“Trojan” gifts: how dangerous is China’s assistance in the fight against coronavirus

"Троянские" подарки: чем опасна помощь Китая в борьбе с коронавирусом

In the days when the coronavirus is rampant around the world, its homeland – China – seems to be an example of success and almost a role model. However, the actual condition of the combat coronavirus in China is not so simple. “Apostrophe” understood what threats may be lurking in Chinese aid to Ukraine and why gifts from China need to be careful, first of all, Kiev authorities.

The real number of victims

Almost immediately after the first official reports of quarantine operations in the Chinese province of Wuhan thesis that the famous “Chinese statistics” hides the real data on the extent of the epidemic of the coronavirus COVID-19, began to circulate in the media and statements of politicians. The most serious claims to “to official Chinese figures” projected forward of the USA and UK, known for his critical attitude to China. In particular, the intelligence structure of the United States allude to the terrible figures, which, however, is ready to publish after the completion of the investigation. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson was more outspoken and voiced suspicions about the fact that China has reduced the real number of cases is 40 times (!!!).

Of course, to accuse China of all mortal sins for these two States are not new, especially because no really solid evidence yet has been provided. But the analytical and expert community around the world sympathetic to claims in relation to China, because such withholding is consistent with the style of behavior and the strategy of the Chinese authorities.

“The real numbers, we likely will never know, because the issue has become very politicized. Of course, China has a strong tradition of hiding domestic problems, and such methods he is trying to support the external image. A start will be possible only from the official figures from the who, which has already established a systematic cooperation with China “, – explained the “Apostrophe” orientalist, associate Professor, Kyiv national Taras Shevchenko Makar Taran.

However, without official data from the who or the Chinese government can try to establish the true extent of the pandemic in China. In particular, if we take for basis announced by the Prime Minister of Britain figures, that the total number of cases of infection with coronavirus in China exceeds 3 million, with the current official statistics, just over 82 000 cases.

At first glance, this number looks apocalyptic fiction. But do not forget that the scale of the almost-half billion Chinese population, 3 million is less than 0.5%. Concealment and statistics at such a scale quite on forces to the Chinese authorities. However, even 3 million cases of coronavirus may not be the final figure. After all, there is indirect evidence that the extent of coronavirus disaster in China could be even greater.

“Talking about the validity of the claims of the West against China is difficult, but realistic suspicion is unconditional. After all, such behavior for a Communist government is typical. Suffice it to recall examples from the history of the Soviet Union. Of course, the statistics are hidden or falsified, and in search of truth have to go almost to the rumors and various inconsistencies in public data. For example, since the beginning of the epidemic, according to the mobile operators in China, from 7 to 21 million subscribers somehow disappeared from the network, simply by turning off their phones. Their fate without a formal data is necessary to guess only”, – told the “Apostrophe” chief coordinator Hong Kong Center Free Arthur Kharitonov.

Today China’s desire to conceal the extent of the epidemic may seem harmless attempt to save face before the international community, but in the early stages of expansion of the coronavirus such actions have caused irreparable harm, because of the soothing data from China and other countries of the world were reluctant to introduce quarantine measures and have themselves become victims of the pandemic. For example, an authoritative American edition of the New York Times estimated that since the notice of the Chinese authorities, the international health authorities about the mysterious cases of pneumonia and before the introduction of Donald trump measures in the United States on direct flights from China arrived more than 430 000 people. How many of them could be carriers of the coronavirus – is anyone’s guess.

Similar processes occurred in Europe. When the coronavirus was walking through China, and thence intelligence dragged through the interrogations of the doctors who tried to warn the world about the threat and had deleted the social media posts, hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists walking on European streets and squares.

Unfortunately, even with 100% evidence withholding of information by the Chinese authorities, none of the leadership of the Communist party of China will not bear any responsibility. But try to bring down the “compensation” from China can. So, in the report of the international organization of the Henry Jackson Society notes that taking into account the losses of the world economy and compensation for the victims ‘ families, due to gross violations of China’s international law at the beginning of the pandemic, with the PRC may require up to 6.5 trillion dollars.

