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Chinese Dissident Artiist Ai Weiwei on China


A Statement on the Pandemic Crisis
Author: Sethu Das | sethu.das@friendsoftibet.org | Friends of Tibet [Research]
Date of Publication: May 20, 2020

Statement from Sethu Das, Founder of Friends of Tibet IT took thousands of years to build the Great Wall of China to prevent invaders, but took less than sixty days for a virus outbreak that originated in China to invade and infect the entire world. The 'unforeseen' outbreak has not only changed the geopolitical landscape of the world but has also brought an end to interdependence of nations and our illusions about cultural integration. By now most people believe the great crisis, caused by the novel CoronaVirus, is a turning point in human history and the world will look different after the pandemic. Welcome to the de-globalised world!

While American society is divided on the Trump Administration's efficiency and management of the CoronaVirus pandemic, the rest of the world is divided in their views, on the source of the deadly virus. Does it really matter whether the CoronaVirus originated in a P4 lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology or at a wet market situated few kilometres away? Does it really matter if it was brought to Wuhan by the US military (or not), as claimed by the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson? The answer is: Not really! Irrespective of the fact that the CoronaVirus is natural in source or nurtured by genetic engineering, the damage has already been done! As of today, more than 200 countries except China are being affected, killing 325,125 and infecting about 5 million people worldwide*. The outbreak of this virus might not necessarily be a 'biological attack' to establish a new world order, as some may claim, considering the impact the very same virus has had on China's favoured nations and faithful trade partners. But the magnitude of the impact was so huge, destructive and disastrous that it can be considered to be even bigger than a biological attack, and beyond any conventional wars fought in the past.

One may ask what was keeping China busy during the peak of CoronaVirus outbreak — well, a global crisis such as this one does not deviate China from its national focus. When the whole world was struggling to control and contain the pandemic, China was busy deploying 'Sea Wing' underwater drones in the Indian Ocean Region; providing special training to its military personnel stationed inside occupied-Tibet to sharpen their driving skills to handle complex conditions and empowering CanSino Biologics & the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Shanghai to develop a vaccine for a 'possible virus outbreak'. And, finally after sending hundreds of countries back to the Stone Age, China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced 'Tianwen-1' on April 24, 2020, its first Mars Exploration Mission, aiming to dominate the 'Red' Planet and challenging Russia, EU, India and the USA.

In the eyes of the world, China is the place of origin of the pandemic and appears to be the sole culprit for the outbreak and spread of the virus. China is being questioned by the international community for a number of reasons — for silencing Dr Li Wenliang, the whistle-blower ophthalmologist from the Wuhan Central Hospital who first reported a possible virus outbreak in December last year; for allowing millions of its people from the Hubei province to travel to other parts of the world since the first case was reported; for its diplomatic efforts to influence powerful nations to not to use the term 'Chinese Virus' or 'Wuhan Virus'; for distributing and selling millions of substandard quality COVID-19 test kits and PPEs to a number of countries, developed by two of its approved agencies; for the miraculous recovery from the aftermath of a deadly virus outbreak with 'minimal damages' to promptly reopen the country and its market; for colluding with and influencing the World Health Organisation (WHO) to delay the global pandemic warning; and now preventing an independent international investigation into the origin of the CoronaVirus!

In a historic speech to the World Health Assembly, the compassionate President of the People's Republic of China declared that "China will make the vaccine available for the global public good, which will be China's contribution to ensure vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries." The global race to develop and secure vaccine supplies has begun. Just as dust particles are necessary in the atmosphere for a light beam to make its presence felt, chaos and confusion are necessary in our troubled atmosphere for greedy corporations to make their presence felt, by pushing the development of vaccines in association with their respective governments. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 100 vaccine projects are in the development stage and the health institution has already shortlisted establishments to develop vaccines for clinical trials. Paradoxically, China, a country whose role in the outbreak is now being investigated by 122 WHO Member States, announced that its pharmaceutical companies such as Shanghai Fosun, Cancino Biologics, China National Biotec Group, Sinovac Biotech, Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology are in the race and collaborating with their overseas counterparts to develop a vaccine.

An internal report published by China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), affiliated with the Ministry of State Security, concludes that global anti-China sentiment is at its highest since 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre and could possibly lead to an armed confrontation between global powers. The world should hold China and WHO accountable and responsible for their latest crime against humanity.

