Thursday, 17 June 2021

Opium Wars 2 and the propaganda war on China: No Cold War launch

No Cold War Online launch, 16th June 2021

Text of Anna Chen's speech

Tonight, I'm going to discuss the current build-up in hostility towards China in the context of the Opium Wars of the 19th century and the propaganda war leading us there once again.

At the start of the first Opium War in 1839, China was the most technologically advanced country in the world. It had already invented hydraulics, gunpowder in the 9th century, ships’ rudders, the stirrup, paper, moveable type printing and much more.

But it was their beautiful porcelain and silks, tea, lacquer (the first plastic) and furniture that drove the enthusiasm for chinoiserie in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Because Britain had little to trade with China that they didn’t already have – rough woollens and clockwork toys being top of the list on offer — Britain’s treasury was being drained to satisfy the public’s appetite for all things Chinese.

Britain’s solution to the trade imbalance was to grow cheap, mass-produced opium in stolen Bengal and sell that to China. Up until then, opium had been an expensive habit only used by the wealthiest Chinese.

War being economics by other means, when the Chinese government objected to their country being flooded with narcotics, Britain forced these massive industrial quantities of opium onto them at gunpoint, turning an expensive aristocratic vice into a nationwide addiction.

Chinese were slaughtered, their land pillaged. Lord Elgin ordered the Summer Palace burnt to the ground by British soldiers, joined in by the French, as punishment for not being submissive enough. Notoriously unfair treaties were used to carve up China, which was divided between Western imperial powers, with Britain grabbing Hong Kong until the colony was finally returned in 1997.

Around the same period, the invention of the glass Wardian case enabled Robert Fortune to steal China’s tea plants and transport them to India where the British set up a rival tea industry in possibly the first case of industrial espionage — intellectual property rights meaning very little to the invaders.

Fast forward to the modern era — a couple of revolutions, two world wars, a vicious Korean war and a rapprochement with the United States — later.

Today, China is the factory of the world, specialising in making our stuff. iPhones, electronic kit, solar panels, cotton, everything from foodstuffs to 5G are the new porcelain, silks and tea of the 21st century.

It’s taken nearly fifty years into its modern era for China to drag itself out of the hellscape inflicted by the Western powers. It’s raised 850 million human beings out of absolute poverty, and created a growing middle-class 550 million strong, almost twice the size of the population of the US. And it’s established the Belt and Road Initiative that promises to do for poorer economies what China has done for its own.

China’s investing in Africa and building their infrastructure at much lower interest rates than the World Bank charges, so we no longer need Bono to front Drop the Debt campaigns.

As well as eradicating poverty while we implode, China is the world’s biggest investor in renewable energy, vital in the fight against climate change.

But some people in the West simply can’t bear the idea of Chinese excelling or being given credit for anything.

Just as the Chinese economy draws level with the US at this classic Thucydides Trap point, the declining superpower goes on the attack in a poisonous one-sided Case for the Prosecution with no judicially verifiable evidence or right of reply, involving a wall of hate and daily monstering of America’s upcoming rival.

America could have continued working together with China in a multi-polar world but instead throws huge resources at waging Opium Wars 2, dragging in some of the worst perpetrators who gained from the 19th century imperialist atrocity. Billions are spent on character-assassinating propaganda, economic war and actual weaponry to ensure the Chinese model doesn’t give the public any big ideas that there might be a better system that’s working for its own people.

The absurdity that caps all of this for me is that Brexiteers, from Boris Johnson to Nigel Farage, used the promise of yummy trade deals with China to persuade Brits to vote to leave the EU. And the minute Brexit’s sewn up, we send a warfleet to China’s back yard.

Taking back control has meant handing control to a waning America that’s tearing itself apart, and doing their bidding even when it hurts us – such as ripping out billions of pounds-worth of 5G infrastructure we badly need and spending our remaining treasure on whipping up a war with a nuclear power.

And now we prostrate ourselves as America’s Airstrip One. In the West’s rewrite of history, we have always been at war with Eastasia.

We’re halfway through 2021. This conflict has been building for years. John Pilger even made a film in 2016 warning about The Coming War on China. Trump fired the first salvo in his trade war shakedown in 2018. And we’re sending warships.

So, instead of maintaining its own steady course, Britain nails itself to the USS Titanic, and tries to sink our global lifeboat in what could end up as a horrific world-wide war. China is both a scapegoat and a cynical diversion from Brexit chaos, an enfeebled economy, and catastrophic Covid mishandling.

With another Opium War brewing, let’s hope it’s first time as tragedy, second time as farce. The sensible option would be not to go there at all.

