Contributed by Joe Montero
As the accusations against China become increasingly shrill, wiser heads should ponder to think deeply about what is really going on and what’s really at stake.
We are being fed a diet of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories and obvious fabrications, and even though they can easily be debunked, they keep on being repeated. It is the politics of hate taking on another face.
This is backed by just as baseless accusations around the theme that that China is trying to take over the world. How many other countries has has China imposed an economic regime? How many other countries does China have a military presence in? None on both counts. This is the reality. There is trade and some tensions associated with it. But this is something else.
Who has imposed neoliberalism, manipulates economies and the global financial system? Who is applying a global policy of :regime change,” is involved in a range of wars and military other military actions around the world?
Take Donald Trumps’ latest accusation about Covid-19 being released from a laboratory in Wuhan, and repeated here in Australia, not just by a loony fringe on social media, but the Prime Minister and other leading current and former politicians.
There is a lab in Wuhan researching corona viruses. This doesn’t prove the accusation. The evidence suggests this is a new strain, and China says it didn’t exist in the lab. There is no evidence to the contrary.
Furthermore, similar labs are peppered around the planet. For good reason. Corona type viruses have become more frequent and more deadly over recent years. Cultures are being developed and used for research. But this does not include Covid-19. why? Because no one knew it existed.
It is easier to blame the similar lab at Fort Detrick in Maryland (United States). Unlike the one in Wuhan, it has a documented history of breaches of safety. Even then, it is wrong to accuse this lab without fool proof evidence. The same applies to every other lab, including the one in Wuhan.
In any case, the scientific consensus is that this virus is naturally occurring, transmitted from animals to humans. The most plausible explanations coming from the science, is that more cross species infections are occurring because humans have encroached on the territory of infected species, and made worse by global warming.
Unless there is a change in human behaviour we can expect the frequency of pandemics to increase in the near future.
This brings us to the one about the wet market being the cause. This accusation exposes an incredible ignorance of what a wet market is, or the yare being fueled by maliciuos intent.
First of all, wet markets are not unique to China. There are even one or two in Australia. They are simply places, where seafood, poultry etc are bought to the market alive and fresh. They are called wet for two reasons. Because of the prevalence of live seafood in water. The other is to differentiate them from markets than sell non fresh food and other times like clothing and tech products.
There is the associated accusation that Chinese wet markets sell wild animals for food. The fact is that this has been banned since 2003.
Another conspiracy theory, one which discredited more than any other, is that the Chinese have launched a deliberate attack on the world. Think about it for a moment. The stupidest way to do this would be to launch an attack on a perceived enemy by doing it in Wuhan. It would provide the enemy with a warning and opportunity to prepare its defense. A deliberate attack would use the element of surprise.
The most persistent accusation is that the Chinese deliberately held information from the rest of the world and prevented other nations from taking measures to protect themselves. Did they? It’s on the record that the world was provided with the details and suggestions of what to do about it by China in December last year, and as soon as the existence of Covi-19 was discovered. It was provided via the United Nations and direct communication to governments and health organisations.
Once upon a time
Video from New China TV
The real failure was that many of these governments, including those of the United States, Great Britain and Australia failed to take what China communicated to them seriously. They didn’t even listen to their own health authorities.
Once can only conclude that the attacks on China, supported by those who denied the need to act in the first place, dragged their feet, and responded a couple of months later, are conditioned by a need to defect blame.
Even more importantly, the accusations are connected to a cold war by those afraid of the rise of China. This began well before this pandemic started. A war that relies on stereotyping, a good dose of racism and the spreading of false information, along with military threats and trade embargoes. Covid-19 is being used as a vehicle to take this cold war up another notch.
And when the Chinese complain about unfounded allegations, they are accused of bullying.
At stake, is the capacity to overcome the present crisis and prepare for the coming economic and social crisis. These must be faced within each nation finding ways to come out of it with a better tomorrow. We can’t go back to the way it was.
It also requires a global effort. Global unity is necessary. Driving towards an intensifying cold war is the best way to prevent this, and bring about more pandemics, more intense economic downturn and social division, and risks a slide into escalating economic war and eventually a shooting war.
In these condition humanity will increase human misery and fail to adapt in a way, which enables us to live as a species in harmony with nature.