Communist China’s War for Global Dominance and the Wuhan-Virus Pandemic
On May 8 the West, led by the United States, Britain and France would have been publicly commemorating the 75th anniversary of the V-E day, the victorious end of the war in Europe against Nazi Germany. But the Wuhan-virus pandemic has put the West into a lockdown, and the question of the hour is how should we in the West, or at a minimum the people of the English-speaking countries, view or put in context this latest pandemic outbreak from China.
The quick short answer is the West got blindsided by the Chinese Communist leadership, more appropriately the Beijing gangsters, in the war for global supremacy that they surreptitiously have engaged in for a long time. Historians in the future will assess, provided the West do not succumb to the Chinese stealth warfare, the extent to which the western elites aided and abetted the Beijing gangsters over the past several decades to become emboldened in their bid to re-configure the global order for the 21st century and position China as the dominant world power.
Long peace resulting from an absence of war among great powers never lasts indefinitely. The long European peace that followed the end of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars with the Congress of Vienna in1815 crashed in the European inferno ignited in the war of 1914-18. There then followed the twenty years crisis of 1919-39, and the Europeans once again self-inflicted another lethal blow on their cultural inheritance from the Age of Enlightenment in the making of the modern world. Europe, in retrospect, never fully recovered culturally from its own self-mutilation in the first half of the last century.
It could be said, as Douglas Murray does in his bestselling book The Strange Death Of Europe (2018), that Europe as the world has known it for some two thousand years died from the repeated self-mutilation and a combination of multiculturalism and uncontrolled migrations in the decades following the end of the Second World.
The long peace since the end of the war against Germany and Japan in 1945, and which included the Cold War against the Soviet Union, is now ended. The Wuhan-virus pandemic (I refuse to call it by the WHO sanitized label Covid-19) is the bioweapon that has been deceptively deployed by the Chinese Communists in what might now be called the first global war of the 21st century.
The weapons of war evolve slowly or dramatically given the technological level of cultures/civilizations contending for supremacy.
But we remain mostly in grip of the past when seeking to comprehend rapidly advancing changes in the present and imagine a foreboding future. The Prussian military thinker Clausewitz’s dictum, “war is a continuation of politics by other means,” is well known. We need also to consider the reverse that is no less true, that politics is warfare by guile among contending powers. Moreover, the Beijing gangsters were raised with Mao’s dictum drummed into their heads that “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” Its reverse also holds true for them, that the barrel of a gun must be used to seize and secure political power.
The West needed to understand Chinese Communists in terms of their ideological doctrine, just as the West needed to understand and respond to Islamists according to their jihadist ideology. The West failed on both counts, and now needs urgently to rectify its thinking in contending with those who never hid their animus toward the West, particularly against the United States as the leader of the Western civilization in the post-1945 global order.
Samuel Huntington was prophetic in his writings about “clash of civilizations.” He warned, soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War, that in the new century the lines demarcating frontiers between countries will be cultural and, therefore, to be wary of the coming clash of civilizations. The two civilizations most hostile to the West, Huntington observed, were the Chinese and the Islamic, since people of both had been humiliated by the West in the past centuries and their ambitions to regain their lost cultural glory would motivate them to take risks precipitating conflicts with the West.
But the West went into a Rip van Winkle sort of sleep after the end of the Cold War, and despite the repeated assaults by Islamists following the 11 September 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington the response from the West was, ironically, driven by a policy of appeasement of the countries of the greater Middle East once the Americans in the immediate aftermath of the attacks had inflicted regime changes in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Islamist terrorist war, or jihad, against the West remains at its roots, as Huntington discussed, civilizational. And so does the strategic effort of the Chinese Communists to supercede the West in a new world order.
Once the Wuhan-virus jumped from some animal species, bought for food very likely in a Chinese wet market, to a human being infecting that individual somewhere in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in mainland China, the trigger for its exponential spread with human-to-human transmission and global seeding got started. Instinctively, the Beijing gangsters did what communists do. On learning about the spread of the SARS-type coronavirus taken hold of the populace in Wuhan in December 2019, the cover-up began. The Chinese people were lied to, the WHO was lied to, and the Western governments were lied to.