— ends —


The Roots of the Clash between the United States and China: Anna Chen speaks at the Virtual Vigil for the Victims of the Atlanta Shootings organised by the Goldsmiths Anti-Imperialist Society — Sunday 2nd May 2021

How Racism has its Roots in Politics: Anna Chen speaks at Standing up to Sinophobia: From Fu Manchu to Bat Soup Online event hosted by The Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU) 6th April 2021

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters from the West's Own Id: Anna Chen speaks at the the No Cold War online event, 13th January 2021

'Let's Blame China": an infantile disorder when Covid-19 comes knocking: How the White House turned "China bought us time" into "China lied, people died" and put the world at risk - 23rd June 2020

Plague, protests and how the hybrid war on China is prolonging Covid-19 pain in the West - 14th June 2020
Covid-19 and the UK's missing PPE - NHS health-workers you need this!

China: scapegoat and diversion from what ails western capitalism - 5th October 2019

Donald Trump's hostile takeover of the Chinese economy continues: Eternity in a grain of sand, heaven in a wild flower ... and revelation of character in a golf ball.
"People who cheat at golf also cheat at life." - 11th May 2019

Happy New Year: Will Donald Trump's tiny hand press the Big Red Button in 2019? - Anna Chen's warning that war between the US and China is a possibility, 24th December 2018

What's Donald Trump's trade war with China REALLY about? History repeats itself: Trump's fantasy trade-deficit is an excuse for carving up China - 13th November 2018

The Opening to China Part I: the First Opium War, the United States, and the Treaty of Wangxia, 1839–1844 The 1844 Treaty of Wangxia replicated many of the key terms of the Treaty of Nanjing. Most importantly, it established five treaty ports as open for Chinese-Western trade (Guangzhou, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Ningbo, and Shanghai). These treaty ports became key crossroads for Western and Chinese culture, as they were the first locations where foreigners and foreign trading operations could own land in China.

The Opening to China Part II: the Second Opium War, the United States, and the Treaty of Tianjin, 1857–1859

Chatham House report: Debunking the Myth of ‘Debt-trap Diplomacy’: How Recipient Countries Shape China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Twitter: and

Monday, 3 May 2021

The Roots of the Clash between the United States and China: Virtual Vigil for the Victims of the Atlanta Shootings

Organised by the Goldsmiths Anti-Imperialist Society — Sunday 2nd May 2021

Text of Anna Chen’s talk 

The Roots of the Clash between the United States of America and China

After a year of increasing anti-Asian violence encouraged by unscrupulous politicians and media, we took another lurch to the dark side when eight people were killed in the Atlanta shootings (16th March 2021), six of them Asian women. Elsewhere, Asian people are being regularly maimed and murdered.

Why have we been beset by this wave of sinophobic hatred when only four years ago, Christine Lagarde (International Monetary Fund) was remarking on the even pace of economic growth in the world? We had relative stability — if you weren’t a Palestinian, a Venezuelan or Iranian under US sanctions or a Black person in Ferguson — and as a species, for one glorious historical moment, we seemed to be headed towards the light.

But just as China’s economy was drawing level with the American superpower, we got the Thucydides Trap – classically the conflict that occurs when an established power feels threatened by a rising one — and now, more than 2,000 years after the original Sparta-Athens knock-down, we find ourselves being dragged into a war with a nuclear power which is also our global growth engine, the factory of the world and our lifeboat.

The road to war is paved with malign intent and the whipping up of China-hate to get the tax-paying American public on track for conflict is about as monstrous as you can get.

China is only 40 years into its modern era, having endured over a century of misery ever since Britain forced mass-produced opium onto the entire country at gunpoint in the 19th century Opium Wars, turning what had been an aristocratic vice into a nationwide addiction.

So why can’t the West take pleasure in China finally getting off its knees and raising an astonishing 850 million people out of absolute poverty? It is providing stability, healthcare, housing, education, food, an amazing high speed train system and beautiful cities. Why can’t we have a multi-polar world instead of one winner taking all?

One key difference between the American and Chinese systems is that US oligarchs control their government. Whoever you vote for, the government always gets in. Its politicians are backed by private money, and its corporations are too big to fail.

In China there is uneven distribution of wealth, but not on the scale of the declining superpower. This unevenness is something China appears to be tackling as it develops — as evidenced by the recent containment of Jack Ma’s Alibaba and Ant Financial empire.

