How 100 countries across Asia, Africa, and Europe became ensnared in Xi's web, and the subsequent collapse caused by his efforts to conceal the CCPVirus.
If you haven't read the first entry, find it here!
In early March 2019, Margaret Chan touted China's readiness to prevent disease.
"In the time of globalization, communicable diseases spread very fast and require every country and region to build their capacity and strengthen their health systems to respond,"
Chan said. Chan highlighted a memorandum signed during her stint at the WHO promoting international health cooperation along the Belt and Road.
"It demonstrates China's sense of responsibility as a major country."
In 2013, President XI Jinping began courting dozens of countries across Europe & Asia to expand China’s political and economic reach.
Two different “roads” make up the Belt Road Initiative: Maritime and land.
There is also the major elephant in the room: telecom.
Xi called for cross-border optical cables and communications networks, transcontinental submarine optical cable projects, and improving spatial and satellite information passageways.
It also began planning 5G network expansion on a global scale, and there have been concerns.
In Xi’s own backyard, he has sought to eliminate VPNs, disallowing citizens access to websites blocked by the Great Firewall. Russia has been coordinating with China to incorporate the Great Firewall into the Red Web.
China's cybersecurity laws raise concerns also. Companies must censor prohibited info, restrict anonymity, store personal info, monitor/report on network security incidents, and support security agencies in investigations, increasing surveillance. There have been arrests for private texts for “picking quarrels & provoking trouble." This is loosely defined and leads to abuse by the authorities.
China censors WeChat outside of the country, demonstrating ambitions for international censorship efforts, as well as a backdoor for spying in the future.
There is speculation that China is pushing data localization to secure “expansive access to private information, trade secrets, intellectual property, or internal business communications.”
China’s infrastructure investments may bring a new era of trade and growth for Belt and Road members, but some say that China is laying a debt trap for borrowing governments. BRI projects use low-interest loans instead of grants. Some investments require the use of Chinese firms. As a result, contractors have inflated costs, leading to canceled projects and political backlash.
Berlin shared many US concerns about Beijing's lack of reciprocity economically with trading partners & the spread of debt/political influence through the BRI, the growing use of surveillance technology, and detention of over 1 million Muslims in Xinjiang.
In Kazakhstan, protests against the construction of Chinese factories swept the country in 2019, driven by concerns about costs as well as anger over the Chinese government’s treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang Province.
Eight BRI countries are vulnerable to debt crises. Debt to China spiked since 2013, surpassing 20% of GDP in some countries. Numerous projects negotiated in secret by Sri Lankan government officials led to debt of $8Billion. Sri Lanka negotiated a debt-for-equity swap of Hambantota Port project. This led to protests.
Jinping's Communist Chinese Party and the allure of the Belt and Road Initiative is not a gift to the world.
It is a vision of debt to Beijing. Meanwhile, the US shares the concern of some that the BRI could be a Trojan horse for China-led regional development and military expansion.
European countries have accepted BRI financing. Italy, Luxembourg, and Portugal signed agreements to cooperate on BRI projects. Their leaders frame cooperation as gaining China's investment and as potentially improving the quality of competitive construction bids from Europe/U.S. firms.
Others claim that China is using BRI funds to gain influence in Balkan countries that are on track to become EU members, thereby providing Chinese access to the heart of the European Union’s common market. Italy adopted free-spending policies that have had little impact on growth, had debt equivalent to 132.2% of national output in 2018, or $2.5 Trillion, up from 131.4% in the previous year.
Moreover, the outbreak of Coronavirus in late 2019 grinded the Belt Road Initiative to a halt- implicating all its participants in a disastrous way. Economic freefall, inability to acquire goods they depend on, & ill Chinese nationals traveling home after Spring Festival.
Chinese labor is disrupted with thousands of Chinese workers unable to return to their country of work. China repatriated citizens working in Iran, for due to the spread of COVID—a measure applied to any Belt Road Initiative host country afflicted with the spread of the #CCPVirus.
The longer that Chinese workers are unable to return to projects overseas, the longer the projects will languish incomplete, and some may be abandoned altogether a phenomenon not unheard of, even within BRI’s short track record). China’s manufacturing supply chains haven't recovered and BRI projects rely on Chinese, not local materials/supplies. The pandemic compromised global supply chains, limited goods out of China & China actually ran a trade deficit during the first two months of the year. The global shipping industry was slowed to the point that more tonnage of container ships was idled around the world in February than during the worst points of the 2008 financial crisis.
China's economy slowed to the lowest rates in 3 decades. Due to contractions in both industrial production & service by 13%.
The Chinese govt is clearly trying to bolster its own global role establishing itself as a counter-COVID leader in word, to shift global narrative.
There were 320,794 Chinese migrants living in Italy in (2018); 0.53% of the Italian population. Concentrated in Lombardy, Tuscany, and Veneto. While it’s not necessarily their fault they were allowed to travel back to Italy unknowingly ill… Xi Jinping knew. And didn’t stop them. In call with Italy's foreign minister last month, the Chinese foreign minister expressed hope their “joint fight against the outbreak” would catalyze a “Silk Road” of health care... alluding to the hallmark economic Belt and Road Initiative of President Xi Jinping.
Proving once again, Xi Jinping values appearance over well being of China's citizens... or citizens of other countries.
China & the World Health Organization shape the narrative. Tedros Adhanom, director general of the WHO, touted the role of the Belt and Road Initiative in advancing access to health care & praised on Xi for health “Silk Road” & to replicate China's health model in BRI members.
Adhanom refrains from criticizing Beijing for fear of losing access to China. Instead Adhanom flew to Beijing to praise the govt for handling coronavirus. Xi denied human-human transmissibility for weeks, detained doctors for spreading rumors, & barred WHO officials from China.
Even as WHO and other international institutions peddle a positive coronavirus narrative, the United States and its allies remain leading contributors to the WHO.
US contributes 22%.
China contributes 12%.
China censoring the WHO during this epidemic shows even in a period of crisis, the Chinese government prioritizes control over public safety. And Tedros prioritizes money and influence.
This pandemic needs to wake up US officials & media hacks to oppose Chinese efforts to rewrite history & their efforts to stop the free flow of information and global public health. People have died due to their actions, and the WHO is complicit. And as the virus spread, those railways sprawled across the continents like a massive web, bringing with it sick passengers.
This web that Xi wove across the globe, that ensnared economically vulnerable countries and slowly tightened XI's grip... the vision of a bright future helped ensure that for many there wouldn't be one.
These cities have a direct railway or sea route from China now. And as the virus spread, those railways sprawled across the continents like a massive web, bringing with it sick passengers.
And just like that, seven years of careful planning & convincing left Xi playing savior for vulnerable Western countries in their most desperate hour. Despite being the calculating, ruthless man that set the collapse into motion.
It is estimated that close to 10 million additional people traveled through Wuhan in the days leading up to the quarantine, due to high travel season for the Spring Festival. On January 21, Xi enjoyed a
massive feast, knowing some citizens were infected.
In the next chapter: How many people were really infected from Nov-Jan? WHO and #CCP both still insist 41 through January 14.
I’ve got a mountain of evidence that they’re lying. And they’re lying big time.
⅔ of the world’s population are in some way bound to China because of that initiative. Due to the pandemic Xi/Tedros enabled, the rest of the world is too. The #CCP and the #WHO need to be held accountable.