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Infection Count: China Started Reporting Count of Asymptomatic Virus Carriers

After Li Keqiang instructed on March 30 that the asymptomatic carriers (those carriers who show no symptoms) be monitored and inspected, China’s State Council announced that it will publish the number of asymptomatic carriers daily.

The National Health Commission reported that, by March 30, there were 1,541 asymptomatic carriers under medical observation in China. The total number of infection cases under treatment was 2,161.

As of 10:49 a.m. on April 3, 2020, the officially released asymptomatic carriers count on QQ’s website was 1,027.

Earlier, the South China Morning Post reported that there were more than 43,000 people in China who had tested positive for the coronavirus by the end of February but who had no immediate symptoms. They were placed in quarantine and monitored but were not included in the official tally of confirmed cases, which stood at about 80,000 at the time.

Oriental Daily also reported that Zhang Wenhong, the head of Shanghai Pneumonia Medical Treatment Expert Group, said that among the over 100 imported infection cases in Shanghai, there were more and more asymptomatic carriers. The coronavirus can survive in human bodies for more than three weeks and can present a great spreading risk.

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Leadership: Li Keqiang Warned of the Coronavirus Risk in China and Asked that Asymptomatic Carriers Be Managed

By controlling the reporting of infection numbers, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has portrayed China as having come out of the coronavirus outbreak. However, on March 30, Li Keqiang delivered a different message.

Xinhua reported that, on March 30, Li Keqiang hosted a Central Novel Coronavirus Epidemic Prevention and Control Leading Group meeting. Li is the Chairman of the group. Wang Huning, another Politburo Standing Committee member in charge of the CCP’s propaganda and the Vice Chair of the Leading group, also attended the meeting.

Li stated that no country can keep itself clean while the pandemic is widely spreading in the world. People should have a clear head and fully understand the risk and challenge of China’s pandemic prevention.

Li stressed again that the local government must publish transparent information and is absolutely prohibited from hiding or under-reporting infection counts to pursue a “zero” result. (Li made a similar statement at the March 23 meeting. See Chinascope posting: Leadership: Li Keqiang Asked Officials Not to Hide Data and Prepare for Long-Lasting Work)

Li also asked that the efforts be increased to monitor and inspect the asymptomatic carriers. Once found, those people must be transferred immediately to a centralized location for quarantine and medical care.

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Infection Count: China Does Not Count Patients Who Became Negative But Then Positive Again

While the Chinese Communist Party portrayed itself as having come out of the novel coronavirus outbreak, National Public Radio (NPR) reported that some Wuhan residents who had tested positive earlier and then recovered from the coronavirus are testing positive for the virus a second time. Based on data from several quarantine facilities in Wuhan, about 5 to 10 percent of patients pronounced “recovered” have tested positive again.

Some of those who retested positive appear to be asymptomatic carriers — those who carry the virus and are possibly infectious but do not exhibit any of the illness’s associated symptoms. NPR warned that the outbreak in Wuhan is not close to being over.

However, these second-time positive patients are not included in China’s infection count.

Hubei Daily reported on March 23, that Tu Yuan, Deputy Director of the Hubei Provincial Health Commission, told news reporters that, since these patients had been reported when they were confirmed the first time, they would not be reported again as new confirmed cases, to avoid duplicate counting.

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Diplomacy: CCTV Says Pompeo “Loots a Burning House”

On March 29, China’s Central Television (CCTV) released a commentary, titled, “As the U.S. Enters a Period of Major Catastrophe, Why Do Pompeo and Alike ‘Loot a Burning House’?”

The commentary said, “As an anti-China ‘pioneer’ in the current U.S. government, Pompeo’s performance after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus was extremely despicable. From publicly calling the virus the ‘Wuhan Virus’ many times, to slandering the Chinese Communist Party and the China’s political system as a ‘threat of the times,’ to trying to include ‘Wuhan Virus’ in the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement, Pompeo has used various domestic and foreign situations to stigmatize China and spread the ‘conspiracy theory’ (against China). He has stunned the world with his Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice, which has severely disrupted the current cooperation on global pandemic prevention.”

It stated that despite the U.S. Leader showing an active attitude to cooperate with China, Pompeo’s insisting on blocking the cooperation showed that he had a hidden agenda. He was preparing to step up further (running for President) in the future.

“It is a shame for the United States to let such a low-quality politician take the helm of American diplomacy. Pompeo is undoubtedly the ‘most lame’ compared to those Secretaries of State in U.S. history. At present, the United States epidemic prevention is entering a period of ‘major catastrophe.’ If Pompeo is allowed to use private political interests to abduct American society and public interests, the U.S. will pay a high price for this and will go further and further down the road of isolation.”

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WHO: Criticisms Over Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for Being Too Supportive of the CCP

People have been questioning Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) for being too close to and too supportive of the Chinese Communist Party on the issue of the coronavirus outbreak.

