Danny Haiphong: Biden’s Global COVID-19 Summit is an exercise in American selfishness

In this article for CGTN, Danny Haiphong exposes the motivation behind the Virtual Global COVID-⁠19 Summit hosted by Joe Biden on 22 September 2021. Having utterly failed to protect its population from the pandemic, having refused to properly learn from and cooperate with China, and having led the construction of a system of vaccine apartheid, the US now seeks to portray itself as a global leader in the struggle against Covid-19.


On September 22, U.S. President Joe Biden held a virtual summit on COVID-19 and pledged to increase U.S. assistance in the global fight to end the pandemic. Biden’s promises, when taken out of context, appear reasonable. The U.S. will pledge an additional $370 million to administer COVID-19 vaccines globally and work with the European Union to meet the World Health Organization (WHO)’s goal of ensuring 70 percent of the world’s population is fully vaccinated by the end of 2022. The U.S. will also increase its donations of ventilators, therapeutics and personal protective equipment (PPE) to lower-income countries.

Continue reading Danny Haiphong: Biden’s Global COVID-19 Summit is an exercise in American selfishness

China’s strong social safety net key to preserving national resilience amid pandemic

This article from Global Times provides a very useful insight into China’s social welfare system – how it has expanded rapidly and how it has been able to meet people’s needs during the pandemic. This is particularly relevant to readers in Western countries in which the pandemic has driven a precipitous increase in poverty and inequality.


As the COVID-19 epidemic outbreak swept over China in 2020, the family of Fu Ping’an, a household of three in a village in Southwest China, was facing a much more severe challenge than others during the nationwide home-quarantine period. 

“We did not know how long the virus would stay, nor how could we support this family during the outbreak since none of us has the ability to work,” said 42-year-old Fu, who has been suffering ankylosing spondylitis for 21 years that, in his words, makes him “move like a robot.”

Continue reading China’s strong social safety net key to preserving national resilience amid pandemic

Xi Jinping speech at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit

Below we reproduce the statement by President Xi Jinping at the 21st Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on 17 September 2021. The English translation originally appeared on Xinhua. Comrade Xi’s speech covers a number of important topics including the fight against Covid, Afghanistan, multilateralism, the Belt and Road Initiative, and the record thus far of the SCO.


Your Excellency President Emomali Rahmon,

Dear Colleagues,

I wish to thank you, President Rahmon, and Tajikistan for hosting this meeting under Tajikistan’s Presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). As the SCO marks its 20th anniversary, together with all of you, I look forward to reviewing the proud history of the SCO and charting the course for even broader prospects of its future development.

Continue reading Xi Jinping speech at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit

Corporate media politicize WHO investigation on Covid origins to vilify China

This valuable article by Joshua Cho provides a comprehensive and thoroughly-researched refutation of the ‘lab leak’ hypothesis, which Western governments and media continue to promote in the hope of isolating and demonizing China. It was originally published in FAIR on 25 August 2021.


FAIR (10/6/206/28/21) has previously critiqued Western news media’s credulous coverage of evidence-free “lab leak” speculations. One key factor in spreading suspicion that the coronavirus might have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is media’s early and ongoing politicization of the World Health Organization’s investigation into the pandemic’s origins. Much of this politicization weaponizes Orientalist tropes about China being especially, perhaps genetically, untrustworthy—the sort of people who would unleash Covid-19 on the world.

While no new evidence has emerged suggesting that the virus emerged from the WIV, many more Americans now believe it did. A Politico/Harvard poll in July, following an increase of uncritical Western media coverage on the lab leak theory, found that 52% of US adults now believe Covid-19 leaked from a lab, up from 29% in March 2020. This is contrary to the assessment of most scientists, who believe, based on available evidence, that a natural origin for the virus is more likely.

Continue reading Corporate media politicize WHO investigation on Covid origins to vilify China

Webinar debunks ‘China lab leak’ theory

We are pleased to republish the excerpts from a Workers World livestream, which took place on 19 August 2021, devoted to debunking the so-called ‘lab leak’ anti-China conspiracy theory. The video is also embedded below.


Lee Siu Hin: I was in China in January 2020, when there was a new outbreak from unknown sources causing pneumonia in Wuhan, a city in central China. At that time, no one knew exactly what it was. China called formally on the World Health Organization to acknowledge that it was COVID-19 in February. No one had done so officially before that. It’s common knowledge and scientific fact.