Social distancing and 20-seconds of hand-washing may help us to keep germs away, but to prevent COVID-19-like 'outbreaks' in future, the world needs long-term strategies such as 'political and economic distancing' with China. This approach alone seems to be the silver bullet in isolating a brutal regime that threatens the existence of smaller nations and peaceful communities.

Let us hope the 'unforeseen' outbreak of the CoronaVirus brings in 'unforeseen' regime changes and topples nations — if at all there is a world after the pandemic! ◼

*Causalities at the time of going live with this statement on May 20, 2020

Renowned journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman on Corona Virus pandemic, WHO and Climate Change

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Can We Ever Forgive China?
"If any other country had sparked such a mammoth international crisis, it would now be in the global doghouse", writes Brahma Chellaney, geostrategist and the author of award-winning book — 'Water, Peace, and War: Confronting the Global Water Crisis'

Patrick Condell is a British writer, polemicist, former stand-up comedian and a regular panellist on BBC Radio 1's Loose Talk programme. He regularly uploads his short filmed monologue polemics primarily about religious authority, authoritarianism in government which has millions of subscribers, with over 80 million views. ◼


THE incalculable human and economic toll exacted by the spread of the novel coronavirus from China promises to shake up global geopolitics, including China's position in the world. With the 21-day India lockdown — the largest national shutdown in history — nearly half of the global population is now under some form of lockdown, thanks to China's disastrous, initial missteps that allowed the deadly virus to spread far and wide. After the global crisis is over, the West's relationship with China is unlikely to go back to normal. Efforts are expected to begin to loosen China's grip on global supply chains. Moves are already afoot in the US Congress to bring manufacture of essential medicines back to the US, which currently relies on China for 97 per cent of all its antibiotics.

Asian countries were the first to be affected by the transnational spread of COVID-19 from China. In fact, only after COVID-19 cases with Wuhan links were detected in Thailand and South Korea that China acknowledged its epidemic, when the People's Daily on January 21st admitted human-to-human spread and publicised Chinese President Xi Jinping's first comments. The bitterness over China's role in triggering the pandemic will likely linger in Asia. After all, the lives of many will never be the same. As US President Donald Trump has said, "the world is paying a big price" for China's initial, weeks-long cover-up of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan city and other parts of Hubei province. From November 17th onward, according to a South China Morning Post report based on Chinese government data, Wuhan doctors recorded one to five cases daily, before infection rates spiralled and a raging epidemic unfolded. However, China waited until January 21st to issue the first warning to its public. By then, the spread of the virus had gone beyond its control.

A study based on sophisticated modelling has indicated that if Chinese authorities had acted three weeks earlier than they did, the number of COVID-19 cases in China could have been reduced by 95 per cent and the global spread of the disease limited. The virus spread farther and wider because the Communist Party of China (CPC) cared more about its reputation than the Chinese people's suffering or the transnational impacts. Make no mistake: China faces lasting damage to its image. The CPC not only engineered the pandemic, however inadvertently, but also has sought to save face by unleashing a sustained disinformation campaign aimed at creating doubts over the new disease's origin in China. Chinese diplomats, for example, have unabashedly sought to blame the US for the virus. But such outlandish propaganda has few takers.

The images the world has seen of markets in China selling wild animals for slaughter on the spot have served as a reminder of how Beijing ignored warnings from its own experts since the 2002-2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) pandemic, which also originated on Chinese territory. Infectious-disease specialists based in Hong Kong, in a study published in 2007 in an American journal, said the presence of a large reservoir of SARS-like 'viruses in horseshoe bats, together with the culture of eating exotic mammals,' was a Chinese 'time bomb' that raised the 'possibility of the reemergence of SARS and other novel viruses from animals or laboratories.'

In fact, just months before the COVID-19 outbreak in China, a biomedical study by four Chinese presciently warned that a new coronavirus will emanate from bats, with 'an increased probability that this will occur in China.' The Chinese hunger for the rare, exotic and dubiously curative has fostered wildlife farming, provided a cover for poaching and threatened to drive endangered animals to extinction.

Videos showing Chinese wolfing down pangolins, wolf cubs, dogs, snakes, hedgehogs, civet cats or other animals not only contribute to China's image problem but also underline the dangers of another deadly disease originating in that country. The CPC wields the big stick to muzzle dissent at home but not to change tastes or attitudes that could give the world yet another pandemic after SARS and COVID-19.