Jack Ma was something of a philanthropist hero who’d promised his workers a share of the vast wealth generated by the Alibaba behemoth in the form of a shorter working week. He also produced a major online resource in the fight against Covid, and he offered to create a million new jobs for Donald Trump in America – which was was rejected.

But then he reverted to billionaire type, demanding that, despite his vast wealth, his workers should labour 996 hours — that is nine til nine, six days a week. He encouraged an excess of debt and then set about launching Ant Financial to service that debt with too small a cash reserve to stop it being too big to fail if anything went wrong. At the eleventh hour, the Chinese government audaciously clipped his wings, insisting Ant Financial should have a larger stash of cash, and are investigating possible monopoly transgressions.

The West was outraged. You can still hear them screeching that a government should have the temerity to reign in a company that could bring down the whole system in the same way that America’s deregulated mortgage industry almost collapsed the global economy in its 2008 crash … until China stepped in as the world’s shock absorber and lifted us out of danger.

China’s system is a new model that is not welcomed by certain parties in the West’s old declining capitalism.

America’s wealth is mostly stacked up in the hands of the top 0.1 per cent who own as much as the bottom 90 per cent. But it wasn’t always this way. Prior to Ronald Reagan’s presidency in 1981, post-World War 2 earnings for the majority went up by a hefty 77 per cent. Then, from 1981 earnings shrank by 3% under the Reagan regime. At the same time as America’s middle-class was expanding in its post-war glory years, earnings for the top 1% rose 29%, but from 1981 they soared by a colossal 176 per cent. It was the beginning of a huge transfer of wealth from the middle and working-classes to the super-rich that continues to this day.

This is where America’s healthcare, schools, jobs, roads, bridges and infrastructure went – into the pockets of the super-rich in the form of tax cuts. With little investment in its own people, poverty soars, the middle-class is hollowed out. And tent cities proliferate.

Having devoured the country down to the bone, like a shark that needs to keep moving or it dies, the billionaire class needs to look elsewhere for its dinner.

To jump metaphors, here’s China, the new rich kid on the block who’s just walked in wearing a Rolex and who’s about to get rolled.

China’s futuristic cities, transport and tech, its healthcare for all, its stability and safety present a juicy prize for stretched oligarchs hungry for new loot.

Not only that, but especially with the eradication of the coronavirus by day 43 of its 76-day lockdown — while Trump’s Covid super-spreader policy led to over a half a million dead — China is a model that America’s oligarchs do not want giving the public any big ideas.
“Hey. They look like they’re getting things right.” … is not what they want to hear.

So containment of the upcoming rival plus the promise of plunder have been too tempting to resist. The wall of hate propaganda is a form of self-hate as their lurid claims are all what’s happening at home in America, as we can see every day.

In the UK, we’ve gone through a similar immiseration of the working and middle-classes. Having inflicted austerity onto us, the same people who persuaded the country to leave the EU on the promise of fabulous trade deals with China are now trying to start a war with it. Having nailed us to the USS Titanic they are now trying to sink our lifeboat.

In true Tonya Harding Syndrome fashion, they’re out to smash the kneecaps of the upcoming rival. Biden said that China will not overtake America on his watch and pledged three hundred million dollars a year just to fight China’s Belt and Road initiative, on top all the rest of the psyops and dirty tricks.

The American ruling class would rather be the last one standing in the rubble than hand over the baton in the human race to fulfill its potential. The Asian women who were killed in Atlanta, the elderly who have been maimed and died, have already paid the price for this folly. We need to wake up and ensure they are the last and not the first.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Standing up to sinophobia: how racism has its roots in politics


Online event hosted by The Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU) 6th April 2021

Contribution by Anna Chen


So here we are in April 2021 as America’s anti-Chinese pogrom goes full blown. We’re seeing almost daily attacks on Asian people who’ve been caught up in this vicious wave of sinophobia. Britain is thankfully further behind but is being dragged in the same direction.

In the deadly Atlanta attack, six out of eight people who lost their lives were Asian women.

After Atlanta, we saw a brief display of crocodile tears from the government and media but then a return to business as usual.

Because this isn’t about being nice to minority victims. This is about turning a group of people – in this case 1.4 billion human beings – into a dehumanised blob so that the American superpower can retain top position as ruling hegemon in a unipolar world.

President Joe Biden finally admitted to what Victor Gao calls “Tonya Harding Syndrome” — with the declining superpower trying to smash the kneecaps of its upcoming rival. Biden declared that “China will never grow wealthier or more powerful than us on my watch”, despite China having four times the population, a lot of talent and an aim to raise the tide that floats all boats (see poverty eradication).

