Nearly two months after mainland Chinese authorities acknowledged
the outbreak and the existence of the contagious virus, the crisis
has spread round the globe, assuming epidemic proportions in
multiple regions. The number of infected beyond China’s borders is
now in the tens of thousands, with more than 1,000 having succumbed
to the virus. The stock market has plunged as experts warn of a
possible economic recession.
A variety of factors have facilitated the rapid spread of the
coronavirus, officially termed SARS-CoV-2, and the disease that it
causes, COVID-19. Globalization has brought the peoples of the world
into closer contact, increasing the risks of a worldwide pandemic.
Yet the heaviest-hit regions outside China all share a common
thread: close or lucrative relations with the communist regime in
Medical Crisis, Political Peril
Under political or economic influence from the People’s Republic of
China (PRC), many foreign entities and politicians, including
international organizations, have been swayed to the extent that
they take the side of the CCP, accommodating the pernicious
communist system and turning a blind eye to unspeakable crimes
committed by the mainland Chinese authorities.
Recent decades have seen the PRC greatly expand its power in
economic and geopolitical affairs. Deceiving the world with a
narrative of “China’s peaceful rise,” the communist regime has lured
foreign governments and international firms to invest in China’s
rapidly developing markets.
But the CCP has never abandoned its ideological tenets of class
struggle and totalitarian control. In the 30 years since the
Tiananmen Square massacre, and from the start in 1999 of the
persecution of the spiritual practice Falun Gong to today’s
systematic persecution of all faiths and independent thought, the
state of human rights in the PRC has only worsened.
The true nature of the CCP and communism has long been known to
readers of The Epoch Times. Fifteen years ago, The Epoch Times
published the editorial series “Nine Commentaries on the Communist
Party,” igniting a grassroots movement in China to reject communism.
Since 2004, more than 350 million people have renounced their ties
to the Party and its affiliated youth organizations.
Seen in conjunction with the CCP-hijacked geopolitical environment
of today, the geographical distribution of what the World Health
Organization (WHO) now calls a coronavirus pandemic highlights the
ultimate peril facing those who align themselves with the specter of
Outside China, the spread of COVID-19 has been most severe in Italy,
Iran, South Korea, and Japan. Not all of these countries are located
near China, but all have extensive interests in the PRC.
Italy, the most heavily affected country outside China as of March
10, was the first (and only) G-7 nation to sign onto the PRC’s Belt
and Road Initiative (BRI, also known as One Belt, One Road). In an
attempt to prop up its weakening economy, Italy has also sought to
capture the Chinese market for selling its luxury goods.
With the outbreak now forcing Rome to put the country under
lockdown, such prospects have been put on hold.
Italy also has signed scores of sister-city agreements with China,
with the cities of Milan, Venice, and Bergamo included among them.
These are the areas hardest-hit by the virus.
In the Middle East, Iran has seen a surge in the number of
infections, particularly among government officials.
The Iranian regime has had a comprehensive strategic partnership
with China since 2016, and its ties with Beijing began years before
that. In violation of international sanctions, Iran has imported
embargoed materials from China, while continuing to sell oil to the
PRC. The Islamic Republic allowed flights in and out of four major
Chinese cities until the end of February.
On-the-ground footage taken by Iranian citizens is reminiscent of
the tragedy playing out in Wuhan, with overworked medical staff,
despondent patients, and body bags lining hospital floors.
And while official figures released by the Iranian authorities show
deaths and confirmed cases trailing behind Italy’s numbers, it is
likely that the real scale of the outbreak remains grossly
underreported. Reviewing available data, an epidemiologist cited by
The Washington Post on March 5 estimated that the actual number of
people infected in Iran could have been up to 28,000, nearly five
times what the regime had reported.
In South Korea, the public has grown increasingly critical of
President Moon Jae-in for refusing to ban Chinese tourists at large
and instead only barring entry for those who recently traveled to
Hubei Province, the epicenter of the epidemic in China.
More than 1.4 million people have signed a petition to the
Presidential Blue House calling for Moon to be impeached. The
petition text reads, “Seeing Moon Jae-in’s response to the new
epidemic, we feel that he is more of a President for China than
Despite its proximity to, and extensive business with, mainland
China, Taiwan has seen a relatively small number of infections.
On Jan. 26, John Hopkins University identified Taiwan as having the
second-highest risk of epidemic spread outside China. However,
robust prevention measures have proven effective.
Taiwan officials began to board planes and assess passengers on Dec.
31, 2019, after Wuhan authorities first confirmed the outbreak. In
early February, Taiwan banned entry to foreign nationals who have
traveled to the PRC. As of March 10, there are just 47 confirmed
cases in Taiwan. The self-ruled island has been held as a model for
epidemic control, despite being repeatedly denied participation in
the CCP-friendly WHO.
As China affairs commentator Heng He put it, Taiwan has a clear
understanding of the communist regime and may be the only state that
learned the lessons of the 2003 SARS outbreak, which also began in
In Hong Kong, which has seen millions of residents stand up to
Beijing’s encroachment on the city’s freedoms and rule of law since
last year, the outbreak has been similarly subdued.
By contrast, Japan, albeit not geostrategically aligned with the PRC,
placed profit over prudence. With millions of Chinese traveling to
Japan for shopping and sightseeing annually, the country was slow to
close its borders to mainland arrivals.
Recently, the CCP has attempted to portray its draconian handling of
the coronavirus epidemic as a triumph for the Party’s authoritarian
system. But the Chinese historical record is more sobering.
Throughout the centuries, plagues and other calamities signaled the
downfall of imperial dynasties.
Taking history as a mirror, as ancient Chinese scholars did, it is
apparent that the coronavirus pandemic is a calamity linked with the
CCP and its 70 years of brutal rule. And today, the world is an
interconnected community. Any country, community, or organization
that keeps too close to the CCP and falls for its deception will
taste the bitter fruits of that involvement.