COVID-19, meanwhile, has cast an unflattering light on the only institution tasked with providing global health leadership, the World Health Organization (WHO). Under Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO's first chief who is not a medical doctor, the institution's credibility has taken a severe beating. Tedros, who served as Ethiopia's health minister and then foreign minister, has mismanaged WHO's efforts to contain COVID-19, declaring it a pandemic only on March 11th, weeks after the virus had spread across the world. This contrasts with the alacrity with which he has defended China's COVID-19 response at every stage.

In fact, before China came clean, Tedros actively aided CPC's efforts to 'play down the severity, prevalence and scope of the COVID-19 outbreak,' as two US-based scholars have pointed out. Health officials in Taiwan, which instituted COVID-19 preventive measures before any country, have said that they alerted the WHO on December 31st to human-to-human transmission by detailing how Wuhan medical staff were getting ill. Yet, based on Chinese inputs, the WHO declared on January 14th that there was 'no clear evidence' of such transmission. The WHO changed its position only after China belatedly admitted transmission between humans.

When countries like the US, Italy and India banned travel to or from China, Tedros publicly opposed such restrictions on February 4th, warning that they will have "the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public-health benefit." Tedros has further politicised WHO's role in the current crisis by lavishing praise on Xi, saying he has displayed "a very rare leadership," and paying tribute to Chinese "transparency," despite the CPC's intrinsic aversion to transparency.

Sir Richard B Dearlove, Former Chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) on CoronaVirus

Founded 71 years ago, the WHO remains overly bureaucratic and too dependent on some major donors to independently coordinate international health policy, which explains China's growing sway over that United Nations agency, including shutting the door to Taiwan's entry. After Tedros's overt politicisation of international health, the damage to WHO's credibility will not be easy to repair. Calls are already growing for him to resign.

The lesson from SARS — the first pandemic of the 21st century — was that state transparency and early and accurate public warning are essential to fight the major outbreak of any disease. But Beijing did the opposite during the COVID-19 outbreak, as underscored by a favourite social-media line, 'China lied and people died.' Beijing helped spawn a manmade calamity that has created an unparalleled global crisis.

In fact, China also covered up the SARS outbreak for more than a month, holding the doctor who blew the whistle on it in military custody for 45 days. And, in the past 19 months, secrecy and under-reporting of African swine flu cases in China has created one of the worst livestock epidemics ever that has killed millions of pigs there. China's COVID-19 role, however, will rank as the most dangerous cover-up in modern history.

Had Beijing sought to confine the COVID-19 outbreak to its central Hubei province by suspending all travel from there as soon as it became aware of the gravity of the problem, the novel coronavirus might not have spread to other parts of China or to other countries. Instead, it put no restriction on international travel, including from Wuhan, thereby helping to spread the disease internationally.

When countries like the US, Italy and India blocked flights to and from China, Beijing expressed dismay, saying such bans went against the WHO recommendation not to restrict travel and trade. 'In disregard of WHO recommendation against travel restrictions, the US went the opposite way,' the Chinese foreign ministry's spokesman said on Twitter in response to America's January 31st travel restrictions. 'Where is its empathy?' Beijing called for lifting the bans, while cajoling small, financially vulnerable countries to keep their borders open to Chinese travellers.

In Italian cities, individual travellers from China held placards at public intersections that read, 'Please hug me: I am a Chinese, not a virus.' And videos showing them receiving hugs from passersby were telecast in China by the state media to signal that the world still loved China.

Now, by spreading unfounded conspiracy theories, China is seeking to deflect criticism for its role in starting a pandemic by covering up the coronavirus outbreak at home. Indeed, the Chinese leadership is facing a credibility problem at home over its secretive initial response to the outbreak. It has sought to save itself from the people's wrath by spreading conspiracy theories on the origin of the virus and by patting itself on the back for supposedly bringing the spread of the disease under control. Xi has been portrayed as a hero who is leading the country to victory in a 'people's war' against COVID-19.

