The Coronavirus: Brought to you by those wonderful folks who gave China the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution and Tiananmen Square.
Wuhan is nothing new for a regime that’s been sacrificing innocents to its demented ideology for over 70 years.Politically, nothing has changed since the People’s Republic of China was proclaimed on October 1, 1949.
The PRC is still a totalitarian state where dissent is brutally crushed, the Party is all powerful and human life is cheap.
Less than a year after the PRC was established, Mao sent his “volunteer” army of 3 million across the Yalu River to intervene in the Korean War, prolonging the conflict by almost three years and resulting in tens of thousands of Chinese, American and Korean casualties.
Then came the Great Leap Forward (1958 to 1962) in which 45 million died in a famine caused by Mao’s insane ambition to match Britain in iron and steel production, and setting fantastic targets for agricultural output. Much of the latter was used to repay debts to the Soviet Union or donated to Third World countries to buy influence.
The countryside was stripped of grain and peasants left to starve. It’s estimated that 2.5 million who objected to this folly or dragged their feet were summarily executed or tortured to death. To this day, the Communist Party will allow only muted criticism of Mao’s role in shaping the catastrophe.
Fast on the heels of the Great Leap Forward came the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966 to 1976) – everything’s great in Communist China. When Mao determined that there was insufficient ideological purity in the Middle Kingdom, students and workers were unleashed against intellectuals, teachers and party functionaries who had erred in applying the thoughts of Chairman Mao.
As punishment, 20 million were sent to the country to work in the fields. Many starved to death. Another one and a half million were murdered or driven to suicide. Nationwide, two hundred million suffered from malnutrition and China’s economy was left in ruins.
Moving right along, in 1989, following the death of a popular reformist leader and reacting to widespread corruption, students held protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square which came to be known in China as the ’89 Democracy Movement. It went on from April 15 to June 4
This was the most direct challenge to the Party’s rule since the PRC’s founding. As such, it was brutally suppressed with assault rifles and tanks. Large parts of Beijing were occupied. Estimates of the death toll, as demonstrators were crushed under the treads of tanks, range from several hundred to several thousand.
Like the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, the Party will not allow a discussion of its role here.
The foregoing should inform our discussion of China’s criminal mishandling of the Coronavirus. The cast of characters changes. Tactics are modified — first reform, then repression. But the pandemic is just another milestone on a road China has been on since 1949.
It was all so predictable.
Last December, there was an outbreak of a new virus in Wuhan. The origin is believed to be either a filthy wet market (where animals are slaughtered as well as sold) or a bio-weapons lab.
Neglect or negligence — either way, it was the regime’s fault. But the Party never admits mistakes, so the initial reaction was denial and coverup. Local physicians who first warned of the new contagion were arrested and forced to recant. Precious weeks were lost through stonewalling and keeping out foreign researchers.
The French say the more things change, the more they remain the same. China under communism is the perfect illustration of that axiom.