The Sunday Guardian is launching a new series, “Indo-Pacific: Behind the Headlines,” in which we interview top experts on the Indo-Pacific about some of the deeper trends in the region.
The first interview in the series is with the profoundly experienced and knowledgeable American writer and commentator Gordon Chang, author of The Great U.S.-China Tech War, Losing South Korea, Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World and The Coming Collapse of China.
Q: What does the pandemic tell us about China?
A: The pandemic reveals, once again, the maliciousness of China’s Communist Party. Whether or not Covid-19 started out as a biological weapon, China turned it into one.
For at least five weeks, and perhaps longer, Chinese officials knew this disease was highly contagious but tried to convince the world it was not.
At the same time, Xi Jinping was pressuring countries not to impose travel restrictions and quarantines on arrivals from China—while at the same time locking down his own country. By locking down his own country, he must have thought he was stopping the disease from spreading. Which means he must have thought he was spreading the disease internationally by pressuring others to accept passengers from China.
This means Xi Jinping knew, or had to know, he was turning an epidemic in the central part of China into a global pandemic.
This was intentional, which makes Xi’s actions murder. And because 3.4 million people have so far died, this was mass murder.
Q: What should be done about it?
A: We must hold China accountable to establish deterrence. This is not the last pathogen that will be generated on Chinese soil, and we cannot allow Xi to think he can spread the next disease with similar impunity.
So even if we do not care about justice or compensation, we have to impose severe costs on China so its leaders will not do this again.
This is a matter of our survival. China is working on pathogens that do not attack the Chinese but sicken the rest of us. The next disease from China, therefore, could leave China as the only viable society in the world. We must not allow that to happen.
We should be cutting off trade and investment. We should be seizing Chinese assets. We should be ending technical and scientific cooperation with China. We should be implementing policies designed to end the rule of the Communist Party.
Q: What do you think about India’s “Second Wave”?
A: Is the double mutant strain natural? Somebody should be getting to the bottom of this. China’s leaders have already committed mass murder, so it is entirely possible they released another pathogen.
To me it’s impossible to understand how these guys think. They are doing things that are so beyond the scope of my imagination that I can’t put anything past these monsters.
Q: What has been the response of the United States?
A: I believe President Joe Biden, by refusing to confront China on Covid-19, has failed to discharge his responsibilities. As of today, China has killed 588,000 Americans. It is inconceivable to me that Biden didn’t raise this in his two-hour call with Xi in February. If you can’t talk about the mass killings of Americans, you shouldn’t be President of the United States.
The response of the Biden administration has been totally inadequate. I would imagine that does not inspire confidence in US leadership at the moment.
Q: What happens next?
A: China is maliciously attacking us, and I don’t take the continued existence of the United States for granted. If we don’t start defending ourselves, it’s possible we will lose our freedom, we will lose our way of life, we will lose our sovereignty, we will lose our country.
America is not the only country at risk. In general, democratic states are an existential threat to China. India is the largest democracy so, of course, the Chinese are attacking it. India is as much at risk as we are.
We are at a time when almost anything is possible. It is not wise to underestimate the danger China’s regime poses to others.
Q: What is the goal of Xi Jinping?
A: China, under Xi Jinping, has just attacked every other nation, so every other nation should be working together. Xi throughout this century has raised the imagery of the Mandate of Heaven to rule all tianxia, all under Heaven. He believes, therefore, he is the only legitimate sovereign in the world. His subordinates openly talk about this.
Let’s be clear: Xi is trying to overthrow the current Westphalian international system of sovereign states. So, yes, he views Americans and Indians as subjects.
And he views Americans as enemies. In May 2019, the Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper, the most authoritative publication in China, carried a piece declaring a “people’s war” on America. That is more than just a hint about how China’s Communists feel about us. We should start listening to what they are saying. We Americans are often oblivious, ignoring the warnings of enemies.
Gordon Chang can be found on Twitter on @GordonGChang.
Cleo Paskal is Non-Resident Senior Fellow for the Indo-Pacific at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Special Correspondent for The Sunday Guardian. Follow her on Twitter @CleoPaskal. FDD is a nonpartisan think tank focused on foreign policy and national security issues.