The COVID-19 crisis has not stopped the regime from going after anyone daring to expose its initial cover-up. Beijing property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang, who called Xi a 'clown-emperor with no clothes,' has been missing since mid-March. 'I see not an emperor standing there exhibiting his 'new clothes,' but a clown who stripped naked and insisted on continuing to be an emperor,' Ren had said in an essay that blamed Xi for silencing whistle-blowers and suppressing information on the outbreak. Many Chinese are still seething over the regime's initial concealment and mismanagement of the crisis. The public anger at home, coupled with the damage to China's global image, has prompted Beijing to launch a public-relations blitzkrieg, including churning out conspiracy theories. As if China's role in starting a global pandemic was not enough, Beijing is now unleashing a pandemic of lies. To be sure, fabrications and disinformation are integral to China's 'three wars' concept: public opinion warfare, psychological warfare and legal warfare. Consequently, the circulation of disinformation is an old Chinese tactic.

With its 'three wars' doctrine, Beijing has sought to send two messages to the rest of the world: 'we did everything to stop the outbreak; in fact, we bought you time;' and 'the virus probably didn't even originate in China.' The paradox is that the two messages, built on falsehoods, are contradictory. But that does not bother the regime, which has published a propaganda book in multiple languages, including English, Arabic, Spanish, French and Russian. The book, touting its handling of the disease, is titled, A Battle Against Epidemic: China Combatting COVID-19 in 2020.

China's combative public diplomacy involves the use of Twitter and other social-media platforms to influence the international narrative through misinformation and disinformation. Zhao Lijian, the new in-charge of the social-media propaganda machine, has recently used Twitter to push unfounded conspiracy theories, including that the novel coronavirus was brought by US Army officers who visited Wuhan in October 2019.

Covid19 in Spain

"Over these months China has lost Europe. Chinese Communist Party's truth management in the early stages of the virus, an 'extremely aggressive' stance by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing and 'hard-line propaganda' that champions the superiority of Communist Party rule over democracy. It's the pervasiveness of an attitude that does not purvey the will to create partnerships, but the will to tell people what to do." Reinhard Buetikofer, German Green Party Lawmaker & Head of European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with China


Before becoming the Chinese foreign ministry's spokesman in Beijing earlier this year, Zhao was China's deputy chief of mission in Pakistan, where he honed his social-media propaganda skills. In Pakistan, Zhao peddled conspiracy theories on Twitter (which is banned in China) and added 'Muhammad' to his name (until Beijing outlawed the use of 'Muhammad' and other overtly Islamic names in Xinjiang and elsewhere). His appointment as a foreign ministry spokesman signalled that Beijing was moving from aggressive diplomacy to brazen diplomacy. Zhao's actions have helped validate that hypothesis.

More broadly, China is now seeking to aggressively rebrand itself as the global leader in combating a virus that spread internationally from its own territory. Its rebranding effort includes counter-pandemic aid to developing countries, a pledge to donate $20 million to the WHO and a massive PR campaign, which extends from a claim to have fully contained the coronavirus in its worst-affected areas to disseminating plain disinformation so as to obscure its disastrous missteps that gifted the world a horrendous pandemic.

With the help of the CPC's propaganda organs, Beijing is trying to fashion a narrative that China is an example of how to control the spread of COVID-19. In fact, like the arsonist offering to extinguish the fire it started, China is now seeking to help other countries combat a dangerous pathogen after its own gross negligence led to that virus spreading across the globe. The attempt clearly is to deflect liability for a global crisis whose costs continue to mount. After all, if any other country had sparked such a mammoth international crisis, it would now be in the global doghouse.

Col Gaddaffi Quote on Vaccine Business

In a historic speech to the World Health Assembly, the compassionate President of the People's Republic of China declared that "China will make the vaccine available for the global public good, which will be China's contribution to ensure vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries." The global race to develop and secure vaccine supplies has begun. Just as dust particles are necessary in the atmosphere for a light beam to make its presence felt, chaos and confusion are necessary in our troubled atmosphere for greedy corporations to make their presence felt, by pushing the development of vaccines in association with their respective governments. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 100 vaccine projects are in the development stage and the health institution has already shortlisted establishments to develop vaccines for clinical trials. Sethu Das, Friends of Tibet [Research] Group


Beijing's proactive attempt to rewrite the history of the pandemic, even as much of the world grapples with its escalating consequences, highlights its well-oiled machine. Yet, when the COVID-19 outbreak occurred in Wuhan, China acted decisively not against the virus but against the whistle-blowing doctors, eight of whom were detained. This underscores that, for the world's strongest and richest dictatorship, power and control take precedence over everything else, including human lives.