However, the so-called “lab leak” theory comes from far-right, anti-China neocon warmonger politicians around the Washington D.C. Beltway, notably Senator [Tom] Cotton and the anti-China think tanks and also from the far-right, anti-China cult Epoch Times, the so-called “Falun Gong.” From Day One, they spread the “lab leak” theory. That’s how it started. This is not coming from scientists.

Continue reading Webinar debunks ‘China lab leak’ theory

Socialism or barbarism: contrasting approaches to Covid-19

The following comment on the contrasting approaches of capitalism and socialism to Covid-19 by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Keith Bennett was originally published in abbreviated form by China Youth Daily.


Ever since the Covid-19 virus was first detected in Wuhan there have been consistent attempts to politicise the issue by certain Western powers and political forces in the West on anti-China, anti-communist and racist bases.

Decent people and the overwhelming majority of countries in the world felt sympathy and solidarity with China and with the Chinese people as they courageously battled a then unknown virus and dealt with the situation in an exemplary way that put human life first and also assumed a model attitude of international responsibility, identifying the coronavirus and sequencing its genome in record time and immediately sharing this with the entire international community, not only through the recognised international channels, but even by publishing it on the internet, thereby making it freely available to all scientists and researchers.

Continue reading Socialism or barbarism: contrasting approaches to Covid-19

Capitalism on a Ventilator: The Impact of COVID-19 in China and the U.S

This book review of the crucial 2020 book Capitalism on a Ventilator, edited by Sara Flounders and Siu Hin Lee, first appeared on LA Progressive on 11 August 2021. It is written by Dee Knight. Reproduced with thanks.


As the Delta variant threatens to drag this country and the world back into the abyss of the pandemic, and while the danger of war between the U.S. and China intensifies, it may be good to take stock. Capitalism on a Ventilator can help: it compares the impact of COVID-19 in China and the U.S., in the words of “social justice activists discussing a global choice: cooperation vs. competition.

Capitalism on a Ventilator

Critics claim Ventilator is one-sided – heavily favoring the Chinese response to the virus over the chaotic disaster we’ve lived through in the U.S. In fact, the book re-balances the narrative, documenting major differences. Graphs and pictures tell much of the story: one graph illustrates the contrast in cases during the first 100 days of the pandemic. China’s rate stayed flat while U.S. cases went through the roof.

Another graph shows how Wall Street investments skyrocketed while virus cases exploded. Meanwhile in China, economic concerns were set aside to manage the crisis. Industrial plants abruptly switched from regular production to churn out protective gear, ambulances, ventilators, electrocardiograph monitors, respiratory humidification therapy machines and more. Responding to early infections in Wuhan, “from across China came 1,800 epidemiological teams… to do surveys of the population,” conducting demanding and dangerous door-to-door surveys. In the first month of the virus outbreak, health authorities inspected more than 10 million people in Wuhan: 99 percent of the population.

Continue reading Capitalism on a Ventilator: The Impact of COVID-19 in China and the U.S

Online discussion: “Leak Leak” and other anti-China Conspiracy Theories

On Thursday 19 August 2021 (8pm US Eastern, 5pm US Pacific), Workers World Party is hosting an online roundtable discussion about the rising tide of anti-China conspiracy theories. The discussion will be led by Lee Siu Hin and Sara Flounders.

Register for the Zoom event here.

Rather than change course from the disastrous policies of former President Donald J. Trump, the Biden administration has doubled down on the deadliest aspects of the U.S. COVID response. The U.S. capitalist state is refusing to put modest safety protocols and lockdown procedures in place despite the skyrocketing infection rate of the even more deadly and contagious Delta variant.

Meanwhile, President Biden and other U.S. lawmakers are hell bent on blaming the COVID catastrophe on China. Join revolutionaries in the U.S. and China for this necessary pushback on “lab leak theory” and the Cold War being waged against China and the entire global working class.

Virus blame game infecting ‘Trumpiden’ presidency

We are republishing this article by Radhika Desai, first published on CGTN, about the Biden administration’s continuation of Trump’s hybrid warfare against China.


What are we to make of the fact that after originally opposing Donald Trump’s outrageous allegations about a “lab leak theory,” U.S. President Joe Biden is now pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) to mount a new inquiry into the origins of COVID-19? The WHO only last March completed a study, which included experts from 10 nations. 