We’ve been assailed by a relentless Case for the Prosecution with no right of reply, obscene stories invented by an obscenely resourced psychological operations campaign. And here was Biden threatening that China would not overtake the US by any metric.

I first realised that China was the probable endgame of the Project for America in the 21st Century in 2005 when Dubbya Bush stood in the rubble of a destroyed Iraq and suddenly declared China to be a competitor. It came as America was ticking off its wars in a never ending stream of horror: in this latest round, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia. And I guessed that China stood at the end of that list, somewhere near Russia.

Bush had first called China a competitor during his election campaign of 2000.

The same year that Bush was putting China in the crosshairs, Prime Minister Tony Blair was badly mishandling the outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in Britain. The countryside was full of flaming pyres of dead livestock. Farmers were going bust and committing suicide.

A few months later, in March 2001, a government office — the Northumberland branch of the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) — briefed the press that the outbreak had been started by a Chinese restaurant in the north of England whose leftovers, they claimed, had contaminated food collected for pigswill.

It was absurd. It didn’t matter there was no science to back it up, or that Chinese restaurants buy their meat at the same place as everyone else: at the butchers. Or that the price of food and meat in the fourth richest economy in the world was at a near all time low, meaning that speculation about antelope meat being smuggled in by a Chinese Mr Big was as unhinged as the vision of herds of wildebeest roaming the plains of the Chinese serengeti – that is, it didn’t exist.

It was enough to use the method favoured by Goebbels that powered this character assassination — of linking the scapegoated group to filth and pestilence. And we know that the Big Lie, if repeated enough times, becomes gospel truth.

This was the first time I’d seen a government in the developed world blatantly triggering hate and disgust to divert problems onto a scapegoat. It seemed so crude and cruel and archaic.

Luckily, most Brits were too sceptical to buy into this, and many seemed quite outraged by it.

Chinese Brits held an unprecedented protest in London’s Chinatown and a delegation presented the Case for the Defence to the minister, Nick Brown, who seemed genuinely shocked and ended up publicly vindicating us.

However, there was no rectification or apology from the press. It was as if someone was testing out how effective scapegoating us would be.

It was like going back in time to the 19th and early 20th centuries when Yellow Peril imagery dehumanised the Chinese using tropes of over-sexualised, maleveolent, dirty Other, most famously expressed in Sax Rohmer’s FU MANCHU books, whose clever, cruel villain possessed “a brow like Shakespeare and a face like Satan”. That is to say, he’s smarter than us, almost like us but not quite. Fu Manchu was the embodiment of the evil Other, which is really only a mirror for all the cruelty we were doing in Empire.

So where did this vilification of an entire race begin?

To locate its origins, we’d have to travel in our time machine back past the Cold War and China’s revolution to liberate itself; past the deportation from Liverpool of thousands of Chinese sailors who’d run our British merchant navy during World War 2; past the United States Exclusion Act of 1882 which was designed specifically to keep out Chinese and which didn't end until 1943; past the 19th century lynchings in America when to have bad luck meant you had only an unenviable Chinaman’s Chance, and it took ten Chinese voices to carry the same weight as one white person … and even then, not so much. And past the Chinese who built north America’s rairoads from sea to shining sea.

This monstering of the Chinese began in earnest during the 19th century OPIUM WARS when Britain forced cheap, mass-produced opium grown in stolen Bengal onto China at gunpoint, turning what had been an expensive aristocratic vice into a nationwide addiction.

The narco-capitalists proceeded to smear their victims as sub-human and deserving of the crimes committed against them.

Not only was China plundered, their great treasures stolen, but the famed Summer Palace was looted and burnt to the ground by the French. Tens of thousands were massacred. Great chunks of China, like Hong Kong, were bitten off by the invading imperial powers that followed Britain. In the first great case of industrial espionage and theft of intellectual property, Britain stole China's tea trade and transplanted smuggled tea plants to India. America joined in the opium trade and took advantage of the unfair treaties forced onto a weak Qing government. Astor, Forbes, HSBC, Jardine, Matheson, the Midland Bank ... the opium trade made fortunes and helped finance the West’s industrial revolutions.

It was a carve-up that led to more than a century of suffering from which China’s only emerged in the last 40 years.

People who are convinced of their own superiority have to justify their savagery against their neighbours on this small, blue planet. And, as happened to native Americans, enslaved Africans and Aboriginal Australians among others, they have to dehumanise their victims.


Why is this happening now only five years after Christine Lagarde observed that the world economy was coming up evenly together with growing stability, prosperity and optimism? And little more than a decade after China saved the global economy from America’s devastating 2008 crash which threatened to plunge us all into a depression?