Having spawned the global coronavirus crisis, China is now planning to exploit the financial and other disruptions that the pandemic has engendered. It is hoping to game the situation in order to gain greater technological and industrial advantage. But the international anger over its role in triggering the pandemic could frustrate its plans.

The pandemic's lesson for many countries is that, in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, China's secrecy and obfuscation are antithetical to globalisation and international security. Transparency is essential to make us all safer. China cannot have its cake and eat it too. It must fundamentally reform and abide by international norms. If the pandemic upends the world order as we know it, China's role will be a key trigger. ◼

Originally published by the Open Magazine edition dated April 6, 2020

Sri Lanka Pays An Atrocious Price for the Chinese Virus
Dr Ravindra Ranasinha is a dramatist, journalist, sociologist, educationist and a Friends of Tibet Campaigner from Sri Lanka. He writes profusely on the Fascist developments and focuses on the devastating attacks against the multi-religious and social structure in Sri Lanka.

Rampant corruption within the United Nation's World Health Organisation (WHO) is putting lives at risk during the deadly coronavirus outbreak from Wuhan, China. Why did the WHO delay issuing a global emergency on the deadly Corona Virus outbreak? Has Chinese money and power influenced the WHO and it's Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom? And what about Taiwan which was illegally shown as a part of China in the midst of the pandemic? Watch China Uncensored video. ◼


THE COVID-19 has created a severe impact on the lives of people and the global economy. Countries that are assumed to be 'rich', too, have become victims of this Chinese Virus. Their economies too have collapsed drastically, which is evident from the number of people who have lost jobs in these countries. This has the inevitable potential to lead to a global food crisis — an aspect we need the whole world to be alert to, since it can push humanity to experience hunger, in the near future.

The impact of this global situation will also thrust Sri Lanka into a very difficult situation. Sensing this uncertain future, the Sri Lankan government has already begged Sri Lankans living abroad to 'consider depositing their foreign currency savings in local bank accounts'. It is quite a joke to ask people living in foreign lands to send money back home at such a time, as they too are faced with multiple challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and on top of it, the majority of them have lost their jobs as well. This stark reality has put Sri Lanka in hot water, leading to a complete collapse of the Sri Lankan economy due to which the government is begging foreign countries to provide loans.

According to a statement issued by the US embassy in Colombo, "The US has already donated US$ 4.5 million to Sri Lanka to assist its fight against COVID-19". As per this, "US$ 2 million would be used to assist areas severely affected by the virus, and to strengthen small and medium enterprises and increase women's participation".

The current crisis has had a severe impact on two of the key industries in Sri Lanka — tourism & apparel manufacturing. Employers in these industries have already laid off a large number of workers, making life very uncertain for them, and their families. Finding livelihood in such times is a serious challenge for most people in the country. In addition to this, the economic impact of this virus has also affected hospitals, due to a shortage of medicine. Sri Lanka usually purchases pharmaceuticals mainly from India. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, supply from India has completely stopped, having a direct impact on the health of our people.

It is evident by now that the world economy has been paralysed by this pandemic in a manner, where strategies to generate income have to be completely changed. Under these circumstances, Sri Lanka appears to be helpless as we are not a country that produces things for internal consumption or to be self-sufficient. Although Sri Lanka is known as an agricultural country, the culture of cultivation is limited to fewer people. Now, the government is trying to encourage the people to do home-gardening, but many lack a genuine interest, as too many white collar jobs and professionals have emerged during the past four decades. Citizens of this country do not seem to have the attitude and determination to face this crisis collectively as Sri Lankans. This is evident in the manner the infected are labelled. The media does this job, categorising people, and creating hatred towards those affected. The large proportion of infected people are from the Sri Lanka Navy, and they are treated as heroes, with ample justification. This seems to be popularity politics being played out, to bring the President's brother, Mahinda Rajapakse to power!