The several weeks between the Wuhan-virus illness when identified in Wuhan by local doctors in the first week of December 2019 and the New York Times reporting on 6 January 2020 of an outbreak of a pneumonia-type illness in Wuhan, Chinese authorities suppressed information. They denied that the novel coronavirus (or WHO designated Covid-19) identified in Wuhan was spread by human-to-human transmission, and this denial was broadcast by the WHO.
President Xi Junping, photo by Michael Temer
Japan’s health ministry reported the country’s first coronavirus patient on 15 January, while the Chinese authorities allowed people in Wuhan to gather and celebrate their Lunar New Year festivities. On 21 January the first U.S. case of a coronavirus patient in Snohomish County, Washington, was reported, and the next day the WHO director-general Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus announced that he was impressed with the measures taken by the Chinese authorities in response to the outbreak in Wuhan of the novel coronavirus sickness. In the meantime, Chinese authorities permitted Chinese and non-Chinese people enter and leave Wuhan during the Lunar New Year festivities while work shut down, people traveled, and the seeding of the Wuhan-virus spread beyond Wuhan and went global.
Why didn’t Chinese authorities act transparently and truthfully in informing the WHO and the outside world, especially the authorities in the United States and the European Union?
To ask this question is to assume Chinese Communists operate on the same bandwidth of political and cultural norms operative in the West. The people in the West assumes that the rest of the world in cultural terms is substantively not different from them. This assumption has taken hold due to past half-century and more of pedagogy based on the false nostrum of multiculturalism that all cultures are equal, and it has resulted in the undermining of critical thinking in public discourse with the spread of political correctness that Allan Bloom painstakingly described in The Closing of the American Mind (1987).
On the contrary, it is not true that all cultures are equal, or equal according to some standard objectively stated and measurable. Huntington discussed in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (1996) that a “civilization is the broadest cultural entity.” The “deep” cultures of people are ultimately shaped by respective religions that antedate the making of the modern nation-state system. This was once widely understood and accepted. Hilaire Belloc, for instance, in The Great Heresies (1938) wrote:
“Cultures spring from religions; ultimately the vital force which maintains any culture is its philosophy, its attitude towards the universe; the decay of religion involves the decay of the culture corresponding to it—we see that most clearly in the breakdown of Christendom today.”
For Belloc and many of his generation of European thinkers – such as G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Julien Benda, Oswald Spengler, José Ortega y Gasset, Ernst Cassirer and others – Europe in terms of culture and civilization had meant Christendom. The ideological aspiration of Islamist jihadists, motivated by their version of Islam, drives their militant struggle to re-constitute the Caliphate and “caliphal” order on the basis of the Shariah framework of religious-laws systematized by Muslim jurists in the tenth-eleventh century of the common era. Similarly China, as has been noted by many scholars of Chinese culture and history, such as Lucian Pye, is “a civilization pretending to be a state.” Hence, while “deep” cultures may share common features minimally, in particular those of morality and justice, the great world religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam – that birthed civilizations have abiding doctrinal features that make them distinct and set them apart.
The Beijing gangsters now claim they have Wuhan, the Hubei province and the rest of China under control, that the curve of the disease has flattened and the pandemic contained and, as a result, their industries have begun functioning and their economy is returning quickly to normalcy. They have achieved their purpose, and whether the Beijing gangsters send out soldiers to plant their flags on islands they claim in the South China seas or delay, as Sun Tzu would counsel, they will strive to consummate their long held objective with a combination of guile, stealth warfare and brute force.
Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese master-scholar of the art of war, also maintained that the superior strategy in conflict is winning by guile. The Chinese Maoist-communist strategy, adhering to Sun Tzu’s art, strives to use the strength of their opponents in disarming them. The seeds of guile and stealth warfare were deployed by Mao Zedong when he gave the green light to his players to engage diplomatically with the United States in the midst of the Vietnam War. Nixon-Kissinger’s “triangular diplomacy” for encircling the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War would have been barren without the reciprocal moves set in motion by Mao that brought President Nixon to visit the Chinese leader in Beijing in February 1972.
That green light given by Mao to engage with the Americans paved the way for what followed, and since then none of the tumults within China impeded the growth of commercial ties between China and the United States.
It began with President Jimmy Carter granting China in 1980 the "most-favoured nation" (MFN) status in trade, as a prelude to China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001.