But, most of all, these fantastic sums will remain on paper. As noted by Arthur Kharitonov, more real to prosecute and who guidelines, because “timely information on epidemiological threats – their duty”.

The Chinese model against coronavirus

China today is not the first in the ranking of countries with the largest number of patients and deaths from the coronavirus. At least according to official statistics. And in terms of panic and ostentatious “inefficiency” of the Western States in the confrontation of the pandemic China is slowly trying to rebuild their economic situation, to compensate for reputational losses, and even go to export homegrown “Chinese model of combat coronavirus”, stories about the effectiveness of which here and there emerge in the media. And although no one epidemiologist you will not hear the assertion that China finally won the coronavirus. Moreover, in China prepare for the second wave of the epidemic, imported workers from Moscow (now registered more than 20 cases of coronavirus, Chinese citizens who returned from the Russian capital), discussions have already started “authoritarian waves in the Chinese model,” which under the guise of combating coronavirus risks to cover a democratic state.

Ukraine also needs to be careful. After all, when the rigid quarantine restrictions are perceived by part of society as the beginning of becoming a “police state”, as part as an effective model that will save from the epidemic, this threat of “Chinese” ideology cannot be ignored.

“The Chinese model, one component of which is statism – where the state is the producer of most of the processes in the country, of course, is very attractive to authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, where most and love to talk about “Chinese experience.” The experience of dealing with the coronavirus in China, the use of centralized administrative methods – all this demonstrates the Chinese model in action. But Western state used a completely different model based on their political traditions, which is based on a dialogue with a person,” says Makar Taran.

Policy and PR inside cartons of Chinese “aid”

In General, the activity of China in the international arena has increased significantly since the time when the coronavirus has eased its grip on Chinese cities and provinces. Trying to wash away the reputation of the “source of infection”, China began actively sending medical assistance to other countries, including in the United States and the European Union. At the same time, there is a certain irony in the fact that in the first batch of Chinese aid to Europe had found a mask and drugs, who a few months ago, the EU sent to Wuhan, when the coronavirus was still Chinese, not global problem. But most of all, anxiety is the fact that often the arrival of cargos from China is served with sauce “China is helping us more than the EU”. Given that on this front against the EU is also active in Russia (about what already wrote “Apostrophe”), it becomes clear that politicians in boxes with the inscription “coronavirus assistance” not less than the actual medical devices.

“External assistance in the case of China has always complied with 3 functions. This “sharing” of political influence out, it is a demonstration of “soft power” – its forces and capabilities, and the improvement of its political image. Chinese “coronavirus assistance” is in fact an indication that China is not going to abandon their global projects,” said Makar Taran.

However, not only political motives make a cautious watch on generous parcels from China. “To Chinese “aid” should be treated very carefully, because problems arise at each level. First, often it is not using, but in simple acts of sale, when China sells mountains of unnecessary funds nanesennykh into the country or produced during the peak of the epidemic. Secondly, very often “help” is of poor quality. In particular, the factory (we are talking about Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnol – “Apostrophe”), tests, and other medical equipment which is imported to Ukraine from China, was known for the production of fake and substandard medical products long before the epidemic. Tellingly, China is now trying to distance itself from these supplies, calling them a private matter of the owner of the factory, which directly contradicts statements of the Ukrainian authorities, in particular, the mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko, who said that the government of China encouraged this vendor and acted as a mediator in the negotiations”, – said Arthur Kharitonov.

If you pay attention to the actions of the EU, it becomes clear that the quality of the “help” of China is that it is often useless. The Netherlands has already returned to China 600 thousand low-quality masks, Spain, the wave of panic bought Chinese coronavirus tests now refuses them together with the governments of the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Georgia and the Philippines.

Ukraine, specifically Kiev government, takes tons of goods from China. Moreover, the products in the capital comes with a factory Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnol, where, if you believe the published online video, workers wipe their feet on the medical mask. In addition, the tests from this factory, in both forms and to antibodies, and antigens recognized adulteration in Spain and the UK. One can only hope that we once again “blow over”, and provided from China products will be of satisfactory quality.