By allowing global currencies to devalue against the yuan, taking a huge hit in the process, China had acted as the world’s shock absorber and stabilised us. Consumption of foreign goods was stimulated by the Chinese government. China also bought a ton of American debt and helped kick-start the longest bull run in American markets ever. So if you made money from that, just remember how different things could have been.

And this is the thanks they get.

So why this hate for China? Unfortunately, the West is in trouble and losing their lead as its capitalism enters geriatric old age. No universal healthcare in the US. Crumbling infrastructure. Rising poverty with tent cities springing up everywhere. Treasure spent on endless wars. The richest zero point one percent owning the same as the bottom 90 percent. The whole system is built on the upward suck of national wealth by the billionaire class who own the government. They’ve sucked their country dry and are looking elsewhere.

In Britain, austerity laid low the economy, Brexit chaos threatens to finish it off, and Covid mishandling means we are dying in large numbers with no end in sight.

Meanwhile, China has the world’s only positive GDP growth in 2020. It’s the world’s growth engine as well as our lifeboat. It invested in its people, raising over 800 million out of absolute poverty — that’s well over twice the population of the US. It’s built them homes, created jobs, extended life expectancy and gradually given them a prosperity that Mr Spock would have been proud of. “Live long and prosper” might well be the motto of modern China.

Not only that, but having stood up to President Trump’s vicious trade war, after some initial fumbles, China then protected its people from the new coronavirus.

While America shockingly closed down its pandemic team and the CDC office in Beijing that was supposed to have helped China monitor and contain any new diseases, China identified, sequenced and shared the virus’s gene code with international scientists in record time.

It amazed the world with its unprecedented lockdown of Wuhan and Hubei province, with a population of 64 million, almost the same size as the British Isles. By day 43 of its 76-day lockdown, China had eradicated the Covid-19 virus bar flare-ups.

China bought us time which Trump’s Covid superspreader policy proceeded to squander: stigmatising masks, holding massive rallies and playing down the danger which we now know he was aware of as far back as his briefing by the NSA right at the start on 28th January 2020.

When Trump performed his U-turn in March 2020, the White House issued instructions for politicians to incessently blame China as reported by The Daily Beast, the Independent and Politico. So we’ve had lab creations, bat soup and twisted timelines … and it’s been a revelation as to which politicians and media have gone along with it.

It's been long discussed that the objective is to "contain China". The way Trump claimed that China's wealth is all America's doing, this suggests plunder as well. On top of everything else, let's not forget that Xinjiang happens to have the second largest oil field in the world as well as being China’s old Silk Route into the Middle East and Europe which now has the Belt and Road running through it.

Washington’s think tanks, such as CIMSEC, have stated an aim of “Preparing the American public for competition and conflict”. The only thing holding a fractured America together today is hatred for a common enemy. Fears are rising and the motivation is high.

As US Covid deaths continue to rise, the economy implodes with $28 trillion dollars in debt to date and race relations deteriorate, America needs a pressure valve and they have decided that China is its safety release.

I've long seen the WESTWORLD TV series as a potent metaphor for the current situation with Chinese cast as the hosts upon whom the guests can inflict any horror they want.

So to the China haters spinning this atrocity porn, every drop of poison, every toxic word, every lurid rape fantasy: what you’re saying about China doesn’t tell us who they are. It tells us who you are.

Further reading:

A reservoir of scapegoats: How Chinese in Britain challenged the Foot and Mouth disease smear campaign of 2001.

"I will not flinch from...WAR!" Our ruling elite just might be stupid and sociopathic enough to go to war with China.

The Struggle with China is not a Replay of the Cold War: Remarks to the Asia American Forum by former Ambassador Chas Freeman

The Opening to China Part I: the First Opium War, the United States, and the Treaty of Wangxia, 1839–1844

The Opening to China Part II: the Second Opium War, the United States, and the Treaty of Tianjin, 1857–1859

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters from the West's Own Id: No Cold War on China

A New Cold War against China is against the interests of humanity

Full text of Anna Chen's online speech at the No Cold War on China meeting, 13th January 2021

This worsening situation has been building for years until it’s almost set like concrete. It feels like Westworld with Chinese people cast as the robot hosts who the guests can do anything to and no-one says a thing.