From the MFN to emerging as the near-dominant source in the global manufacturing supply chain of high and low end consumer products, textiles and garments, pharmaceuticals, steel, autoparts, and electronic components, China went from a third world country status when Carter established formal diplomatic relations with China in 1979, to become by 2020 the world's second largest economy in terms of GDP.
This astounding rise of China was as much America’s gift given to the Beijing gangsters during the administrations of the two Bushes, Clinton and Obama, as it was of the European Union joined by Canada and Australia.
It was Donald Trump in the 2016 Republican primaries, and then as the Republican presidential nominee for the November election, who made the issue of China and how its emergence as an economic-military power came about at the expense of American industry, trade, and workers one of the most significant items in his policy platform. Hence, it was transparently clear that as president, Trump would engage in the reset of the U.S.- China relationship, renegotiate trade and work to eliminate the unsustainable negative annual trade balance with China.
The reset of the U.S.-China trade relationship also meant the nearly four decades of arrangements -- worked out by American manufacturers and traders, by those represented in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, by those business oligarchs who made their wealth investing in China, and by the whole network of politicians in both parties, opinion-makers in the corporate media, the academia, and sports and entertainment figures who all profited out of this arrangement -- would be negatively affected.
In the intervening years since Nixon’s journey in 1972 to Beijing and in 2016 Trump defying all the odds in winning the presidential election, the Chinese question went from being a somewhat distant foreign policy-national security issue into becoming deeply embedded in domestic politics for the respective well-being of America’s rich and not-so-rich alike.
President Trump’s America First policy to Make America Great Again (MAGA) was, therefore, unsettling to the Globalists and their agenda of one borderless world pursued through the United Nations, as much as it was to the Chinese Communists leadership. MAGA meant bringing back industries and jobs that the U.S. multinational corportations and their Globalist-oriented owners and CEOs shipped to China at the expense of American workers and the economy.
For the Globalists China was less of any threat to their vision of one borderless world, and instead was a pivotal partner in strategic collaboration through the agency of the UN in realizing their vision of a “new world order” (NWO) that was first publicly put forward by President George H.W. Bush in an address to a Joint Session of the Congress in September 1990.
Subsequent successors of Bush (41) until Donald Trump got elected, might have had some differences in nuance and ideas about the NWO, but conceptually it was about a rule-based international order administered through the UN in which China’s role as a permanent member of the Security Council would be tempered by its economic progress assisted by the West.
The Globalists rationalized confidently their investment in and support for Communist China with the argument that over time, as China progressed peacefully, the necessary internal reforms in meeting demands of a growing Chinese middle class for greater freedoms would make China gradually liberal and democratic.
The Beijing gangsters succeeding Mao and Deng as leaders have so far skilfully exploited China’s relations with the U.S. in advancing their long held objective to supercede America ahead of the 100th anniversary in 2049 of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
For the current leader, Xi Jinping Mao and Deng were the founders of Communist China. The ambition driving the Beijing gangsters under Xi Jinping’s command is to be leaders and architects of the new China as the world’s leading global power.
President Trump’s America First policy threw a wrench into the Globalists-Chinese Communists partnership worked out to mutual satisfaction for the making of the NWO. This convergence of interests has meant that regardless of suspicion and subdued rivalry that exist between Globalists and Chinese Communists, both nevertheless recognize it is their shared interest that President Trump is removed from the White House, or failing that, his re-election in November 2020 is denied.
Moreover, the Beijing gangsters led by Xi Jinping were likely more apprehensive than the Globalists about a second term for President Trump that could de-rail and unravel the strategic plans they have worked on so assiduously to attain. The China scholar Michael Pillsbury in The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower (2015) summed it up, as follows:
“Beijing’s strategy to replace the United States as the dominant geopolitical power requires America’s goodwill and assistance… America may fail to recognize the problem and may refuse to face the long-term scenario of China not only surpassing us but also growing to double and then triple the size of our economy, by 2049. Then China will have won, by default.”
The Beijing gangsters decided that on balance, rather than see their “hundred-year marathon” unravel, the risks involved in letting the Wuhan-virus pandemic go global, sending the American economy into a tailspin, were worth taking. For them, Chinese casualties in the outbreak of the Wuhan-virus epidemic, irrespective of the final numbers, are merely collateral damage, as were Chinese deaths during the period of the Great Leap Forward under the leadership of Mao, who alone was responsible for more than seventy million deaths.