1: Age Demographics
In 1979, China introduced the One Child Policy to control the size of its rapidly growing population. This policy was abolished in 2015, and former Wall Street Journal reporter Mei Fong summarized the reasoning behind abolishing the policy as “The reason China is doing this right now is because they have too many men, too many old people, and too few young people. They have this huge crushing demographic crisis as a result of the one-child policy. And if people don’t start having more children, they’re going to have a vastly diminished workforce to support a huge aging population.” Fong believed the huge retiree community must be supported, which would severely dampen China’s future growth.
Since the citizens of China are living longer and having fewer children, the growth of this population imbalance is expected to continue, as reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation which referred to a United Nations projections forecast that “China will lose 67 million working-age people by 2030, while simultaneously doubling the number of elderly. That could put immense pressure on the economy and government resources.” So it makes sense for China to create a disease that disproportionately affects the elderly.
2. Trade War Retaliation
The China-United States trade war is an ongoing economic conflict between the world’s two largest national economies. In 2018, President Donald Trump began imposing tariffs and other trade barriers on China with the intent of forcing it to amend what the U.S. claims are “unfair trade practices.” Among those trade practices and their effects are the growing trade deficit, the theft of intellectual property, and the forced transfer of American technology to China. Since 2018, the United States has placed over $600 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods.
China has always seen itself as a world leader; however during the time frame starting from Donald Trump’s inauguration until the first confirmed Coronavirus death on January 11th, 2020, the Shanghai SSE Composite Index lost 12% of its overall value, while the United States S&P 500 gained 35%. China was losing its battle for economic supremacy and it’s plausible that they wanted to even the score. Since the Coronavirus outbreak, the S&P 500 has dropped as much as 35%, while the SSE has remained relatively steady. The West may have been hit harder from the virus because the three most internationally traveled nations are all located in Europe and North America. With free travel laws, more visitors, and decentralized governments it is much harder for Western Nations to contain an airborne pandemic. Additionally, China did not do its part to warn the rest of the world. Numerous intelligence agencies have stated that China has severely under-reported both deaths and cases. This underreporting is believed to have made other countries less prepared for this virus and helped contribute to its rapid spread across the rest of the globe.
3. Information Theft
Despite numerous US video-sharing apps that have been used for years such as Webex, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, and Skype, Zoom has recently taken over the video conferencing market share. In fact, the two most downloaded apps since the COVID-19 outbreak are Zoom and the trending video app TikTok. Both are Chinese-run applications that have been linked to major security concerns and private data theft.
Zoom has been banned by Google, NASA, Space X, the Taiwanese Government, the NYC public school district and the German Foreign Ministry. Space X cited “significant privacy and security concerns” and the German Foreign Ministry said that “security and data protection weaknesses made it too risky to use”. Zoom has been linked to stealing logins and passwords, harvesting data, leaking personal information, taking control of users’ microphones and cameras, allowing calls to be routed through whitelisted Chinese servers, call records remaining viewable on the web, and the ability to gain root access to a Mac OS.
TikTok has also amassed numerous concerns. According to a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in California federal court, TikTok has been illegally and secretly harvesting vast amounts of personally identifiable user data and sending it to China. The lawsuit also accuses the company and its Chinese parent company ByteDance of taking user content such as draft videos without their consent and having “ambiguous” privacy policies. It raises concerns that data gathered by TikTok could be used to identify, profile and track users in the US. The company is benefiting from this alleged activity because it uses this data to sell targeted ads, the lawsuit alleges.
Furthermore, Israeli cybersecurity company Check Point has conducted research finding that TikTok has serious vulnerabilities that would have allowed hackers to manipulate user data and reveal personal information. TikTok admitted to some of these mistakes and paid a $5.7 million fine to the United States for stealing data related to children under 13. China has a long history of intellectual property theft, and they were able to enhance their capabilities and global reach during this virus. It seems that China was oddly prepared to capitalize on this pandemic.
How they did it:
What we know so far is that COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China. Additionally, China has only one Top Level-Four Microbiology Lab that is equipped to handle deadly coronaviruses, the National Biosafety Laboratory located in Wuhan. The first-ever case of a coronavirus outbreak in humans was in 2003 when SARS was first discovered. Over two-thirds of SARS diagnosed cases came from China, making China the first-ever country to be majorly affected by a coronavirus. Prior to COVID-19, there have been less than 100 total diagnosed cases of human coronaviruses (SARS and MERS) in the United States and Europe combined. Given the effects of SARS on China, in congruence with the rarity of the disease in the United States and Europe, it is not unreasonable to think that China has been studying coronaviruses more intently and for a longer period of time than any Western nation. In fact, just recently Western nations did not believe that masks helped against coronaviruses, while China has known otherwise for many years.
Scientists believe that COVID-19 likely originated in a wet market, or natural environment, instead of a laboratory. This is because the DNA of the virus is thought to have been created through zoonotic spillover. Zoonotic spillover is the transmission of a virus from a vertebrate animal to a human. Scientists believe COVID-19 started from a bat coronavirus which was presumably spread to a pangolin, and then to a human. This is not unique to COVID-19. It is believed that SARS’ inception was also through zoonotic spillover, from bats to civets to humans. MERS is also believed to have been created through zoonotic spillover, from bats to camels to humans.
Many scientists have pointed to zoonotic spillover as the reason COVID-19 started in nature instead of a laboratory. The issue with this argument is that zoonotic spillover does not necessitate mutual exclusivity from human intervention. It is reasonable to believe that if a group of scientists wanted to spread a deadly coronavirus and cover it up, they would not manufacture a man-made coronavirus. Instead, they would take bats infected with coronavirus, put them in cages with other animals, and study the effects. There have been many leaked photos from China of primates in cages undergoing inhumane tests in laboratories, so animal atrocities of this kind are neither unprecedented nor uncommon in China.
Although it is possible that COVID-19 could have started in nature, the majority of the world’s bat population lives in South America and tropical climates. This makes it less likely that naturally spread coronaviruses would keep originating in China as opposed to elsewhere. It is much more likely that the only microbiology lab that is equipped to handle deadly coronaviruses, the one at the epicenter of the virus outbreak, performed some sort of animal experiment that either intentionally or unintentionally spread outside the laboratory.
If China didn’t manufacture the virus then they should have nothing to hide. However, China has banned the publication of research into the origins of COVID-19 without government review and approval. So much human knowledge could be gained from a world of scientists studying the origins of COVID-19 in order to prevent another pandemic. Instead, China is actively censoring the press and changing the facts. All of this leads me to believe that China manufactured the novel coronavirus and they are trying to cover up and control the narrative.
TL;DR – China has both political and financial motives to create a virus that affects the elderly and the West. China’s only laboratory that experiments with deadly coronaviruses is in Wuhan. With the knowledge that the last two coronavirus outbreaks, SARS and MERS, were caused through zoonotic spillover, China performed animal experiments to form a new disease. China has banned information about COVID-19 origins because they are trying to cover up and control the narrative.
Disclaimer: This is a guest post and it doesn’t necessarily represent the views of IWB.