Former spy chiefs and diplomats say China mercilessly exploited the Covid pandemic as part of its goal of achieving global supremacy.
Communist masters – accused of covering up the origins of the disease in an alleged laboratory leak – are said to have used the crisis to wield tighter control over their people while waging an economic war on Western rivals.
Experts explain how China’s economy is booming once again, nearly two years after the virus was first detected in Wuhan.
Meanwhile the US suffered its worst recession ever, leaving millions unemployed, and major rival India in chaos.
China also waged a trade war with Australia – as well as threatening to strike with nuclear missiles – in retaliation demanding an investigation.
This comes as a book that reveals evidence of bombings, Covid was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) – a high-security facility specializing in coronaviruses.
Dozens of leading scientists have suggested that Covid may have escaped the laboratory through an infected researcher, improper disposal of waste, or possible breaches in on-site security.
But it was hidden in a “cover up of the century”, which is called “worse than Watergate”, it is claimed.
The book What Really Happened in Wuhan by Shari Markson uncovers several clues pointing to Beijing’s “widely well-intentioned” effort to hide the truth.
Despite this, former intelligence officials say evidence of a laboratory “crash” is clear to see – and there has been a calculated cover-up “from day one”.
Wuhan had an “intense” period of “unusual and apparent activity” in the weeks leading up to the pandemic – raising suspicions of a virus outbreak following mass sterilization in the laboratory.
The city’s airport was closed for several days, there was a mobile phone blackout at WIV, and security at the site was extensively beefed up.
But China has refused to cooperate with a full-scale investigation into the origins and experts say the cover-up continues to this day.
Diplomats also say Beijing has capitalized on the crisis it helped create.
They say that China has got a strategic advantage from the havoc of this virus spreading around the world – whether it was done intentionally or not.
Former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove told Markson: “The whole thing is largely played out in Chinese hands and it’s very disturbing, especially in a country like Australia, where you’re on the Pacific Rim and the second main occupation on the Pacific Rim.” is China.
“If you look at the consequences of what happened, if they wanted to increase their success on the international stage and their dominance over their main rival countries, they couldn’t have done it more effectively.
“Look what is happening in India.
“See what has been done for the American economy, and it is clear that authoritarian states are better equipped to control their populations in the event of a pandemic because they can immediately establish controls that the population does not question.” Is.”
US Economic Plunge
America’s first lockdown in spring 2020 plunged the world’s largest economy into crisis as non-essential businesses had to close.
GDP for the June quarter declined by an annual equivalent of 33 per cent, although the actual figure was lower.
Overall, the economy shrank 19.1 percent from Q4 2019 to Q2 2020.
A record 22 million Americans lost their jobs, with the government spending nearly $6 trillion on pandemic relief.
The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to near zero and used monthly bond purchases in a desperate attempt to keep money flowing.
GDP grew sharply at 18 percent later in the year, but overall 2020’s decline was 3.4 percent – the worst since 1946.
More shutdowns last winter caused even more hardship.
And that’s not counting the human cost: So far 684,000 Americans have died from COVID, and millions more suffer from serious illness.
India in chaos
Unlike China, India’s dilapidated public services could do little to stop the virus from spreading through the densely populated area.
Hospitals were essentially overcrowded with millions of patients, and funeral pyres burned day and night to deal with the rising deaths.
Officially, around 447,000 people have died, but poor record keeping means the actual toll is likely to be several times higher.
This is a big blow to India’s hopes of turning China into the “factory of the world”.
Its growing economy – which is seen as a future rival to China, with a vast working population – shrank by 24 percent at the end of the last fiscal year.
And the rampant disease has meant the Delhi government has not been able to focus on trade ties and investments, allowing Beijing to tighten its grip on Africa and South America with the supply of vaccines.
At the height of the outbreak, Chinese hackers reportedly targeted Mumbai’s electricity grid, leaving hospitals in darkness.
Analysts say the warning was to “not move past the mark” after deadly skirmishes on the border in the Himalayas.
Earlier this year, a social media account linked to the Communist Party compared Chinese rockets to burning corpses in a post mocking the tragedy in India.
In May 2020, Australia was the first major country to officially call for an inquiry into the origins of the COVID outbreak.
Furious Chinese President Xi Jinping responded with disastrous trade restrictions and tariffs on Australian exports such as beef and coal.
The levy on barley – a major export – was set at an eye-watering 80.5 per cent, while the duty on Australian wine stood at over 200 per cent.
Beijing also flexes its military muscle as it tries to dominating the whole of Asia and the Pacific.
Threats to attack Taiwan spread to Australia, with warnings of possible missile strikes.
A submarine deal with Britain and the US sparked controversy again this month – as China threatened Australia with nuclear weapons and warned of a new arms race.
China is booming
China imposed the world’s strictest lockdown in early 2020, banning millions from leaving their homes.
The economy shrank 6.8 percent in the first quarter as a result – a much steeper decline than elsewhere.
It swiftly bounced back, as officials declared the outbreak under control and reopened factories, shops and nightclubs.
China was the only major economy to register economic growth in 2020, with GDP growing by 2.3 percent.
March this year saw a record growth in industrial production by 14 per cent and retail sales by 34 per cent as compared to a year ago.
Beijing has set a growth target of 6 percent this year as the rest of the world grapples with the effects of the pandemic.
The harsh lockdown imposed in January 2020 showed the authorities almost complete control over the lives of citizens.
Residents of Wuhan, a city of 11 million, were held inside their apartments by armed guards, and had to buy food deliveries from neighborhood committees run by the Chinese Communist Party.
Analysts say Beijing has used the disease to bolster its already dire Big Brother surveillance state.
An army of at least a million works round the clock to censor social media and report any signs of dissent.
Facial recognition cameras on every corner monitor people’s emotions and use AI technology to calculate their “social credit” scores.
And neighbors are encouraged to rat on each other using smartphone apps.
Dahlia Peterson of Georgetown University told Online: “In programs such as Sharp Eyes, local governments across the country have successfully convinced citizens to participate in each other’s surveillance.
“What is most frightening is that many people inside China are unaware of the true scope of surveillance, and yet welcome it as a source of ‘security’.”
An aggressive PR battle to quell negative reports has formed another part of China’s strategy – even to deny the virus originated there.
It met with great initial success – leading scientists wrote to the Lancet to dismiss claims of the laboratory leak as a “conspiracy”.
Facebook banned any posts claiming that the virus was man-made – much to Beijing’s delight – while an army of Chinese keyboard warriors spread a myth claiming it originated in a US military lab. happened.
And this year a WHO investigation backing Beijing’s official narrative was branded as “whitewash” as it emerged that several scientists had links to China.
Matt Turpin, former head of the National Security Council China desk, told Markson: “You had a massive campaign from the PRC to discredit the whole story that it came from a lab.
“This is what they have spent decades on since preparing Tiananmen – a bad news that threatens the regime, and makes sure you have the influence and media and propaganda to be able to control the narrative and the story. mechanism.”
Ex-MI6 chief Dearlove said: “You can bet your bottom dollar that the Ministry of State Security has been in control of the narrative from day one and the whole thing is a global propaganda campaign.
“I’m pretty sure that the Chinese narrative was absolutely dominant and that collusion with the Chinese is bloody outrageous.”
Evidence of a laboratory leak has been accumulating over the past year as scientists, researchers and governments search for answers….