Why is he giving new life to the lab leak theory, which he once dismissed and the scientific community still does? Why has Biden also asked the U.S. “intelligence community” to investigate the same matter? Why is he threatening to sue China in U.S. courts on this matter? 

In this as in many other matters – pandemic policy, economic policy and, above all, on waging a new Cold War on China – after straining every nerve to appear different from its predecessor, the Biden administration appears to be merging with its predecessor into a single “Trumpiden” presidency. The only differences are style: Motor mouth Trump vs. the inarticulately mumbling Biden.

Continue reading Virus blame game infecting ‘Trumpiden’ presidency

Martin Jacques: There should be an international investigation into why the West failed so disastrously containing Covid

We are republishing this important analysis by Martin Jacques, writing in Global Times, about the West’s reversion to a colonial mentality in its attitude to China.


Covid-19 arrived three years after the anti-China crusade began. From the outset the virus was infused with Cold War politics. Imagine if the first case of COVID-19 had occurred at the end of 2012 rather than the end of 2019. Many things would have been the same, but one would have been different. At the end of 2012, relations between China and the US were relatively benign; by 2019 we were in a different world. The new occupant of the White House took every opportunity to attack, denigrate and undermine China. 

From January onwards a tsunami of abuse was directed at China. It was accused of secrecy and a cover-up. And to this day it has never ceased. China could do no right. It received zero compassion even when it was struggling on its own against the virus in the first three months. If this had been 2012, it would not have been like this. There would have been criticism of China, but also dialogue and cooperation. Now there was none, just abuse. COVID-19 became the symbol and bearer of a new cold war and the breakdown of the US-China relationship. 

Continue reading Martin Jacques: There should be an international investigation into why the West failed so disastrously containing Covid

Corporate media joins the anti-vaxxers when it comes to Chinese- and Russian-made vaccines

We are republishing this important analysis by Alan Macleod about the West’s dangerous and hypocritical disinformation campaign against Chinese and Russian Covid vaccines. The article first appeared in MintPress News on 27 July 2021.


WASHINGTON — “Hundreds of Thai medical workers infected despite Sinovac vaccinations,” ran Reuters bombshell headline earlier this month. The report detailed how 618 Thai medical workers inoculated with the Chinese COVID vaccine have become infected anyway, leading to one death. As is common with such an influential newswire, Reuters’ story was picked up across the world by hundreds of publications, including The Washington PostYahoo! News and The New York Post.

Yet the article also notes that over 677,000 Thai medical workers have received the dose, meaning that more than 99.9% of those vaccinated have not developed COVID-19 — a fact that flies in the face of the headline’s implications. A large majority of news consumers do not read past the title, meaning that they were given the false impression that Sinovac is ineffective.

Being fully vaccinated does not offer complete protection from COVID-19. In late June, CNBC noted that well over 4,000 vaccinated Americans had been hospitalized with the virus, including 750 who died. Yet Reuters spun the news into an opportunity to spread distrust of Sinovac in Thailand, which is currently living through a rapid and unprecedented spike in coronavirus cases.

Continue reading Corporate media joins the anti-vaxxers when it comes to Chinese- and Russian-made vaccines

WHO probe into lab leak theory strengthens imperialism at the expense of cooperation

We are republishing this article by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Danny Haiphong, which originally appeared on CGTN, on US-led attempts to revive the ‘lab leak’ theory and where these fit into the overall pattern of international relations.


China’s opposition to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) plan to base phase-two research into the origins of COVID-19 on the lab leak theory was met with harsh criticism in the United States. Jen Psaki , White House Press Secretary for U.S. President said the administration was “deeply disappointed.” For China and much of the world, the feeling of disappointment is mutual. The proposed WHO probe into the lab leak theory threatens to strengthen the hand of imperialism at the expense of global cooperation.

Biden’s enthusiasm for “multilateralism” led some to believe that he would enhance the cause of peace. However, the Biden administration has followed a longstanding trend of imperialism in U.S. foreign policy. Since World War II, the United States has wielded economic hegemony through its disproportionate influence over multilateral organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. These institutions have leveraged aid to enrich U.S. corporate shareholders and impoverish Asian, African, and Latin American nations seeking a way out of centuries of colonial underdevelopment.