The people who brought us AUSTERITY, then sold us BREXIT on the promise of a trade deal with China beyond the dreams of avarice, are the same Empire Crusaders who now want a war with it:
* The Tory establishment allowed Covid-19 to take hold, killing tens of thousands,
* have busted the country,
* agreed to rip out billions-worth of 5G and communications infrastructure for no reason except to please America,
* and now want to spend any remaining treasure and lots of debt, on a war on our global lifeboat – a nuclear power — while raking in profits from the Covid industry they’ve helped create.


China is the newly rich kid who’s strayed onto mafia turf and is about to be rolled.

I first realised that China was the likely end game in the Project for America in the 21st Century, in 2005, watching Dubbya Bush standing in the rubble of the Iraq war and declaring China to be a competitor.

America’s wars since carving up YUGOSLAVIA have been like ticking off boxes in a steady stream of horror: Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Venezuela, Bolivia and now Cuba – not forgetting YEMEN where British and American weapons are killing people even now. China is the big prize at the end of their list of imagined foes.

President Carter told Donald Trump that the reason China does well is that it doesn’t have wars and invests so much in the country - unlike America which has barely had a period when it hasn’t been at war, spends 20 times more than China on its military, and starves the US of investment.

In America, the top 0.1 per cent own as much as the bottom 90 per cent. Poverty is rising, health, education and housing are getting worse. The billionaire class have sucked America dry and they’re now eyeing up covetously the juicy growing market that is China.

China has raised 800 million out of absolute poverty, created a growing 550 million-strong middle-class, bigger than the US, and no squat toilets. That’s triggered enormous fear, loathing and jealousy.

Just as China draws level with the superpower hegemon, as predicted by a slew of Thucydides Trap articles in the mainstream media, instead of cooperating to stabilise the world and float all boats on a rising tide, America is using whatever it takes, every dirty trick, a wall of mud thrown at China to see what sticks.

A RAFT OF DODGY DOSSIER SLANDERS in the US hybrid war on China includes:

* So-called INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THEFT and Trump’s aggressive trade war kicking off his mafia shakedown, supposedly justified by a large TRADE DEFICIT (it’s actually a surplus of over $20 billion if you include profits from in-China services: Apple, Microsoft, Ford, Nike, McDonalds, Starbucks, and vampire squid Goldman Sachs and so on);

* CURRENCY MANIPULATION when China actually used huge amounts of its reserves to PROP UP the yuan (what’s Quantitive Easing and FED interference?);

* The attempt to take back HONG KONG, exploiting grievances using US NED-backed rioters issuing daily beatings (mostly of women and elderly men), burning, killing. No-one condemns this violence or even acknowledges it’s been happening. I have directly witnessed how, if you have a Chinese face and you’re not servile, no abuse is too much.
Remember it is ONE SOVEREIGNTY, TWO SYSTEMS, not two sovereignties.
China-bashers always omit the final six words of the key clause in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration: that HK would enjoy autonomy EXCEPT IN DEFENCE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS. (No rioters were killed by police in HK, but 1,004 people were killed by US cops in the same year - there were more rioters killed by cops at the storming of the Capitol than in a year of HK violence);

* The SOUTH CHINA SEA where Vietnam and others started the practise of building up rocky outcrops into islands – China was a johnny-come-lately. Three years after Obama’s aggressive pivot to EastAsia in 2012, Xi offered not to militarise the islands. Obama’s response was to pour in even more military on top of the 400 US bases surrounding China;

* And XINJIANG. Having surrounded China with missiles in its Pacific backyard, the America axis now focuses on China’s land route following the old Silk Road to Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe – which goes through Xinjiang.

In its WAR ON TERROR, America killed millions of Muslims, displaced 37 million people. It supports 2 million Palestinians trapped in Gaza for 14 years, has nothing to say about Kashmiri Muslims, it destroyed Iraq and Libya.
Out of all the Muslims in all the world, the West now really, REALLY cares about Uyghur Muslims.
How on earth is doing to Xinjiang what they’ve done to Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Syria supposed to help Uyghurs?

* CORONAVIRUS IN THE UK. All the disinformation ignoring how China identified, sequenced and eradicated Covid-19 has set like concrete to our detriment – we are paying for America’s geopolitical games with our lives.

In March 2020, the White House sent a cable to State Department officials, issuing "guidelines for how U.S. officials should answer questions on, or speak about, the coronavirus and the White House’s response in relation to China." And it’s ugly. The resulting NEWS BLACKOUT in the US and the UK has meant us constantly reinventing the wheel as more of us sicken and die, instead of learning from the Covid-19 roadmap that China drew from hard, painful experience.

When have you ever seen a measured public debate with judicially verifiable evidence? Where is the right of reply to these claims in the mainstream media?

