Hi everyone, our website was in hibernation for a couple of months but now it has come out of the “private” mode. Typically, we get thousands of readers every day, so we apologize for the disruption. Let’s just say it was due to forces beyond our control.
Well, the good news is that the blog is back. And another exciting news is that one of our authors, Chris Kanthan, has published a new, compelling book on China. Apart from extensive research and strategic analysis, the book includes interesting observations from the author’s travel experiences in China.
“China, China, Chyyna — Greatest Disruption to American Century”
The book is available on Amazon now. Soon it will be available on Smashwords, Apple store etc. It’s a loooong book — 105,000 words or 660 pages. But don’t worry, it’s broken up into a lot of interesting and shorter chapters, which make the book flow easily.
Here’s why everyone — whether you are from America, China or elsewhere — should be interested in the geopolitical tug of war between the U.S. and China:
First, we are living through a historic geopolitical disruption that happens once every century or so — a rising power is poised to surpass an established hegemon as the largest economy in the world. Mainstream media and experts are living in denial, but China’s GDP will be #1 within five years. Second, the inexorable rise of China and a multipolar world will have profound consequences: end of the American Century and erosion of dollar supremacy. Third, great power rivalry could lead to catastrophic wars.
Thirty years ago, most Chinese didn’t have basic home appliances. How did this poor communist country become the world’s #1 manufacturer, largest trading nation, and the largest market for e-commerce, electric cars, and mobile payments? China now publishes more scientific papers and international patents than anyone else. It leads in critical technologies like 5G, AI, and blockchain.
China eradicated extreme poverty and created the world’s largest middle class. There are more Chinese than Americans in the world’s richest Top 10%. China has even surpassed the U.S. in the Global Fortune 500 firms list.
America missed the rise of China and still doesn’t understand China.
Through the lenses of geopolitics, economics, trade, history, and culture, this book explains the rise of China and how the U.S. must reinvent its strategies for a multipolar world. While America’s primacy is on a relative decline, China is not going to rule the world. Eschewing Cold War ideology, America must compete and cooperate with China. And we can even learn some lessons from China.
Check it out. You will get perspectives and facts that you won’t find in any mainstream media or books.
Okay, now a quick blog post on the latest recycling of the Wuhan lab conspiracy theory:
Over the weekend, the right-wing media Washington Examiner published a sensational article that claimed at COVID-19 indeed came out of a Wuhan lab. The article was based on a Medium post by Nicholas Wade.
Who is Nicholas Wade? Well, he is a British “science” writer with a lot of bias — sort of like Adrian Zenz, the religious zealot who enjoys fame through anti-China fake research. Wade once wrote an article for the NY Times, claiming that the Plague – which killed a third of Europeans about 700 years ago – came from … China. He also wrote a book — Troublesome Inheritance — in which he claimed that rich countries are smarter because they have higher IQ. This is why Britain allegedly had a vast Empire. His stupefyingly shallow understanding of geopolitics and finance is revealed in this question in his book: “Why are some countries rich and others persistently poor? Capital and information flow fairly freely, so what is it that prevents poor countries from taking out a loan, copying every Scandinavian institution, and becoming as rich and peaceful as Denmark?” This is the “logic” of a racist teenager on Reddit. How such low-IQ writers can be taken seriously is a mystery.
Anyways, back to Wuhan.
Fake and Rushed Logic for Lab-based Virus
Wade starts off by acknowledging that there is no direct evidence that the virus came from the Wuhan lab. That should have been the end of the article, but he goes on to waste thousands of more words. I will summarize his article for you: “There is no proof that the virus came from animals. The bats with the genetically closest coronavirus are in caves in Yunnan, about 1500 km from Wuhan. Ergo, SARS-COV-2 must have been made in a lab.”
Well, the fault in this logic is that absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence. For example, what if we find the answer one year from now — like those bats or other hosts with the SARS-COV-2 virus?
The WHO has published a 120-page report where it discusses in detail all the possibilities of the origins and transmissions of the novel coronavirus. The bottom line is that we don’t know a lot of the facts yet and people are still investigating.
Conspiracy Theory is a Double-edged Sword
Second, even if it came from a lab, why does it have to be a Chinese lab? Why not an American lab — like the bio-weapons (biological warfare) lab in Fort Detrick, Maryland, which was shut down in August 2019 for violations of protocols? If you love conspiracy theories, just a month earlier, many people in retired communities near that lab had gotten sick from a mysterious lung disease and some died! Here’s a video of a news clip from July 2019 — about how the CDC was investigating the outbreak of a mystery virus in Fairfax county, Virginia, from Jul 2019. The health department acknowledged that such outbreaks of pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses in summer times are rare.
