Xenophobia is from the Greek, meaning fear of foreigners. Given their problem with the Persians at the time, the word probably did not have a wholly negative connotation. Today, we speak of xenophobia as though it is always wrong and always unreasonable, but the truth is the world is a very dangerous place. Holding nations responsible for their action or inaction is not only just, it is imperative to our survival.
Today, we are quite literally defending ourselves against a foreign virus – a virus from Wuhan China to be exact. Europe’s decision to stand on the woke globalization narrative, rather than defend themselves, turned them into the epicenter of this worldwide pandemic. No thinking person believes the Chinese people are less human or insidiously responsible for this virus, but denying the fact that China has a lengthy history of pandemic incubation and governmental suppression is purely nonsensical.
I wrote several weeks ago about the dangers of our liberal trading policies with the Chinese government. Their uncompromising totalitarian rule, responsible for murdering tens of millions of their own people; their relentless military buildup, paid for by lopsided U.S. and G-7 trade agreements; their institutionalized policy of stealing proprietary information from business partners and anything else that isn’t nailed down; their manic control of information; and their complete disregard for human life and personal freedom, gives us every reasons to fear their endgame. Allowing our greed to be the turnpike of our own demise seems to lack a certain degree of forethought.
The point is that there was already a reason to seriously question our trade relationship with China, and now with Covid-19 reminding us of their history with pandemics, it must give us serious pause in rethinking globalization as it relates to China.
Just as a refresher, the Asian Flu (H2N2) in 1957 was responsible for 1.1 million deaths worldwide. The Hong Kong Flu (H3N2) in 1968 was responsible for 1 million deaths worldwide. The Bird Flu (A/H5N1) has moved in and around live poultry markets throughout China since 1858. SARS or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, originated in Guangdong province in 2002. The Bird Flu (H7N9) circulated in China in 2013 and spiked off and on for months.
Each of these pandemics, like the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, originated in densely populated areas, where a confluence of various types of poultry and other meats are butchered for immediate consumption. These generally unsanitary markets, where rats, bats and other vermin proliferate, are found throughout China. It’s important to note that Chinese law prohibits small open-air slaughter markets such as described, but Chinese culture has a long and colorful history of using a variety of fresh meats in their culinary traditions. Unfortunately, these unsanitary situations, surrounded by huge populations, create a perfect storm for the creation of the world’s most nasty viruses. The Chinese government in all of their authoritarian zeal do arrest people and close these markets, but there are so many and the people are so resistant to this change, their efforts have been ineffective.
Bad things happen and no one wants to punish the Chinese people for the creation of these viruses, but there is a clear problem with the way the Chinese government reacts when responsibility is laid at their doorstep. Inevitably, instead of reporting virus outbreaks in a responsible way to the various world health organizations, the Chinese begin by denying there is a problem. When someone breaks with protocol and reports a new virus, they are reprimanded and punished. The doctor who was the first to post about Covid-19 is now dead – ostensibly due to the illness in question. When they can no longer deny there is a problem, they act swiftly and emphatically, but the truth is, if the Chinese government had immediately reported what was happening and taken action, as they eventually did almost two months later, over 95 percent of the spread of this disease would have been controlled.
Now, the Chinese government is spending millions of dollars on a public relations, disinformation campaign to hide their mismanagement. Hundreds of stories are popping up worldwide attributing the pandemic to everyone and everything but the Chinese. Why would they work so hard to avoid taking responsibility? Because, their trading partners, like U.S. drug manufacturers, and thousands of other manufacturers around the world, are rethinking the comprehensive costs of doing business with mainland China. Add pandemic potential to the damage done to labor and environmental concerns at home, just to name a couple of the biggies, and doing business in China doesn’t look nearly as good as it once did.
Photo provided courtesy of geology.com.