the U.S. at every turn. It is critical that our country fight back against this propaganda and an interagency taskforce under the aegis of the NSC is a distinctive tool to formulate a coordinated, USG-wide response.

THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY WUHANVIRUS PLAN

March 26, 2020

National Interest on March 19, 2020 published an article on China’s coronavirus plan. For excerpts see below:

… the virus has become a new front in the Sino-American confrontation. 

The fact is that the CCP lied about the pandemic by minimizing the threat, punishing people who spoke the truth, deliberately concealing information, delaying public announcements, denying a timely investigation by the World Health Organization, and refusing experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) entry to the country. As a result, the CCP allowed the virus to spread first within China and then throughout the world. Its outrageous actions are a crime against the health and wellbeing of China’s and the world’s population as well as of their economic livelihood. Now the United States, like so many other countries, has to spend tens of billions—maybe even trillions—of dollars to avoid the financial disaster caused by the CCP recklessness. This has significantly weakened U.S. strength and resources that could have been used to advance American prosperity.

It is horrible, fantastic, and incredible that the world’s population has to take significant steps to protect people from the virus due to the deceit, malpractice, and misgovernment of the CCP. The rest of the world must suffer due to the CCP’s perverse and rotten regime.

China has launched a premeditated global propaganda campaign to blame the United States for this pandemic while projecting an image of China’s global leadership in fighting successfully to control the situation and bought the world more time to prepare for it. Zhao Lijian, spokesman of the CCP Foreign Ministry fabricated a blunt lie when he said that the “U.S. army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.” Many Chinese top diplomats around the world re-tweeted this lie.

Chinese officials have announced that China will use this crisis to catalyze a “Silk Road” of health care.  The significance lies in that it shows the Sino-American confrontation is all azimuths—economic, diplomatic, technological, military, and global opinion. 

The Xi Jinping regime applies this strategy with multifaceted objectives: By blaming the United States, Xi can shift the Chinese people’s focus on fabricated external threats, stimulate ultra-nationalism against America in order to cover up his own mismanagement and missteps in this pandemic crisis.

As part of covering up and countermeasures, China last month expelled three Wall Street Journal reporters for the paper’s report about the Chinese virus and pandemic it created.

[It is] a page out of the Soviet’s or Mao’s Cold War playbook, but reveals that China aggressively shapes a narrative and rewards supportive news outlets. Equally, the disinformation campaign launched by the CCP which accused the U.S. military of starting the pandemic in the pantheon of lies may only be rival by the KGB’s lie that the AIDS pandemic was started by the United States.

Thus far, the United States has been too passive in response to China’s actions,…Bolder action is needed and warranted given the extent of this conflict.  This includes a vigorous counter-disinformation campaign to fault China’s government for allowing the pandemic to spread unhindered for months.  Not only is it culpable for the spread but its people have tried to blame the United States.  This is an outrageous lie and all countries should call out China on this deceit.  Alarmingly for U.S. interests, China has projected itself as the world’s savior from the Wuhan virus,… 

The United States must act to aid the world in identifying these lies.  Yet, more significantly, the United States must convey to other countries the perverse nature of Xi Jinping’s regime. The coronavirus is the product of an equally virulent and pernicious Chinese regime and a perfect metaphor for the nature of Xi’s rule.  U.S. leadership and population need to realize that the country is under attack from a regime that allowed a pandemic to occur. 

Additionally, the United States must continue to pressure China providing critical information about the origin and prevalence of the Chinese virus, including the true death toll, and to allow access of CDC doctors into the epicenter to investigate. The U.S. government should work with America’s allies and the United Nation to investigate who is responsible for the spread and mismanagement of the pandemic. In particular, WHO’s Tedros Adhanom should be investigated and held accountable for colluding with China and allowing the pandemic spread.  At the same time, the United States should consider legal actions against the parties responsible for the disaster, and seek appropriate compensations for the damage it has done to the United States and its people based on the final investigation report. 

The United States must support China’s healthcare whistleblowers, citizen journalists, and activists who are persecuted for speaking the truth. It must systematically expose the humanitarian crises and human-rights abuses before, during and after the pandemic, such as the continued imprisonment of over a million Uighur and Kazakh men in concentration camps, oppression of the Muslim minority in Xinjiang, and the suppression of religious and political freedom in China.  Indeed, the CCP is using the pandemic to increase its monitoring and control over the population. 

…the United States should seriously rethink its global supply chain and take immediate action to de-couple from China to reduce its dependence on China’s economy. The United States should use this opportunity to work with U.S. allies and free trade partners to create a new global supply chain, leveraging the U.S. market to weaken the Chinese regime while helping itself and its allies to prosper. This could eventually defeat Communist China’s dictatorial plan for the world.

Authors of the article

Bradley A. Thayer is a professor of Political Science at the University of Texas San Antonio and is the co-author of ”How China Sees the World: Han-Centrism and the Balance of Power in International Politics”. 

Lianchao Han is vice president of Citizen Power Initiatives for China. After the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, Dr. Han was one of the founders of the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars. He worked in the U.S. Senate for twelve years, as legislative counsel and policy director for three Senators.

Comment: The authors of the National Interest article are rightly calling for American decoupling from China to stop the dependence on Chinese economy. A “new global supply chain” is needed and the United States ought to work with allies and free trade partners on this.

REPUBLICAN SENATOR MARCO RUBIO, FLORIDA, BLASTS CHINA FOR HIDING KEY INFORMATION ON WUHAN PANDEMIC

March 25, 2020

Fox News on March 23, 2020, reported on Senator Rubio blaming China for hiding key information on the Whuhan coronavirus pandemic. Excerpts below:

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., called out Chinese government leaders on March 22, 2020, blaming them for the severity of the global coronavirus pandemic due to hiding key information early on and pressuring other countries into not taking action.

… rather than taking appropriate steps to alert the world that there was a problem, they did the opposite.

“The way you respond to something like that, in a global event of that magnitude is you immediately declare it to the world, you bring in all of the experts, and you start working and you try to contain it to the place where it starts,” Rubio said.

Rubio accused the Chinese government of hiding information from researchers and not letting anyone know that they had evidence of human-to-human transfer until late December of 2019.
“We could have been four to six weeks ahead of this had they been more transparent.”

“I can tell you it has made it much harder by the fact that not only did the Chinese not disclose it, they bullied a bunch of countries into not cutting off flights,” Rubio said. “These cases got into other countries as well because they didn’t do what President Trump did here.”