President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says that due to the lack of a stable parliament, he was unable to carry out the work he had hoped for in the past three months. What he means by a stable parliament is a parliament with 2/3 power. If that is available, is it possible to get rid of the economic pressure emerging from the Corona outbreak? We need a political leader in the country who knows how to present a common program to save the country from such an impending crisis, which will also encourage people to become more resilient. As custodians of the sovereignty of the country, it is the responsibility of the country's leaders to find a solution to this external enemy, without letting the Chinese Virus engulf Sri Lanka. ◼

Ravindra Ranasinha is based in Sri Lanka and can be contacted at: ravindra.ranasinha@friendsoftibet.org

Will the Wuhan Pandemic Lead to A Revolution?
Writes Tenzing Jigme, a Tibetan activist and musician. He is a former President of Tibetan Youth Congress and a member of Melong, a Tibetan rock group in exile in India

An analysis of China's Corona conspiracy (Hindi) — presented by Sudhir Chaudhary, an Indian journalist who serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Zee News and hosts the prime-time show Daily News And Analysis (DNA) on Zee News. ◼


THE Coronavirus pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China, is the biggest crisis facing the world today. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is doing its best to sanitise its image and wash itself of any blame while using current events to assert its dominance in the world.

The Coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2, has now caused over 237,720 deaths around the world. The virus that originated in a 'wet market' in the city of Wuhan is said to have jumped from a bat to a pangolin and then to humans. In December of 2019, doctors in Wuhan warned Chinese authorities about this novel, deadly virus and its potential consequences. Unfortunately, instead of listening to the experts, the authorities had these doctors silenced. Some of these experts eventually themselves succumbed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

In January of 2020, when the novel Coronavirus was still just an epidemic within China and could have been controlled or contained, around seven million Chinese from Wuhan left the country. At the end of January, all flights out of Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, were banned, but by then it was too late. According to The New York Times, outbreaks were already growing in over 30 cities across 26 countries, mostly seeded by travellers from Wuhan. This was now a pandemic. Interestingly, netizens observed that there were still some active flights departing from Wuhan to the cities of Lhasa, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong — all well-known political hotspots for the Beijing government.

Media reports suggest that most of the seven million Chinese who left Wuhan ended up in Italy and the United States, while other travellers landed in Thailand, Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan. Italy had recently signed an agreement with China as a part of China's 'One Belt One Road' initiative, a move which has increasingly opened Italy's borders to Chinese business. The earliest documented case of COVID-19 in the United States was a Chinese man from Wuhan who came to Seattle. The first individual in Thailand to test positive for the Coronavirus was also a native of Wuhan.


Friends of Tibet Tweets on COVID-19 Outbreak


While we fight to overcome this virus, we must acknowledge why we are in our current situation in the first place. The Chinese government's negligence helped cause this pandemic. The CCP is directly responsible and must be held accountable. Since August 2019, non-profit newsroom ProPublica has tracked more than 10,000 suspected fake Twitter accounts involved in a coordinated influence campaign with ties to the Chinese government. China is currently trying to shift responsibility and change the narrative around the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic. This is not a new tactic for Chinese authorities. As of April 10, a Wall Street Journal article stated that China has bought more than 200 political ads on Facebook since the end of 2018, but more than a third were purchased in the past two months. This is a clear propaganda move — the irony that Facebook is banned for Chinese citizens notwithstanding.

Tibetan activists fighting the CCP's propaganda machine for the past sixty or so years have directly witnessed and experienced these sorts of tactics. In the wake of the global pandemic, slogans like 'China Lied, Tibetans Died', that have been used on banners by Tibet support groups for the past half-century, are now being shared around the world. A few days ago, a prominent US Senator tweeted 'China Lied People Died', in a remarkable and clear example of the popularising of once more Tibet-specific discourse. All around the world, there is genuine anger against China's Communist government. A petition going around to fire Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation, for his failures in handling this crisis has crossed the million-signature mark. Another online petition to hold China accountable, launched by the Tibetan Youth Congress organisation, garnered over 10,000 signatures in just a few days.

Today, wars are not fought in the streets or in the mountains, but through the media and on the Internet. Once this crisis is over, there must be a collective effort to ensure China is held responsible, not only for the pandemic but also for the years of atrocities which it has committed against Tibetans, Uyghurs, and other minorities as a violent, colonial superpower. Tibetan groups may need to lead and form coalitions with our allies to put pressure on governments and hold China accountable. A large-scale 'Boycott Made in China' campaign must be launched, along with initiatives aimed at encouraging corporations to divest from China. The Japanese model of providing stimulus to companies who bring factories back to their country from China is something that other nations should consider.