The WHO has not been immune to the influence of U.S. imperialism. Direct contributions from member nations only cover about 20 percent of operating costs. That means 80 percent of the WHO’s funding comes from other, mainly private, sources; the second largest donor being the U.S.-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Critics of the WHO have cited the pressures placed on the Global South nations to privatize their health systems to the benefit of the U.S. private health sector. Donald Trump’s decision to remove the U.S. from the WHO greatly hindered the global fight against COVID-19 but did not negate the fact that the U.S. has used its influence over multilateral institutions as a form of soft power.

It is no coincidence that the WHO probe comes at the same time that Biden announced an end-of-August deadline for his own intelligence-driven probe into the lab leak theory. Biden reentered the WHO upon his first 90 days in office and has since paid back funds withheld by the Trump administration. The Biden administration views the WHO as a valuable tool in the U.S. ongoing New Cold War against China. Rather than engaging with China as equals in the fight against the pandemic, Biden has chosen to weaponize the WHO for imperialist aims.

Continue reading WHO probe into lab leak theory strengthens imperialism at the expense of cooperation

Interview with the Editor of ‘Waiting for Dawn: 21 Diaries from 16 COVID-19 Frontlines’

We are republishing this interview with Leijie Wei, editor of the book ‘Waiting for Dawn: 21 Diaries from 16 COVID-19 Frontlines’ and academic at the School of Law, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China. It provides valuable insight into China’s public health system and the social, economic and political structures that allowed China to very quickly and effectively contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

The interview was conducted by Shuoying Chen (Academy of Marxism, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences), and was originally published in World Review of Political Economy, Volume 11, Number 4, Winter 2020. Republished with permission.


ABSTRACT

Waiting for Dawn: 21 Diaries from 16 COVID-19 Frontlines takes a global perspective, examining the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on governments and the public around the world. The editor of the book believes that the reasons why mandatory tracking, testing and quarantine measures have been effectively implemented in China center on the unified leadership provided by the Communist Party of China (CPC); the active response by state-owned enterprises and institutions; and the full trust of the majority of the public in the government’s anti-pandemic measures. In an effort to win elections, meanwhile, politicians in Europe and the United States are politicizing the pandemic and making China a scapegoat. In contrast to socialist China’s policy of ensuring all those in need are hospitalized with free testing and treatment, the essentially capitalist public health models applied in most Western countries have brought more concrete and explicit class conflict, and the drawn-out pandemic in the West has exacerbated various forms of social injustice. The COVID-19 epidemic is a reminder that a country’s governance ability should not be judged on the basis of simplistic conceptions of democracy, and that the needs of Mother Earth must be considered in the collective building of a community of shared future for humankind.

Shuoying Chen (SC): To begin with, how did you come to the idea of producing a collection of diaries from different countries around the world?

Leijie Wei (LW): In 2020, China faced a very dangerous first few months, but through the efforts of the whole nation, it achieved an epic reversal. The global pandemic began in February when the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) broke through the threshold of extraterritorial spread, and the world then fell gradually into the “darkest moment” of the pandemic. Since that time, we have had to rethink COVID-19 from a global rather than a local perspective, taking account especially of how other countries are different from or similar to China in terms of their experience of fighting the pandemic. With that in mind, I invited 21 contributors from 16 countries to document the lives during the pandemic of people around the world, recording what they have seen, heard, felt and understood during this period, with various narrative perspectives and in the form of diaries. Various pandemic diaries kept by Chinese people in quarantined cities, based on personal experience and with a strong literary flavor, undoubtedly have their value. Nevertheless, their unidimensional focus on a single area and lack of a multi-dimensional comparative perspective may lead to narrow and idiosyncratic accounts. This collection, entitled 21 Diaries from 16 COVID-19 Frontlines, covers 16 countries on four continents, including Asia, Europe, North America and South America. The authors are from various social backgrounds and differ in their social status. With its multi-dimensional and global perspective, the collection offers particular promise as a way of examining the impact of COVID-19 on different governments and populations, and as a history of everyday life in the age of the pandemic, it will also serve in future years as a first-hand account of this unforgettable experience.

Continue reading Interview with the Editor of ‘Waiting for Dawn: 21 Diaries from 16 COVID-19 Frontlines’

Xi Jinping: Fighting Covid-19 and leading economic recovery through solidarity and cooperation

Below we reproduce the remarks made by President Xi Jinping at the Informal Economic Leaders’ Retreat of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) held on 16 July 2021. This speech highlights China’s approach to multilateralism, global cooperation, and a shared future for humanity. It stands in stark contrast to the New Cold War strategy being adopted by the US and its allies.


