Remarks: Speaking to 7 NEWS’s Tim Lester, Michael Shoebridge, the director of defence, strategy and national security at Canberra’s Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the numbers simply didn’t add up. FULL STORY HERE: https://www.4cmitv.com/2020/04/10/2020-apr-10-victory-in-wuhan-is-not-all-it-seems-still-in-lockdown-beijing-not-open-for-business/
Wuhan’s victory over coronavirus is not all it seems, foreign policy expert warns
IMAGE: Paramilitary policemen wear face masks as they march in formation near Tiananmen Square in Beijing on February 4. Credit: Mark Schiefelbein/AP
China’s official figures on the number of people infected with COVID-19 are not to be trusted, and news of Wuhan’s lifting of drastic lockdown measures should be viewed with scepticism, a leading Australian foreign policy expert has warned.
Speaking to 7NEWS’s Tim Lester on Wednesday, Michael Shoebridge, the director of defence, strategy and national security at Canberra’s Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the numbers simply didn’t add up.
According to the official tally, the number of people infected with coronavirus in China stands at 83,080 – about a third of what is now being report in the US, and also well behind Spain, Italy, Germany and France.
The official death toll in the central China province of Hubei – where the virus was incubated in the city of Wuhan – stands at 3,215.
IMAGE: Chinese workers and health officials wear protective suits as travellers from Wuhan are processed after the central Chinese city lifted its lockdown on Wednesday. Credit: Kevin Frayer/Getty
That means that 99.94 per cent of China’s population has yet to be infected – a figure that Shoebridge said is simply “not credible” given the country’s status as the epicentre of COVID-19.
It’s a lower proportion of the population diagnosed positive than in Australia, he pointed out, telling Lester it had always been in the Communist Party of China’s interests to under-report the rate of infection.
After 76 days, Wuhan's unprecedented lockdown has come to an end. Political Correspondent @telester speaks with @ASPI_org Defence & Strategy Director @michael_ASPI on China's transparency on new coronavirus cases, its motivation on managing the Wuhan outbreak and more. #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/HUYbzRF8Wz
— 7NEWS Australia (@7NewsAustralia) April 8, 2020
“President Xi Jinping told his party officials that this is a peoples’ war against COVID-19, and they would fail if cases rose in their local areas,” Shoebridge said.
“After he told them that, the reported numbers fell off.”
IMAGE President Xi Jinping, centre, shows China he is firmly in charge, during this propaganda visit to the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing in early March. Credit: Ju Peng/AP
Shoebridge said China’s public display of victory over the virus, by announcing the lifting of extreme lockdown laws in Wuhan on Wednesday, was done to tout the communist party’s success in managing the pandemic.
“It has to cover up the very nasty truth that it was the party’s repression of information and control of doctors that actually let this pandemic spiral out of control in China itself and now across the globe,” he said.
“It’s a curatedcurated /kjʊ(ə)ˈreɪtəd/ adjective (of online content, merchandise, information, etc.) selected, organized, and presented using professional or expert knowledge. “individuals still desire … Continue reading story from the Chinese Communist Party.”
IMAGE: Dr Li Wenliang tried to warn the world about coronavirus, before he contracted it himself and died. Credit: CNN
Images of the borders being opened and public transport up and running in Wuhan over the past 24 hours should also be viewed with scepticism, Shoebridge said.
The city’s 11 million residents were still being checked rigorously by officials and the people who were permitted to leave their homes were only allowed out for two hours.
BEIJING STILL CLOSED
The country’s capital still appeared to be under tight lockdown.
“In Beijing, a municipal government spokesperson has said that the controls in place will be the long-term ‘new normal’,” Shoebridge said.
“Beijing is deeply fearful of further outbreaks.”
IMAGE: Two people outside the Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan on Wednesday, after the lockdown was apparently lifted. Credit: Barcroft Media/Getty
Shoebridge said the World Health Organisation (WHO) must share some level of responsibility for the depth of deception over China’s handling of the pandemic.
“They have acted not like the world’s headlights trying to get ahead of this, they’ve acted like a rear vision mirror,” he said.
“They criticised countries for putting travel restrictions in place early and denied there was human to human transmission because the Chinese officials told them there wasn’t, which was palpably false.”
Shoebridge suggested there was irony in the fact that while Xi was at pains to show the Chinese people that his authoritarian approach to controlling the virus was global best practice – an approach that included welding people’s apartment doors shut and baton-wielding police dragging people into ambulances – it was China’ s enemy to the east, Taiwan, that had shown the world how to successfully contain a pandemic.
IMAGE: A drone view showing a Wuhan tram working again on Wednesday, but not many commuters. Credit: Getty
On Thursday, Taiwan, which has a similar population to Australia, recorded 379 cases of COVID-19, and just five deaths.
“Taiwan is a democracy with Chinese characteristics,” Shoebridge said.
“Control (of the virus) is done not through fear but through co-operation because that’s what a democracy is about.”
Original Source: Date-stamped: 2020 APR 09 | Time-stamped: 7:51 pm | Author: 7 NEWS Kelly Burke | Article Title: Wuhan’s victory over coronavirus is not all it seems, foreign policy expert warns | Article Link: 7news.com.au
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Original-Source: 7NEWS Australia
Original-Source-Published: Apr 10, 2020
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