Critical China Scholars statement on the “lab-leak” investigation (3)

Ah, I was actually secretly hoping the statement was an aberration, a mistake, and that it would be retracted!

As I said the main problem is that we now already know the Chinese regime has made it clear there will be no further international investigation.

As with Xinjiang, they won’t allow any real inquiry — it’s who they are, it’s how their system works, especially when they are hiding too much, in the case of Covid, not just embarrassing mistakes but intentional wrongdoing — and we can compare the massive historic crimes the same men are committing in Xinjiang, where the international demands for a UN investigation also have long passed their best-before date (See my “Michelle Bachelet should not go to Xinjiang on Chinese government terms“).

We know this about China: On Covid, as elsewhere, they are protecting the set narrative of the infallible great leader who won’t be contradicted and who only allows parrots. They believe absolute thought control is priority #1, to keep the power elite in place. This is why the regime has gone so far as to humiliate the WHO, the international organisation that should have been handling this on the world’s behalf. We now know a lot about how WHO officials and professionals have been seething with frustration over this treatment.

In this situation, when the WHO has been disabled, there is no alternative to other countries opening their own investigations as best they can, and we should applaud that, for the sake of the millions who died. This is serious business that can’t wait for the Chinese regime’s approval.

There is much more to say but I’ll stop here. Just one more observation. Equating the elected government of a democracy like the US with the Chinese regime is profoundly problematic, or worse, — especially given how close we’ve come just recently, to the demise of that same US democracy.

As we all know, in China, under the empire of fear, investigative reporting about the internal government struggles about what to do with the question of the origins of Covid, like Katherine Eban just did for the US in Vanity Fair, is impossible. Eban herself, if she even tried, would be hunted down by the US thought police, worked over, and forced to sign a cease-and-desist-or-else statement like Li Wenliang, the Wuhan doctor who tried to publicize the outbreak to save people. We’d never hear about her again. They would also hunt down and punish each of the 40 officials who talked to her and agreed to tell her what happened. They would be lined up in public, to sing the praise of the great leader and re-affirm the party line, like we have seen in Wuhan and all over.

Democracy makes a difference.

Magnus Fiskesjö nf42@cornell.edu

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