America has an army of “psychological warfare officers” pumping out this stuff which the mainstream news platforms regurgitate and refuse a right of reply, all manufacturing consent for war in the interests of AMERICA FIRST, devil take the hindmost.
It is a hugely funded operation: billions of dollars, thousands of officers, decades of PSYOPS, all dedicated to “using information and misinformation to shape the emotions, decision-making and actions of American adversaries.”
And that also means mugging off us, the public.

One major block to a concerted effort to counter the destructive actions by the enraged geriatric superpower in decline is sinophobia.

It’s deeply embedded, and has its roots in the devastating OPIUM WARS of the 19th Century when the British forced cheap, mass-produced opium grown in Bengal onto China at gunpoint, turning what had been an expensive, aristocratic vice into a nationwide addiction. The INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONS of Britain and America were financed by the Opium Wars and the pillage of India, Asia and Africa.

So now, just as China has crawled out of the wreckage of nearly 200 years of wars and wealth extraction, China has been very effectively turned into dark mirror of the West, by the West.

How has this feat of magic been achieved, turning 1.4 billion human beings into pariahs in the Anglosphere? And why are some of us going along with it?

You may have noticed that Chinese people are practically nowhere to be seen in Britain – no household name pundits on platforms, no newscasters, few actors you could name, no Chinese in Eastenders, not in politics, or the arts.

Absence of representation in the culture dehumanises Chinese people, turns us into a blank canvas you get to haul out of a bottom drawer whenever the forces of reaction need projection and deflection of their own sins: our enforced invisibility means Chinese are a permanent reservoir of scapegoats.

And that reservoir is being tapped to the max.

To believe such crazed, lurid depictions of the Chinese as sexually sadistic Yellow Peril, Fu Manchu villains relies on an innate unchallenged racism. Dark forces have given the world permission to hate and it’s interesting to see who has been standing up against it … and who has been going along for the ride.

If the sleep of reason produces monsters, we’ve been flooded with monsters from the Western id to fill the vacuum. It’s in our own interests to do the revolutionary thing, make visible the invisible and work together on Covid, on climate change and the global economy.

How China's role as shock absorber saved the global economy from America's catastrophic 2007-8 crash by allowing global currencies to devalue against the yuan despite China taking a huge economic hit. Along with buying a third of US debt, this set off the longest bull-run ever in US markets.

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Early Coronavirus chronology after COVID-19 found in Spain from March 2019


Coronavirus fact check chronology

Very interesting development that a strain of the Covid-19 virus — SARS-CoV-2 — has been discovered in a frozen sample of sewage in Barcelona dating from 12th March 2019, indicating (as some scientists have posited) that the virus was already circulating the world before exploding so virulently in Wuhan in December 2019.

America needs to provide an explanation as to why they were able to brief NATO and Israel about the coming pandemic in November but failed to warn China in the middle of a vicious trade war. (EDIT: The Pentagon now denies this.) In a bonfire of the virus protection measures: Trump disbanded in May 2018 the pandemic team set up by Obama, slashed their Beijing CDC office until no staff remained by July 2019, threatened to pull out of WHO and defunded research.

This, of course, means that NATO member Britain was fully in the frame having being tipped off about the virus even before China. However, despite still messing up its handling of the outbreak at home, it is nevertheless prepared to scapegoat China at the behest of the Trump administration. Very noble, chaps. So glad to see we took back control!

To bolster Trump's accusations of tardiness, there are still claims  –  which I thought had long been put to bed – that China suppressed its whistleblower doctors. Of course, early fumbles with the novel coronavirus, and taking less than five weeks from initial discovery to full-on national lockdown and eventual eradication of the virus, can hardly compete in the criminal negligence stakes with America's six months of paralysis.

In a full frontal attack on Age of Enlightenment fact-based science, Trump went medieval on our collective ass. For tales of suppression of doctors, you need only look at the attacks on Dr Anthony Fauci, the World Health Organisation, hospital workers who warn about lack of PPE and scientists working with China in vital research, such as Dr Peter Daszak whose crucial work was defunded. The treatment of the Seattle doctor who realised, "It's just everywhere" in January is a case in point.

So to clarify the chronology of the virus's discovery in China, the following is gleaned from the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, WHO, Xinhua, Asia Review, Read Passage, The Lancet and others.

An "odd" lung infection is noted in the Wuhan hospital 18th December.

Dr Zhang Jixian sees a sick family 26th December and on 27th December, she reports the unusual pneumonia to her hospital boss and local health authority in Wuhan. The provincial CDC then initiates full scale research at the hospital.

