The recent release of an unclassified summary by the Intelligence Community (IC) of its investigation into China’s role in the COVID pandemic leaves one feeling that there is nothing there. …
What truly makes the IC summary dangerous is its third conclusion, implying China’s unacceptable behavior since the pandemic was unleashed can be explained away and thus ignored. How can the IC seriously believe that China’s active stonewalling of the international community’s attempts to get to the bottom of what happened and thus learn better how to combat the virus can be reduced to its “uncertainty about where an investigation might lead” or its “frustration” about outside political pressure? …
Let me build on Chang’s exposure of China’s behavior and offer some findings that should have been in the Intelligence Community report:
- We can assess with a high degree of confidence that China views the U.S. as its primary global adversary. In the short term China wants to achieve near peer status with the U.S. In the long term it wants to be the dominant world power.
- We can assess with a high degree of confidence that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been actively involved in advanced virus research via improving genetic targeting capabilities.
- We can assess with a high degree of confidence that the CCP facilitated the global spread of the COVID-19 virus.
- We can assess with a medium degree of confidence that the CCP used its influence with the WHO to spread a major disinformation campaign.
In sum, we can assess with a high degree of confidence that while the origins and initial awareness of the virus by the Chinese government cannot be clearly ascertained, the Chinese government has been intimately involved in most everything since then. It has used the pandemic to further its global economic and political agenda. Its behavior has been ruthless and malicious.
Americans, our international allies and enemies, and, of course, Chinese and CCP officials themselves, will read this intelligence summary carefully. Thus, the U.S. intelligence community’s whitewashing of China’s culpability puts us all at risk. In documents such as this report, there are no throwaway lines. Every word is weighed and considered. The implication that China is essentially innocent of any ill will is in the report only because some senior official wanted to include it. …
It shows weakness. It rewards an aggressive China, and only invites more of the same.
Even if the Chinese didn’t deliberately leak a bioweapons virus this time, it’s been such an amazing success from China’s point of view that it certainly encourages them to have (another?) go. Or maybe others. The covid pandemic might be the first of several.
It might be wise for countries and states to get good at closing borders, and to build permanent quarantine facilities.
Only a handful of countries manged to keep out the virus this time — including New Zealand, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Australia — and of course they have much, much lower infection rates and death tolls.
However, those countries only managed to keep it out for 18 months or so — NSW and Victoria in Australia are now infected, so it will soon spread to the other Australian states. In Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Danang are infected and are unlikely to return to zero covid. New Zealand seems to be getting on top of its latest outbreak, and might yet return to covid zero. Taiwan is still covid-free.