Third, if China were up to some sinister conspiracy, it wouldn’t allow the outbreak to first happen in a Chinese city. They could have easily taken the virus or the sick people to the neighboring countries like Laos, Cambodia, Thailand etc. and pin the blame on someone else.
Conspiracy theorists like George Webb have asserted that US military athletes who were sick with SARS-COV-2 attended the Wuhan World Military Games in Oct 2019. And this is how Wuhan got sick!
See how once you go into the land of conspiracy theories, there are countless rabbit holes?
Why Detection is not a Sign/Proof of Origin
Finally, a lot of even smart people say that, “Since the virus was first found in Wuhan, the virus must have originated in Wuhan.” They usually go on to say, “If the virus had started elsewhere, other countries would have detected it.”
Really? Look around the world. Country after country remains clueless until the pandemic explodes in their face. For example, in the middle of April, India proudly announced that COVID-19 had been contained. Two weeks later, they were registering 300,000 cases! India was totally oblivious to the double/triple mutant that caused the colossal second wave.
Going back to late February 2020, remember how Trump boasted that there were only 26 cases and soon it will go away “like a miracle”? Fast forward a year, and the CDC says that stunning 35% of Americans (or, 115 million) have contracted COVID-19 since the pandemic started. However, the official stats is only 32 million. That means, even with all the awareness and technology, the U.S. missed about 6 out of 10 COVID-19 cases! Finally, a new study shows that the world has missed half of all COVID-related deaths so far.
There have also been multiple reports of COVID-19 cases and SARS-COV-2 virus being retroactively found in other countries way before it was discovered in Wuhan:
- France – Mid November 2019: Chest x-rays at Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Colmar show two patients with COVID-19
- Spain – March 2019: Virus samples detected in sewage water
- Brazil – November 2019: Virus samples detected in sewage water
- Italy – Sep thru Dec 2019: Virus samples detected in sewage water (Dec 2019); and SARS-COV-2 antibodies in patients from September onward.
- Los Angeles, USA – Dec 2019: Coronavirus likely was spreading silently in L.A. in Dec 2019 before the Wuhan outbreak.
- USA – Nine States – Dec 2019: Red Cross blood samples show spread of COVID-19 in early Dec 2019 in many states.
Thus, the assertion that Wuhan must be the source of the outbreak is untenable and illogical.
Why Countries Keep Missing Outbreaks
So, how did all these countries miss it? What happens is that the growth of the new virus stays flat, flat, flat, flat … and then a small uptick … and then BOOM! So, people keep ignoring or downplaying the virus until the line on the chart spikes vertically. Then, it’s too late.
So, if you introduce the virus at the same time in 10 different countries, each country will detect the virus after different times. This is due to two reasons:
(1) Population density and cultural factors affect the rates at which the virus spreads. For example, Wuhan with 11 million people will have very different dynamics than Kansas City with 0.5 million. As for cultural factors, here is an example: In Japan, people wear masks a lot and don’t shake hands much — and both factors slow the spread of the virus.
(2) The healthcare systems are different in each country. China detected the mystery virus — and announced it to the WHO and the world on Dec 30, 2019– when there were just 27 cases. That’s remarkable. Obviously, very few countries are as diligent and capable.
Compare that with the U.S., where the CDC actually prevented a Seattle infectious disease expert, Dr. Helen Chu, from looking for the coronavirus in Jan and Feb 2020 — the most crucial period! Finally, the lady doctor — Chinese American? — decided to break CDC’s cease and desist order; and then she found the first official locally transmitted case of COVID-19 at the end of February. By the time the CDC got its act together and started mass testing in late March 2020, there were likely more than 8 million unconfirmed COVID19 cases in the USA — that would be 100x more than the confirmed cases at that time! That’s staggering incompetence.
On the other hand, China is one of the few countries in the world to flatten the curve and keep it flat. <See related blog: From Terrified to Triumphant — How China Flipped 2020>
Anti-China hysteria is relatively very high among Republican/Conservative circles. And they veer from one extreme to another — “COVID-19 is a hoax … it’s no worse than a flu” to “OMG! It’s a deadly virus made in the lab by evil Chinese communist scientists.”
There’s no easy cure for the dysfunctional politics in America. Meanwhile, keep yourself safe and healthy.