By 30th December, the Wuhan Municipal Health Committee (WMHC) notifies its medical institutions. “The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission issued an urgent notification to medical institutions under its jurisdiction, ordering efforts to appropriately treat patients with pneumonia of unknown cause.” (Xinhua)

On the same day, 30 December, Dr Ai Fen sends private message mentioning SARS to other doctors which is seen by opthalmologist Dr Li Wenliang.

Li sends a private WeChat message warning a group of eight medical colleagues incorrectly that it could be SARS and includes patients' private medical information - from there it goes viral. He is reprimanded by police on 3rd January and told to sign a pledge he won't do it again. (He tragically catches Covid-19 from a patient and dies 7th February.)

The WMHC issues a public notification on its Weibo account on 31st December when CCTV, CGTN and Reuters carry the story.

Same day, 31st Dec, China receives genome results from a commercial lab - the WHO is told (and then formally briefed 3rd Jan). US CDC learn from the 31st Dec reports and begin development reports for HHS on Jan 1st.

2nd Jan the WHO activates their incident management system.

On 3rd January (4th Jan in China), the US CDC chief Robert Redfield talks to China's CDC chief, George Guo. Redfield tells HHS secretary Alex Azar who then tells the White House and instructs his chief of staff to share the Chinese report with the national security council. [EDIT: The Washington Post reports that Azar did not "substantially" inform Trump until 18th January at Mar-a-lago. Azar “assured the president that those responsible were working on and monitoring the issue. Azar told several associates that the president believed he was ‘alarmist’ and Azar struggled to get Trump’s attention to focus on the issue, even asking one confidant for advice.”]

The virus genome is identified, sequenced and shared internationally in record time by 12th January.

EDIT: To be more specific:
2nd January: The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) receive the first batch of samples of four patients from Hubei Province and begin pathogen identification.
4th January (3rd Jan in the US): Head of the China CDC George Guo talks over phone with director of the U.S. CDC Robert Redfield about the pneumonia outbreak. The two sides agree to keep in close contact for information sharing and technological cooperation.
5th January: Laboratory test results rule out respiratory pathogens, such as influenza, avian influenza, adenovirus, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, as the cause. The WHO is informed and releases its first briefing on cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan.
EDIT: In a Time magazine interview, Professor Zhang Yongzhen says he recieved samples at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center on 3rd January and uploaded the sequence to the US on 5th January. "Zhang insists he first uploaded the genome to the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) on Jan. 5—an assertion corroborated by the submission date listed on the U.S government institution’s Genbank."
7th January: The China CDC succeeds in isolating the first novel coronavirus strain.
8th January: The National Health Commission (NHC) initially identify a new coronavirus as the cause of the epidemic.
9th January: The NHC make public their discovery of the pathogen, saying a new type of coronavirus has been initially identified as the cause of the viral pneumonia in Wuhan. China informs the WHO who release a statement on progress saying that this unusually fast preliminary identification of a new virus is a notable achievement.
10th January: The China CDC shares with the WHO the specific primers and probes for detecting the novel coronavirus.
11th January: The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission updated briefing on the situation of viral pneumonia of unknown cause.
12th January: The China CDC, the CAMS and the WIV under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), as designated agencies of the NHC, submit to the WHO the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which is published by the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) and shared globally. 


China's genuine biggest blunder allows a public banquet in Wuhan to go ahead on 18th January. Local officials are later disciplined and sacked.

Evidence for human to human transmission is confirmed 20th January. 

Previous accusations of "crying wolf" over H1N1 Swine Flu in 2009 by the BBC among others: "They [WHO] frightened the whole world with the possibility that a major plague was on the way," means China and the WHO are ultra-cautious until they have scientific proof this time. However, they do NOT rule it out and on 14th January, the WHO tweets that as yet "Preliminary investigations ... have found no clear evidence" of h2h infection. 

Wuhan lockdown begins 23rd Jan when its air traffic is stopped. Two 1,000 bed emergency hospitals for confirmed cases are built in 10 days.

China reopens 76 days later having eradicated the virus but cautiously leaving the system in place to deal with flare-ups. It had a total of 86,000 cases with 4,653 deaths, most in Hubei.

COVID-19 origin: University of Calgary research shows SARS-CoV-2 may have been evolving slowly since 2013.

The Atlantic: Trump’s Break With China Has Deadly Consequences. After scuttling its partnership with Beijing on public health, the U.S. was unprepared for the pandemic.

Joshua Cho, Fair: No, China Didn’t ‘Stall’ Critical Covid Information at Outbreak’s Start