The Right Honorable Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern,

Dear Colleagues,

It gives me great pleasure to attend this meeting. I thank Prime Minister Ardern and the New Zealand government for their great efforts to make the meeting possible.

As we speak, the COVID-19 pandemic is undergoing many twists and turns, including the constant mutations of the virus. Controlling the pandemic still poses a difficult challenge, while global economic recovery is still on shaky ground. That said, peace and development remains the theme of our times, and the call for upholding multilateralism, strengthening solidarity and cooperation, and meeting challenges together is growing stronger than ever.

The Asia-Pacific is a major engine for global economic growth. For member economies of the Asia-Pacific, defeating COVID-19 and restoring growth at an early date are our top priority for the time being. Since the start of the pandemic, APEC members have united as one and carried out active cooperation against the coronavirus. Being the first to gain the momentum for recovery, the Asia-Pacific economy has made contributions to driving the world economy. Last year, we adopted the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 and set ourselves the goal of an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community, charting the course for economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. Under the current circumstances, we must enhance solidarity and cooperation to overcome the impact of the pandemic and boost global economic recovery.

First, we need to strengthen international cooperation on COVID response. The pandemic proves once again that we live in one global village, where countries stand to rise and fall together. We must stick to solidarity and cooperation as we go through this difficult time and jointly work for a healthier and brighter future for humanity. Vaccines are a powerful weapon to prevail over the pandemic and revive the economy. China has been calling for closer international cooperation on vaccines to ensure that they are accessible and affordable in developing countries and that they become a global public good. Overcoming the challenges of its own mass vaccination program, China has provided more than 500 million doses of vaccines to other developing countries, and will provide another 3 billion US dollars in international aid over the next three years to support COVID-19 response and economic and social recovery in other developing countries. China supports waiving intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines, and will work with other parties to push for an early decision by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international institutions. China will take an active part in cooperation initiatives to keep vaccine supply chains stable and safe and support the movement of essential goods, and take effective measures to ensure healthy, safe and orderly people-to-people exchanges and restore normal business cooperation in our region at an early date. China has financed the founding of a Sub-Fund on APEC Cooperation on Combating COVID-19 and Economic Recovery, which will help APEC economies win an early victory over COVID-19 and achieve economic recovery.

Second, we need to deepen regional economic integration. Opening-up and integration is the prevailing trend. It is important that we promote the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment and uphold the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core. We must remove barriers, not erect walls. We must open up, not close off. We must seek integration, not decoupling. This is the way to make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all. We need to step up macroeconomic policy coordination, minimize negative spillovers, and fully implement the APEC Connectivity Blueprint to promote cooperation on digital connectivity. We need to advance regional economic integration, with a view to establishing a high-standard Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific at an early date. China is among the first to ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement. We look forward to its entry into force this year.

Third, we need to pursue inclusive and sustainable development. Earth is the only home for humanity. We must follow a people-centered approach, foster a sound environment to buttress sustainable economic and social development worldwide, and achieve green growth. China attaches great importance to addressing climate change. We will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. China supports APEC in advancing cooperation on sustainable development, improving the List of Environmental Goods, and making energy more efficient, clean and diverse. We need to enhance economic and technological cooperation, promote inclusive trade and investment, support the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises, scale up support for women and other vulnerable groups, share experience on eliminating absolute poverty and strive to deliver the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Fourth, we need to seize opportunities from scientific and technological innovation. The digital economy is an important area for the future growth of the world economy. The global digital economy is an open and close-knit entity. Win-win cooperation is the only right way forward, while a closed-door policy, exclusion, confrontation and division would only lead to a dead end. We need to ensure full and balanced implementation of the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap, further develop digital infrastructure, facilitate the dissemination and application of new technologies, and work for a digital business environment that is open, fair and non-discriminatory. China has concluded a number of cooperation initiatives, including those on using digital technologies for the prevention and control of COVID-19 and on smart cities. We will host a workshop on digital capacity building and take forward such initiatives as bolstering the recovery of the tourism sector with digital tools, as part of our efforts to contribute more to Asia-Pacific cooperation on digital economy.

Colleagues,

China has embarked on a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country. As China enters a new development stage, we will follow a new development philosophy and foster a new development paradigm. We will build a new system of open economy of higher standards, create a more attractive business environment, and advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. We hope to work with countries in the Asia-Pacific and beyond to achieve higher-standard mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.

