The Washington Post has an exclusive story about the horrific conditions in China after the Communist government re-opened society for the first time in 3 years.
And yet, China still insists that just 40 people have died from COVID-19 since Dec. 7, when the “zero COVID” restrictions were lifted.
“I have worked here for six years and it has never been this busy,” said a receptionist at the Jiangnan Funeral Home in Chongqing in southwest China. She described long lines of cars waiting for a chance to drop off a loved one’s body in the days before and after Christmas.
“The phone has basically not stopped ringing,” she said.
Occasionally, the mask slips and the truth can be glimpsed. Sometimes local and regional officials accidentally release the real story, as when the BBC reported that “Other local and provincial officials have also been providing very different data to that from the central government. On Christmas Eve, a senior health official in the port city of Qingdao reported that half a million people were being infected each day. Those case figures were swiftly removed from news reports.”
China will suffer no consequences for its jaw-dropping lies. They know this from the first wave of infections in the spring of 2020. While most western nations were reporting hundreds of deaths and hospitals filling to capacity, China’s reported deaths remained ludicrously low.
Is the politeness routinely shown by international organizations toward the Chinese government one of the reasons for the regime’s brazenness and shamelessness in lying? When’s the last time any Chinese government official was told, to his face, “No, that’s a lie, those figures are absolute garbage and we don’t believe them”? In other words, has a long, long era of reluctance to confront China enabled the regime’s habitual and systemic dishonesty?
It’s not like they’re even doing a great job of covering up the truth.
One of the ways outside observers could tell that the official figures on deaths weren’t true was a sudden surge in the number of death-related actions China was taking. As I wrote back in spring of 2020, the official death toll in Wuhan was 2,571 as of April 7, 2020, “but separate calculations of the number of urns purchased by funeral homes and the cremation capacity and use of the cremation ovens put the death toll somewhere between 42,000 and 46,800.”
Says NRO’s Jim Geraghty, “Authoritarian regimes run on lies; we do no one any favors when we choose to play along in the name of smoother relations.”
It’s not just maintaining good relations with China that’s at stake. Nations can’t punish China economically without hurting their own people and economy. The EU is making a halfhearted effort to damage Russia for their Ukraine aggression by damaging their own economies as they refuse to buy Russian oil and gas. But it’s only a partial ban and Russia has been able to avoid serious consequences so far.
The United States and most of the industrialized world depend on China for so much that the profit/loss calculations in penalizing China economically don’t make any sense in most instances.