#1: U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) introduced a resolution, calling on Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO, to retract “highly misleading statements of support for the response of the Government of the People’s Republic of China.”

On March 19, 2020, Dr. Ghebreyesus tweeted: “For the first time, #China has reported no domestic #COVID19 cases yesterday. This is an amazing achievement, which gives us all reassurance that the #coronavirus can be beaten.”

The lawmakers also flagged comments he made in January, praising the China’s commitment and “transparency.”

“We appreciate the seriousness with which China is taking this outbreak, especially the commitment from top leadership, and the transparency they have demonstrated, including sharing data and genetic sequence of the virus,” Ghebreyesus said. “WHO is working closely with the government on measures to understand the virus and limit transmission. WHO will keep working side-by-side with China and all other countries to protect health and keep people safe.”

#2: The National Interest reported that back in 2017, a group of American doctors accused Ghebreyesus of failing to investigate outbreaks of cholera in Sudan, which neighbors Ethiopia. Sudanese leaders classified the outbreak as “acute watery diarrhea” rather than cholera, which is caused by a bacteria found in unsanitary drinking water.

The doctors wrote in a letter to Ghebreyesus: “Your silence about what is clearly a massive cholera epidemic in Sudan daily becomes more reprehensible. The inevitable history that will be written on this epidemic will surely cast you in an unforgiving light.” They said that Ghebreyesus was “fully complicit in the terrible suffering and dying that continues to spread.”

#3: A petition, titled “Call for the resignation of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General” was posted on change.org. 680,165 people had signed by end of 3/31/2020 (US Eastern Time).

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Sources:

1. Fox, March 28, 2020
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/lawmakers-who-chief-to-retract-pro-china-comments-coronavirus

2. Twitter

3. National Interest, March 24, 2020
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/fully-complicit-terrible-suffering-tedros-adhanom-ghebreyesus-blamed-2017-cholera

4. Change.org
https://www.change.org/p/united-nations-call-for-the-resignation-of-tedros-adhanom-ghebreyesus-who-director-general?signed=true

Leadership: Li Keqiang Asked Officials Not to Hide Data and To Prepare for Long-Lasting Work

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by artificially reporting zero or near zero infection counts, has been able to portray itself as having gotten the coronavirus under control. However, Li Keqiang, China’s Premier, gave a different voice. He asked officials not to hide the data about the infection and to prepare for a long-lasting fight with the pandemic.

Li made these statements on March 23 at a meeting of the Central Committee’s Novel Coronavirus Epidemic Prevention and Control Leading Group, of which he is the head.

Li said, “Being open and transparent means to report every case, whenever each government finds one. It is what it is. Do not hide or under-report cases.”

Li also said that epidemiology experts, both Chinese and overseas, have established various models to predict the pandemic’s trend. The general belief is that the pandemic is unlikely to disappear suddenly like SARS did. Therefore, people must be prepared for more arduous and lasting epidemic prevention and control work.

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Resuming Business: China Closed Several Businesses It Just Resumed

China has been portraying itself as having come out of the Coronavirus outbreak with a zero or very low infection count. Many times, Xi Jinping has stressed the importance of resuming production. However, recently some businesses that have resumed were asked to stop again, both at the national level and in the provinces or cities.

#1. On March 27, the China Film Administration issued a Notice that all theaters should remain closed and those that reopened should be closed immediately.

#2. On March 29, Shanghai announced it would close all indoor tourist attractions, including the three observatory towers (Oriental Pearl Tower, the 88th Floor of Jin Mao Tower, and Top of Shanghai Observatory at Shanghai Center) which had reopened on March 12, as well as the Shanghai Aquarium and Madame Tussauds Shanghai.

#3. On March 25, Sichuan Province stopped the order to close bars, discos, movie theaters, and video game rooms; thus they could operate again. However, on March 28, KTV (for karaoke) and Internet cafes at Chengdu City, Sichuan Province received Notice to stop business again. Some customers at KTV were told to leave in the middle of singing.

#4. March 29, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province issued an emergency notice that all facilities holding cultural activities, including movie theaters, performance theaters, singing and dancing facilities, and Internet cafes will not resume operation; any facility that has reopened should close immediately. Travel agencies should not arrange tourist activities across provinces.

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Propaganda and Lies: CCP Accused the U.S. and Italy of Being the Origins of the Virus

To defuse its accountability of hiding information and its inaction which caused the worldwide outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tried to accuse other countries of creating the virus. The following are two cases:

#1: Zhao Lijian, Spokesman & Deputy Director General of the Information Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after accusing the United States of sending soldiers to bring the epidemic to Wuhan, retweeted a tweet by an American named Beatrice (an anonymous name), as evidence that the U.S. had the virus earlier:

From Twitter: Rt: I really think COVID-19 has been here in America for awhile. Do you guys remember how sick everyone was during the holidays/early January? And how everyone was saying they had the “flu” and the flu shot “didn’t work”?