Educational outreach programmes on the dangers of using Chinese social media apps such as WeChat and TikTok, which are known to be exploited by the CCP for surveillance, must be developed and successfully executed. In place of baseless conspiracy theories, governments must be notified of the security risks of installing Chinese telecom company Huawei's 5G network. A travel boycott to China and trade sanctions must be encouraged. These steps will certainly send a message to the CCP and, more importantly, will inspire and set the tone for other movements for freedom and democracy in Hong Kong, Taiwan, East Turkestan, and Tibet.

It is often said that the Chinese word for 'crisis' is a combination of 'danger' and 'opportunity'. The current unprecedented crisis is seen by the CCP as an opportunity to reshape their image and reemphasise their power and efficiency around the world. We must thus be steadfast, firm, and committed in our unveiling of the truth and counter-responses to their propaganda.

The people of China are rising up. There are reports of sporadic protests taking place all over the country indicating growing anger towards the Xi Jinping-led government. Reports also confirm that high-ranking officials in the party want Xi Jinping removed. Whether that will happen is yet to be seen, but what we do know is that only a few key events are required to start a revolution.

The death of Dr Li Wenliang, the Wuhan physician who first warned the government about the virus, has provoked much anger amongst Chinese citizens. A netizen on the Chinese website Weibo wrote, "This is not the death of a whistleblower. This is the death of a hero." The BBC has likewise reported that comments and tributes to the doctor expressing similar sentiments and demonstrating outrage against the Party have over one billion views. Many of these comments have been censored by the government.

Ultimately, Dr Li Wenliang died trying to stop the Wuhan pandemic, but he may have just started a revolution in the process. ◼

Originally published by Tibet Sun edition dated April 19, 2020

"World Should Unite for a Coordinated Global Response"
A message by HH the XIV Dalai Lama on COVID-19, requested by 'The Call to Unite'

Message from HH the XIV Dalai Lama

IN this time of serious crisis, we face threats to our health and sadness for the family and friends we have lost. Economic disruption is posing a major challenge to governments and undermining the ability of so many people to make a living.

It is during times like this that we must focus on what unites us as members of one human family. Accordingly, we need to reach out to each other with compassion. As human beings, we are all the same. We experience the same fears, the same hopes, the same uncertainties, yet we are also united by a desire for happiness. Our human capacity to reason and to see things realistically gives us the ability to transform hardship into opportunity.

This crisis and its consequences serve as a warning that only by coming together in a coordinated, global response, will we meet the unprecedented magnitude of the challenges we face. I pray we all heed 'The Call to Unite'.

Dalai Lama
May 1, 2020

A Special Message to the World from His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet for 'The Call to Unite' is read by anti-apartheid and human rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu (May 2020) ◼


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Dr Li Wenliang: The Prophet-Turned-Victim
New Delhi-based Cartoonist Sudheer Nath pays tribute to Dr Li Wenliang, whistleblower Chinese ophthalmologist from the Wuhan Central Hospital who first warned his colleagues about a possible outbreak of an illness that resembled SARS, later identified as COVID-19

People gather in memory of Dr Li Wenliang, whistleblower Chinese ophthalmologist from the Wuhan Central Hospital on February 15, 2020 (Photo by Ed Crisostomo / Los Angeles Daily News)

People gather in memory of Dr Li Wenliang, whistleblower Chinese ophthalmologist from the Wuhan Central Hospital on February 15, 2020 (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News) ◼


THE world would hereafter be understood as being "Before COVID-19" and "After COVID-19". We must have read many real stories during huge floods and great world wars. Henceforth the World would read real stories/happenings of COVID-19 times. It is true that there are thousands of such narratives. Out of those the most significantly touching would be that of Dr Li Wenliang, the Chinese Doctor. More stories on him are yet to come.

On December 30, 2019, Dr Li Wenliang had sent to his colleagues confidentially a warning message that in Wuhan, a deadly virus is spreading and it is very dangerous and that everyone should take steps to resist it. He also reminded that this has symptoms similar to the contagious disease of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). This new disease was later termed and recorded by WHO and the world as COVID-19. In fact, this message of Dr Li Wenliang was a warning to take safety measures. Dr Li Wenliang's message went viral in social media.

