Gordon Chang calls the coronavirus 'probably a deliberate leak' and likely an 'act of war'

We had a Zoom meeting with China expert Gordon Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China, last night and learned that Chang thinks the "release" of the coronavirus into the public sphere was either "accidental," which he disputes, or deliberate, to gain a march on the U.S., which is out of favor and being degraded and derided by the important media and groups in China.

In other words, it was no "wet market" selling bats for soup.  It was, as some have been saying for...months, the Level 4 Biolab, which failed U.S. inspection as far back as 2018, in safety protocols as a Level 2 hazard, rather than a Level 4 safety security, making it likelier that such haphazard safeguards could readily enable a leak or two.  Refrigerator seals crucial to containment were...breached.

China's leader, Xi Jinping, Chang warns, is no friend of the United States.  Nor must we rely on him for any of our vital supply lines.

Although unquestionably at the top of the Mainland ladder, now, Chairman Xi, who leads the Chinese Communist Party, CCP, is not a guaranteed lifelong mainstay of the party or the country, as he has been lauded after jockeying himself into the permanent seat a few scant years ago — as there are tectonic rumbles against his leadership evident to observers today.

In keeping with this observation, Chang says we must stop giving China our business, particularly in critical arenas like pharmaceuticals, and stop behaving favorably toward China, as we do with our allies.  Chang repeats that this entire coronavirus saga, over months of death, infection, fear, and barely managed emergency, is nothing short of an all-out war.  Xi knew of, and tried to maximize, our dependency on China to resupply our personal protective equipment and other necessities.

Chang says all recent U.S. presidents have been derelict in ignoring the massive thefts of every sort by the Chinese.  These include intellectual property theft; preferential "sharing" in entrepreneurial properties and businesses, giving China a controlling share of investments; co-opting Chinese students here doing research or graduate work — including mandatory spying as they are controlled by handlers reporting back to China — and not limited to just their college studies; various disadvantageous business "agreements"; and all but crippling legal entanglements in general, without which foreign investors cannot get a coveted foothold in the renminbi/dollar-rich Chinese market. 

On a personal level, I am now glad those students I myself had pushed for transfer to the U.S. for graduate studies were, mysteriously, all turned down. 

Looking steadily into the Zoom camera at the 150 attendees of this Zoom session, Chang says we are fortunate in having this president, who has long been aware of and resistant to the schemes of the Chinese government, which has thus far played us for fools and as huge financial patsies.

Chang quotes White House counsel Peter Navarro in saying that before the full force of the COVID-19 scourge hit this country, Xi made sure to "vacuum up all the world's available PPEs" — masks, about two billion, as well as gowns, gloves, and the like.  As the world's countries affected turned to obvious sources to secure these PPEs, China charged piratical, extortionate prices up to ten times the cost it had paid for this vital protective gear. 

My question to Chang concerned whether, after this viral pandemic is somewhat quelled, we will be able to chastise China.  Chang thinks the key would be the Walmart-type weapon — we withdraw our dependency on China for the myriad products we have for so long bought from it.  Again, Chang says, it is not the country we can rely on.  It will need the orders.  The orders will not be there.

Other payback?  To be decided, but, under Trump, especially should he succeed in securing another four-year term, surely, there will be sanctions and extractions.  China is deep in debt, and losing foreign investment will bite hard.

As a sour reminder, Chang added that even close allies such as the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand could not, or would not, supply the U.S. with desperately needed PPEs, because they too were in need of the same for their own pandemic hitting their populations.

Coming elections?  Insofar as that goes, should Joe Biden attain the presidency, Chang thinks Biden "much too weak" to proceed forcefully in the direction of keeping America sovereign in the face of so much Chinese onslaught.

"Trump," Chang says, "has shown himself better suited to fighting this battle."

Chang noted that in 2018, a PRC law was passed mandating that every Chinese national...spy for...the country. 

That involves reportage from drones, too, now at large in some 22 countries in addition to the United States.  The drones?  Built in China.  Might they too be amassing classified 411 and transmitting it back home?

On our side, there are now no orders for the newly re-opened business sector in Wuhan to start to fulfill. Cautiously, Chang avers there is a second wave of infection already taking place, that we can see as Xi canceled all theatres and sports events across the country, including the huge annual Canton Fair, and other major indicators of trust in the health status have been turned back. Confidence in the elimination of the virus would produce no such cautious and prophylactic mandates.

They have a huge debt of some six to seven times their GDP which will be impossible to repay. Moreover, they cannot nationalize more of our foreign business investments, and the EU countries' too, because they desperately need the foreign currency and the orders and work that stream from these foreign countries.

As for Taiwan and Hong Kong, Chang says they will soon be wholly suppressed.

As for the rest of the region, he said the news about the possible illness or disability of Kim Jong-un at a minimum suggests that Kim is much sicker than thought, His health problems are unlikely to be just a claimed leg or foot problem. He thinks Kim has had heart surgery this week. He did not appear on the most significant date in the North Korean calendar, which is April 15, and he thinks there might be a succession fight quietly going on in the DPRK, if Kim is seriously compromised by health issues.

Iran, dependent on China to offload its oil, will not be separating from its linkage to China, even though many of Iran's top-tier leadership has been felled or silenced by the virus inthe past few months and have expressed displeasure.

Chang, though controlled in his words and presentation, allowed as how Xi has deliberately lied on most instances, and the trade agreement signed with the U.S. on Jan 15 will probably NOT be honored, since China ia short f cash, and Xi wants to deprive the administration of the $250 billion in purchase of U.S. goods which had been agreed upon. This alone will have many unfortunate ramifications.

We wished we could have held him for longer, it was just an hour long, because he was stunningly comprehensive. Which is not to say comforting.

Image credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 3.0.