The Daily Beast interviewed Beatrice and reported that she is not a doctor, nurse, or epidemiologist. She was just a normal person wondering aloud on Twitter what was going on with this disease.

#2: Global Times, a media under the CCP mouthpiece People’s Daily, referenced an NPR report quoting Dr. Giuseppe Remuzzi, director of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan. The doctor said general practitioners in the country “remember having seen a very strange pneumonia, very severe, particularly in old people in December and even November.” Global Times created an article stating that Italy had the virus back in November 2019. It also tweeted:

#Italy may have had an unexplained strain of pneumonia as early as November and December 2019 with highly suspected symptoms of #COVID19, reports said.

However, on March 24, il Foglio, an Italian media published a special interview with Dr. Remuzzi. Dr. Remuzzi said that Chinese media misquoted his words. He stated three times in the interview, “No doubt this virus is from China.” Guilia Pompili, the reporter who interviewed Dr. Remuzzi mentioned that Chinese news reporters had inquired of Dr. Remuzzi many times recently and each time Dr. Remuzzi clarified his position that the virus was from China. However, he had not yet seen any of the reporters reporting his clarification, which he felt quite bizzare.

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Justice: International Experts Suggested Six Legal Grounds to Sue CCP

More and more voices have expressed an interest in holding the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accountable for the worldwide outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus. Epoch Times summarized six legal grounds that international legal experts have suggested for nations or individuals to use to file lawsuits against the CCP.

1. Comparing it to a Terrorist Organization

Israeli attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner who has long been suing terrorist organizations and countries supporting terrorism, suggested that people could raise the point that the CCP’s action was like supporting terrorist actions.

2. Suing for Personal Injury, Death, and Other Causes of Action

Berman Law Group in Florida filed a lawsuit on March 19, accusing the CCP of failing to report the disease and also failing to take containment measures promptly.

3. International Trade Laws

Juliya Arbisman from Diamond McCarthy LLP, a law firm in New York, suggested international trade laws. For example, people can sue the CCP for hosting the illegal wild animal market that created the opportunity to spread the virus from animals to humans, based on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES ).

4. United Nations (UN) Charter

Ivana Stradner, an international law and national security expert at American Enterprise Institute (AEI), pointed out that the CCP violated the International Health Regulations (IHR) that requires its member countries to notify the World Health Organization (WHO) immediately about an emergency public health event that might cause international attention. She also said the CCP’s action violated Article Seven of the UN Charter, which authorizes the UN Security Council to take action to maintain or restore international peace and safety.

5. Biological Weapons Convention

David Matas, a Canadian human rights attorney said that Article One of the treaty is that any signing country, under no circumstance, can obtain or possess a biological weapon.

6. International Obligations and Customary International Law

Israel lawyer Nitsana Darshan-Leitner thinks that the CCP’s accusation that U.S. soldiers brought the virus to Wuhan severely violated international obligations and customary international law. People can file lawsuit at the International Court of Justice.

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“World Leader”: EU Is Concerned with China’s “Mask Diplomacy”

The South China Morning Post reported that, since Europe suffered the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been conducting “Mask Diplomacy.” That is, through supplying the European Union (EU) countries with face masks and other medical equipment and materials, it is trying to boost its global leadership position and to control the discourse power. Beijing has blocked the shipping of medical supplies to other countries so that it can totally control which country it will help.

Italy, Spain, France, Austria, and many other EU countries, with Hungary being the latest, received aid or permission from China to import medical supplies from China. Some big Chinese corporate names – including billionaire Jack Ma and tech giant Huawei Technologies – have also sent medical equipment to the EU.

Josep Borrell Fontelles, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the EU, warned that Beijing “struggles for influence” in a “global battle of narratives.”

“There is a global battle of narratives going on in which timing is a crucial factor. China is aggressively pushing the message that, unlike the US, it is a responsible and reliable partner.

“In the battle of narratives we have also seen attempts to discredit the EU as such and some instances where Europeans have been stigmatized as if all were carriers of the virus.

“The point for Europe is this: we can be sure that perceptions will change again as the outbreak and our response to it evolves. But we must be aware that there is a geopolitical component, including a struggle for influence through spinning and the ‘politics of generosity.’”

Two recent developments have driven EU officials closer to the rhetoric of regarding China as a “systemic rival,” a phrase first used under the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen’s predecessor, Jean-Claude Juncker.

First, there is the sense that China’s leadership prefers to deal directly with European countries, rather than through the EU. Von der Leyen was the only major European leader who did not receive a phone call from Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Second, the EU was startled by the reaction of Serbia, which was on course to begin accession talks at some stage to join the EU. When the EU hastily enacted an export ban on medical equipment, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic lambasted EU solidarity as a “fantasy,” turning instead to Xi, whom he called a friend and a brother.

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Source: South China Morning Post, March 24, 2020
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3076728/eu-fires-warning-shot-china-coronavirus-battle-narratives