On January 3rd, 2020, officials from Wuhan's Public Security Bureau took custody of Dr Li, alleging that he had created panic among people by spreading false news. Besides him, seven others had also been arrested, with the same charges. Dr Li Wenliang was later released after forcibly obtaining from him a signed statement that his message has been false. After that Dr Li rejoined in his hospital. There he got infected with COVID-19 virus from the patient he himself was treating.

On February 4, 2020, the Supreme Court of Wuhan censured the police for their action against Dr Li Wenliang. He was glad that the Supreme Court had declared his act of messaging was not a false one. But on the very next day, on February 5, 2020, his medical condition became critical due to aggravation of COVID-19 infection. Dr Li Wenliang who had been active in the social media had narrated his experiences even hours before his death. Dr Li after completing his 7-year medical course had obtained his medical graduation and post-graduation degrees from Wuhan University. He started his professional career at a hospital in China's south-east province of Xiamen. In 2014 he joined at Wuhan's Central Hospital as an Ophthalmologist. There, when he observed symptoms similar to SARS in seven patients of the hospital, he had shared his apprehensions with his colleagues.

After his death, widespread protests arose in China against their policy of denial of freedom of expression. Thousands of people joined in the protests under the Hashtag — #WeWantFreedomOfSpeech. With the whole world has come to know of Dr Li's tragic dedicated story. It has led to a widespread debate about China's authoritarian censorship and the cruel denial of freedom of speech. It is now strongly felt that China would face grave political blows from this incident.

On February 8, 2020, at the too-young age of 33, the highly committed Dr Li Wenliang died a martyr in the very same hospital where he served for years. The news of his disease and death didn't appear in any of the Chinese media. But, with the spread of COVID-19, the tragic truth suppressed by the totalitarian military regime got revealed to all. Later the Chinese Government apologised to his family. In the meantime, COVID-19 attack on Dr Li's parents had been confirmed. They got cured after a while. Wife of Dr Li is now pregnant. In future, no doubt, Dr Li Wenliang would be eulogised as a prophet of COVID-19. ◼

Kirk Walters Cartoon on Corona Virus Outbreak


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China: A Pandemic Villain Or A Hero?
As the global effort to control COVID-19 continues so arguments about culpability for the spread of the pandemic intensify. At the centre of the story is China, where the outbreak began. Did the Chinese government's impulse to cover up the truth cost the world dear? Or did China respond with admirable determination? HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur speaks to Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Is China the villain or the hero of this pandemic?

BBC HARDtalk presenter Stephen Sackur was left speechless after Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom refused to admit that the novel CoronaVirus originated in Wuhan, China at a time when World Health Organisation (WHO) officials and the international scientific community have traced the deadly virus to Wuhan, where the outbreak began as early as November 2019. ◼

"Tracking Down the Origin of the Wuhan CoronaVirus"
Watch the first CoronaVirus documentary produced by The Epoch Times to investigate the origins and cover-up of the pandemic

As the world is gripped by the ongoing pandemic, many questions remain about the origin of the Covid Virus. Joshua Philipp, Senior Investigative Reporter with The Epoch Times as he explores the known facts surrounding the virus that resulted in a global pandemic. In his investigation, Philipp explores the scientific data, and interviews top scientists and national security experts. And while the mystery surrounding the virus's origin remains, much is learned about the CCP's cover-up that led to the pandemic and the threat it poses to the world. ◼


COVID-19 OUTBREAK QUICK FACTS (MARCH 09, 2021)
Total Confirmed Cases: 117,828,765 · Total Deceased: 2,613,830
Total Critical: 89,899 · Total Recovered: 93,488,085
(Data: Avi Schiffmann, Washington State, USA)


GRATITUDE: AFP, Ai Weiwei; BBC, Brahma Chellaney; China Uncensored; Eswar Anandan, Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science & Engineering, USA; Joshua Phillipp; Open Magazine; Patrick Condell; Ravindra Ranasinha; Santosh Kangutkar, Sethu Das; Shilpa Mirpuri; Sudheer Nath; Suresh Babu; Tenzing Jigme; The Epoch Times; Tibet Sun, Zee TV
WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT:
Design & People
PUBLISHED BY:
Friends of Tibet [Research]
LAST UPDATED ON: March 09, 2021

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