There is a Maori saying in New Zealand that goes, “Turn your face to the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.” We have full confidence in humanity’s victory over the pandemic through cooperation. We have full confidence in the prospects of world economic recovery. We have full confidence in a shared, bright future of humanity. Let us stand with each other in solidarity, promote anti-COVID cooperation and economic recovery, and work for a bright future of prosperity for all in the Asia-Pacific.

Thank you. 

Return of the Lab Leak Conspiracy Shows Biden is a Democrat with Trumpian Characteristics on China

We are republishing this article by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Danny Haiphong, which originally appeared on Black Agenda Report on 2 June 2021.


Joe Biden has been praised by liberals and even much of the Left as a marked shift from Donald Trump’s erratic and embarrassing presidency. This position takes on a decidedly class dimension whereby elites and their hangers on walk in lockstep with the Biden administration’s political trajectory. Those heaping praise onto Biden ignore his neoliberal approach to domestic economic woes and express complete alignment with his foreign policy priorities. 

Nowhere is this clearer than in Biden’s approach to China. National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific Kurt Campbell declared in late May that the “era of engagement”  with China has come to an end. Before entering the Biden administration, Campbell was co-founder of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). CNAS is a D.C.-based think-tank which is primarily funded  by the State Department and major military contractors such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and BAE systems. In other words, Biden’s “Asia Czar” is the perfect man for the job of escalating the U.S.’s New Cold War against China.

Biden’s approach to China has built upon Trump’s hostile posture in every respect. Biden has increased sanctions on China’s tech sector and his representatives at the State Department have shown an outright disrespect for Chinese diplomats. Biden has further committed to maintaining the U.S military’s presence in the Asia-Pacific  while declaring that the 21st century will be a U.S. battle for “democracy” against China’s “autocracy.”

The current administration has been most Trump-like in relation to the propaganda campaign of the U.S.’s New Cold War. Biden has doubled down on unproven claims of “genocide” in Xinjiang. During the eleven-day Israeli assault on Gaza, the U.S. State Department declared without any evidence that Xinjiang was an “open-air prison.”  On May 26th, Biden demanded that U.S. intelligence services review  a more than year-old claim that COVID-19 was either produced or released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

The lab leak conspiracy has resurfaced in recent months after Trump’s former CDC Director Robert Redfield stated that he believed COVID-19 emerged from a lab. Redfield is a renowned Evangelical whose credentials have been subject to scrutiny due to his former relationship with the Americans for a Sound HIV/AIDS Policy (ASAP), a rightwing NGO  which led the charge in promoting abstinence-only and other hard-right Christian values as a response to HIV/AIDS.

The lab leak hypothesis has long been debunked as an evidence-free conspiracy with links to the far right. An analysis by FAIR found that corporate media reports utilized quotes from National Endowment for Democracy-funded far right activist Xiao Qiang and a 2018 State Department Cable which mentioned zero concerns of safety hazards as the principal sources to back up the lab leak claim. Tucker Carlson joined in on the fray later in 2020 to platform Yan Li-Meng’s assertion that the virus was created at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Li-Meng possesses connections to Steve Bannon and Guo Wengui’s Rule of Law Foundation  and her research has been discredited  by the Hong Kong university from which she defected.

Now Biden and his top allies such as Dr. Anthony Fauci have given credence to the lab leak conspiracy. Biden’s call for an intelligence investigation comes amid unsourced intelligence reports  that claim doctors in Wuhan became ill just prior to the spread of the virus. Similar to Russiagate, U.S. intelligence has run with an entirely unsourced narrative that conveniently pins blame on another country for domestic ills and labels that country a “national security” threat.

Genuine leftists are often called conspiracy theorists for questioning power, making the term itself toxic in political discourse. It is important to remember, however, that conspiracies do exist and that those in power are the ones with the means and the ends to carry them out. The lab leak conspiracy, like Russiagate, has been a key cog in the U.S. propaganda war against China. For more than a year, U.S. officials and media outlets have casted blame and skepticism onto China for the spread of COVID-19.  The propaganda has worked. More than half of the U.S. population believes China should pay reparations  to the world for the spread of COVID-19 and public opinion of China has reached a new low.

