Nations around the world have “opened their eyes” to the “cover up” of the coronavirus outbreak by the Chinese government, according to an expert in the field. Andreas Fulda is a senior fellow at the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute and the author of ‘The Struggle for Democracy in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong: Sharp Power and Its Discontents’. Dr Fulda spoke about how the state led by President Xi Jinping was reluctant to report the pandemic because it would reflect badly on the Communist Party.
He told Express.co.uk: “I certainly think that the cover up of this COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan in China has opened the eyes of the global public to the highly problematic political realities in mainland China.
“General Secretary Xi Jinping is a Stalinist who presides over a Leninist party state using Maoist tactics, and that obviously is not a good combination.
“We can see this combination of Stalinism, Leninism and Maoism in provinces of China where now more than 1.5 million people are actually held in internment and/or in labour camps against their will.
“Sometimes people ask me why we should care about the way China is governed.”
Dr Fulda continued: “To me, this tells a lot about how politicians and specialists think about China.
“They’re not really aware how dangerous mainland China under the leadership of the Communist Party has become, not just to its own citizens but also the people living in China’s periphery and across the world.
“So I think if we talk about the end of the COVID-19 outbreak and it’s global impact, I do think one of the impacts that we already see if that people are becoming much more critical towards the Chinese Communist Party and the way it governs mainland China.
“A week ago more than 200 Chinese experts and specialists have criticised the Chinese Government in an open letter about the mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The expert added: “They have referred to the botched response as a ‘Chernobyl moment’.
“They pointed out that instead of heeding early warnings of Chinese health professionals, the Chinese central Government suppressed dissent at home.
“The Associated Press published that the Chinese leadership delayed it’s warning to the international community of the impending crisis by six key days.”
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China’s ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, dismissed claims of a cover up of the coronavirus pandemic.
He told the BBC: “I hear quite a lot of this speculation of disinformation about China covering up or hiding something. This is not true.
“This is not the era of gunboat diplomacy, this is not the era when China was still a semi-feudal society, this is the 21st century.
“These people still live in the old days, they think they can bully China, they think they can bully the world.
“China is not an enemy of the United States. If they regard China as an enemy, I think they choose the wrong target.”
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