By David Chu, Kane Zhang, Raven Wu
As the COVID-19 (CCP Virus) pandemic continues to spread in China with soaring numbers of cases and deaths, the United States and Germany have offered to provide vaccines to China to help it fight the scourge; but the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has refused help, saying that China is handling the pandemic well. Critics have pointed out that accepting Western aid would expose the fallacies in the CCP’s propaganda about the superiority of its so-called “whole nation” system and “one-party governance” model.
On Dec. 20, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said during a press conference that the United States is willing to support countries around the world, including China, through vaccines and other relevant support. The following day, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning responded that China’s current vaccine booster efforts are proceeding in an orderly manner and that the drugs and testing reagents are generally sufficient to meet demand.
This is not the first time the U.S. government has offered assistance. On Dec. 14, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told a press conference that the United States was willing to help China through this wave of COVID outbreaks. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin responded that the CCP’s “whole nation system” is a superior governance model and will be able to weather the peak of the pandemic smoothly.
China’s Pandemic Peaks as Authorities Refuse to Accept Western Aid
The Chinese National Health Commission held an internal meeting on the afternoon of Dec. 21. The minutes of the meeting said that the number of new infections in the country on the 20th was 36,996,400, which accounted for 2.62 percent of the total population, and that the cumulative number of infections from Dec. 1 to 20 reached 248 million, which is 17.56 percent of the total population. The minutes also indicated that among the 31 provincial administrative regions, Beijing and Sichuan ranked as the top two hotspots, with the cumulative infection rate exceeding 50 percent. Infection rates of 20-50 percent were found in Tianjin, Hubei, Henan, Hunan, Anhui, Gansu, and Hebei provinces.
The CCP-controlled state media, China Youth Daily, reported on Dec. 7 that Feng Zijian, former deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, predicted that when the impact of the first wave of a large-scale pandemic reaches its peak, the infection rate of the population will reach about 60 percent (which would be 840 million people in China), with a gradual decline to a stable period. Eventually, 80-90 percent of the population may experience infection.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said in June this year that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in the United States are about 95 percent effective. At a critical time when the pandemic is spreading rapidly in China, Chinese vaccines offer little protection against COVID, and drugs are scarce. So why would the CCP reject the U.S. proposal to help fight the pandemic?
Commentator Li Linyi told the Epoch Times on Dec. 20 that the CCP knows that western vaccines are more effective than Chinese vaccines, but still refuses to allow Chinese people to be vaccinated with foreign vaccines.
He said: “This is a matter of institutional dispute. The authorities have been advocating that the Chinese system is superior to the Western system, so once they accept western vaccines and western ideals about fighting the pandemic, it becomes clear that the Chinese system is inferior to others. This is an attack on the legitimacy of the Chinese regime. Therefore, the authorities would rather let people receive inferior vaccines—even if it results in more deaths—than let the Chinese people question the legitimacy of the CCP’s totalitarian rule.”
People Caught Off Guard by the CCP’s Sudden Reversal of Extreme Lockdowns
Over the past two years, the CCP’s state media have heavily criticized and mocked the United States for “incompetence” in the fight against COVID-19. In October of this year, Xinhua, the major CCP state media, published an article titled “The U.S. incompetence in pandemic prevention leaves behind endless risks and dangers.”
Now, not only has the CCP suddenly chosen the path of living with the virus—which it previously denounced and did its best to vilify—but has also failed to make any arrangements or preparations before making a 180-degree turn in terms of policy, which caught people off guard. In December, Guangdong, Anhui, Guizhou, Shandong, and Fujian provinces mobilized retired medical personnel and medical trainees to return to the front lines to fight the pandemic. Many hospitals in Beijing, Hubei, Hunan, Chongqing, and Jilin asked their medical staff to stay on the job and if they became ill, to return to work as soon as symptoms disappeared, even if they still tested positive for COVID-19. The entire country and its medical system were totally unprepared for the recent outbreak after nearly three years of propaganda declaring the superiority of pandemic prevention in China. Some hospitals say that the real peak has not yet arrived.
In the absence of transparent information, people in China are in a panic, scrambling to buy rapid antigen tests, and fever-reducing drugs, such as, ibuprofen. At the same time, canned yellow peaches and fresh lemons, which are rumored in China to alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19, were also snapped up by the people. The people were simply grabbing any life-saving straw they could find in fear and for peace of mind.
The Central News Agency in Taiwan reported on Dec. 16 that the rush for drugs in mainland China has spread outside the country. The media in various countries have reported waves of expatriate Chinese buying drugs en masse, and Japan and Taiwan have started to impose purchase limits for certain essential drugs. In Hong Kong, Macau, and Australia, painkillers and antipyretics were bought in large numbers, and shortages occurred, forcing the pharmacies to impose restrictions on purchases.
Heng He, a China expert, told the Epoch Times on Dec. 22 that the CCP’s sudden reversal of its extreme lockdowns illustrates the failure of the three-year zero-COVID policy. The CCP already caused one wave of disasters when it locked down the country, and now the reopening has caused another wave of suffering for people. “Both approaches,” he said, “were not based on science, but on political necessity.” The Chinese people were caught off guard by the CCP’s unpredictable policies.
The CCP Contradicts Itself in its Propaganda
It is paradoxical that the CCP has promoted the superiority of a “nationwide system,” meaning that under its authoritarian rule, the country is always unified on any particular agenda, which is pandemic control in this case. However, with the outbreaks and the failed zero-COVID policy, such superiority appears to be pure fantasy. While Western countries, such as, the United States and the UK, have chosen to live with the virus and gradually open up to allow people to return to a normal life, the CCP has fiercely opposed living with the virus, implementing a strict zero-COVID policy and elevating it to a battle over ideology and political system.
Speaking to the Epoch Times on Dec. 17, Ji Da, a China expert living in the United States, said that the CCP was trying to prove that its socialist system was superior to the Western capitalist system by achieving zero-COVID at all costs. However, out of fear of the White Paper Movement and the protests, the regime lifted the lockdowns overnight without making any prior arrangements or preparations, catching both the zero-COVID and “coexistence” factions off guard. Due to the shortage of medical supplies, people everywhere were panic buying and hoarding them in order to protect themselves.
The regime has always claimed that its one-party system is best-suited to combat the pandemic, but the rest of the world has taken a contrary view. Craig Singleton, deputy director of the China program at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said that accepting Western aid would not only embarrass the Chinese authorities but also undermine their propaganda about the supposed superiority of the CCP’s model of governance.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of NTD Canada.