The lab leak conspiracy is an effective psychological operation because it is difficult to imagine evidence that could disprove or prove the claim. When Russia was accused of “hacking” or “influencing” the 2016 election, even the most astute observers of geopolitics tended to fall for the Cold War bait that it was plausible Russia possessed both the desire and capacity to prevent a Hillary Clinton presidency. China’s image in the U.S. psyche as an even more formidable “Yellow Peril” archetype of a communist “dictatorship” to Russia has ensured that majorities of U.S. and Western minds were already primed to believe that the People’s Republic of China was capable of releasing a bioweapon upon the world. Racist characterizations of China in the U.S. corporate media have revived the “Sick Man of Asia” stereotype and given U.S. intelligence all the ammo it needs to lend credence to the lab leak conspiracy.

It is therefore important to remember the two biggest accomplishments of Russiagate, an intelligence conspiracy Biden supported:

  1. Russiagate gained full support from Democrats for the New Cold War. This included the manufacturing of consent for sanctions, enhanced NATO presence along Russia’s borders, and a more intense campaign of suppression against anti-war journalists and activists.
  2. Russiagate deflected blame for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss onto a foreign power and shielded the Democratic Party for its role in the rise of Donald Trump.

The lab leak conspiracy is serving similar ends in a moment of intense crisis for the United States. A Zero COVID-19  strategy was never implemented in the United States. The U.S.’s failure to contain the pandemic is clearly demonstrated in the more than 500,000 pandemic-related deaths suffered from the virus on U.S. shores. Enthusiasm for an economic “recovery” masks the fact that the U.S.-led capitalist economy continues to shrink  amid massive bailouts for speculators and the ever-increasing destitution of the working masses. The lab leak conspiracy deflects blame for these and all other problems onto China.

Yet China is clearly not the problem. China has contained the pandemic and is set to grow more than six percent in the next year.  China defeated extreme poverty  during a global depression. Its model for state-driven economic development and multipolar international relations has become increasingly attractive to many around the world who find themselves crushed under the weight of the U.S.’s regime of endless war and austerity, especially in the Global South.

That Biden and his administration see China as a threat should come as no surprise. Biden and the Democrats are committed to only one constituency: finance capital. All promises to cancel student loan debt, implement a public option, or reel back Trump’s immigration policies have been broken in service of Biden’s corporate donors. Biden has bombed Syria, fully supported Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians, and given a blank check to the Pentagon. Finance capital no longer sees the possibility of a compliant China in the world economy and therefore wants to arrest its development via the military industrial complex.

Biden is thus doing his best Trump impression by urging a U.S. intelligence review into whether the COVID-19 virus has origins in a singular research institute in Wuhan. His deep dive into the lab leak conspiracy validates Mike Pompeo and Donald Trump’s racist epithet that COVID-19 was the “China virus.” The World Health Organization (WHO) has already begun investigating the origins of COVID-19 . Interference from nefarious spooks in U.S. intelligence threatens to undermine future research into the origins of COVID-19. 

It shouldn’t have to be said that pandemics fall well outside of the scope of U.S. intelligence. U.S. intelligences have played a key role in deploying chemical and biological weapons in numerous wars on Global South countries such as Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. One of the authors of the Wall Street Journal report that revived the lab leak conspiracy, Michael R. Gordon, was also spreading rumors of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs)  in Iraq nearly two decades ago. 

Biden is nothing more than a corporate Democrat with Trumpian characteristics. He wasn’t lying when he said that nothing would fundamentally change under his watch. Now that is a conspiracy truly worth our attention. 

Vaccine solidarity versus vaccine apartheid

The Western media has taken to slandering China for its supposed “vaccine diplomacy”, but really this is just a way of deflecting criticism of the West’s vaccine apartheid. The truth is that Chinese vaccines are providing a lifeline to much of the Global South.

Read Qiao Collective’s important article Why China’s Vaccine Internationalism Matters.

The ‘lab leak’ theory is a racist trope

  • The ‘Wuhan lab leak’ theory was devised by the Trump regime to deflect from its failure containing the pandemic and to build hostility towards China.
  • A World Health Organisation team of 17 international experts concluded it was “extremely unlikely” that Covid emerged from a lab leak.
  • The WHO team confirmed that Chinese officials and scientists were open and cooperative and gave access to all relevant data.
  • The countries raising “concerns” about the WHO report are the same countries pushing the New Cold War: US, Britain, Australia, Canada, Japan.
  • Biden’s proposal for a new US-led investigation is just a variation of Trump’s “kung flu” racism, and serves to deepen anti-Asian hate.
  • US and British intelligence services have a notorious record of faking
  • material in order to serve their governments’ imperial interests.