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April 28, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8722

Stellar Russian Economist Inozemtsev: China's Problem Is Not Eating Uncooked Bats Or Lax Laboratory Safety Standards, But A 'Government Crazed By Unlimited Powers And Lies'

April 28, 2020
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 8722

Professor Vladislav Inozemtsev, who amongst his many titles is the Founder and Scientific Director of the Center for Post-Industrial Society Studies (Moscow), and the chair at the Department of World Economy, Faculty of Public Governance, Moscow State University, wrote an article highly critical of Chinese policy during the coronavirus crisis.  In an opinion piece for the popular outlet Gazeta.ru titled "A Time to Embrace and a Time to Slip Out of the Embrace", Inozemtsev claims that the Chinese cover-up of the virus and its subsequent attempts to lecture others and even shift responsibility has already triggered an anti-Chinese reaction in Europe and the United States. The Chinese do not realize, observes Inozemtsev, that "openness and honesty in this case would undoubtedly be the best way out of a difficult situation", because "these tools are not encountered in the arsenal of authoritarian states." The Russian authorities, who had signed on to the most ridiculous Chinese accusations are going to learn that their policy of siding with the southeastern "partners" against a presumably decaying West will backfire. China's real problem, warns Inozemtsev, is not people eating uncooked bats or getting infected due to careless laboratory practices but a "government, crazed by unlimited powers and lies that turns China into a "leper" of the 21st century."

Inozemstev's article follows below:[1]


Vladislav Inozemtsev (Source: Kpradio.ru)

"…Coronavirus, apparently, was neither the creation of the military, nor a tool for subjugating the peoples to the mythical "world government". The most probable reason for its occurrence was the careless human interaction with wildlife…It is therefore quite obvious that territorially, the epidemic spread from China (as did the similar pandemics of 1957, 1968 and 2013).

"Therefore, the idea of the Chinese authorities' responsibility for the pandemic was not based on a provocation against the great "CPC" [Communist Party of China] and personally against its brilliant chairman Xi [Xi Jinping], but was a consequence of banal logical conclusions. Characteristically, when these deductions were first made, no one reproached China for what had transpired and even more did not demand any 'amends'.

"However, once it became clear that the PRC authorities covered up the beginning of the epidemic and its scope, tried to misinform international organizations (and possibly even bribe them) and criminally ignored the threat of the epidemic's spread due to massive tourist travel abroad during the lunar New Year celebration), a serious case arose in many countries for accusing the Chinese government of negligence. These accusations were soon followed by demands for an investigation.

"The [Chinese] response was an unprecedentedly arrogant defamation campaign against politicians and experts who advocated such demands, and accompanied by an outrageous series of attempts to shift responsibility to others. Chinese diplomats in Russia, Kazakhstan, and many other countries began, in impermissible language, to lecture the citizens of these countries, representatives of Chinese ministries and agencies denied the 'Wuhanesque' origins of the virus, and Russian Sinophiles were busy popularizing the most delusional fabrications of our southeastern 'partners'.

"Recently, the propaganda efforts of Beijing have reached a new level where 'justification' is made that the virus was introduced to China from without and the one ultimately responsible for its global spread turns out to be the United States that has most suffered from the epidemic's consequences.

"In my opinion, the tendency to search for enemies in today's extraordinary conditions is completely unproductive, no matter who demonstrates it. We see in any fantasy novel or film how common threats bring people together rather than driving them apart. But attempts to shift responsibility from yourself to others, I think can lead to the opposite result…

"A world that has lost nearly 200,000 lives and trillions of dollars will not be strengthened by [by Chinese billionaire] Jack Ma's [donation of] cloth masks nor by the healing remedies of traditional Beijing practitioners, whom the Russian authorities are running around with.

"Openness and honesty in this case would undoubtedly be the best way out of a difficult situation, but these tools are not encountered in the arsenal of authoritarian states…

"Today the Western world is scared by the extent to which it is dependent on a non-Western China. And the latter has done everything possible to become the embodiment of this scare in billions of peoples’ minds.

"Globalization has in case already begun to 'regionalize'. (Already in 2018 25.8% of international commodity trade was accounted for the circulation of goods within the Eurozone (EU and EEA)). Even before the crisis, the trade growth rate was lower than the growth rate of the world gross product, which would have seemed unthinkable in the 2000s…

"In recent years, an illusion of a rapid revival of industrial and commodity economies appeared, bolstered by propaganda [seeking] to create a perception of a "decaying" Western world. But the crisis of 2020 can destroy this illusion. Developed countries for the second time after 2008-2009 (and to a much greater extent) felt their incredible financial capacities. In just a week, the Bank of England has increased the gold reserves by an amount exceeding the Russian and the Chinese ones. The world saw the extent to which energy consumption could be reduced without complete economic stagnation to the economies….

For many years, Russian and foreign geopolitical geniuses talked about China's rise as well as its sort of a 'return of history' that did not follow [Francis] Fukuyama's prescriptions [about the ultimate triumph of Western Liberalism].[2] They evaluated diverse scenarios of conflict between the "Celestial Empire" [PRC] and the West –from a military clash to competition for control of global finances. However, the unexpected happened: an epidemic from China arrived in the world, against which both weapons and money turned out to be useless, the epidemic to which people have only one answer: self-isolation and social distancing.

"The last thing China needs today is that as a country it should be treated as a carrier of infection. They will not fear them [the Chinese] they will not hate them and they will habitually sympathize with them, but they will sidestep them. They will communicate with them through masks, will not extend their hands, and fear to touch anything that they have used.  If such an attitude will be transferred to economic relations, it will put an end to China's enormous ambitions ... The Chinese have made an unprecedented breakthrough in the economic, technological and social spheres [a breakthrough] that no nation on the planet has equaled in such short time). True, they had and still have their share of problems - and one of them is the epidemic. But it is not the epidemic, nor even people, who perhaps ate a not fully cooked bat, or who possibly got infected carelessly in the laboratory [who are the real problem], but the government, crazed with unlimited powers and lies, who turns China into a "leper" of the 21st century."

"I sincerely wish the Chinese physical and spiritual good health, and for China ideological and political wellbeing. I am convinced that the fate of the contemporary world will depend much more on the latter than on the former."

 

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