The Corner

World

Meanwhile, Over in China, the Dishonest Official Line Slips a Bit

People wearing face masks at a main shopping area after the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan, China, April 14, 2020 (Aly Song/Reuters)

Perhaps the news that China is now making big moves in response to the Delta variant will dispel any Western credulity of the nonsensical official numbers from the Chinese government. The official account from Beijing continues to insist that China – a country of a billion people, and the origin of the virus — has fewer total cases than Uganda and fewer deaths than Costa Rica. According to China’s official numbers, the country has 1/135 the number of deaths in the U.S., and 1/340 the number of cases in India.

Cases have been confirmed in more than 35 cities in 17 of China’s 33 provinces and regions.

The cities of Nanjing and Yangzhou have canceled all domestic flights, and Beijing has halted long-distance trains from 23 stations. The Chinese Basketball Association said that matches of its men’s professional league would be suspended because of the pandemic.

We know the official numbers are nonsense; we just don’t know how much worse the real situation is.

But this fits a pattern of spectacularly implausible claims from the Chinese government throughout this crisis.

It’s not just the refusal to cooperate with international investigations into the origin of COVID-19. It’s the damn lies, atop of lies, atop of more lies. It’s the lying about the contagiousness of the virus. It’s the lying about the effectiveness of Chinese vaccines, and lying about the safety and effectiveness of other countries’ vaccines. It’s the government’s complete disregard for where the space program’s debris can land. It’s the insistence that all is well and that their nuclear power plant co-operators are just being paranoid. Even when the Chinese government’s assessment is accurate, we can’t trust that assessment because of all the times they’ve lied before about subjects with life-and-death consequences.

Forget everything else that shows up in the trade deficit; China’s primary export is trouble.

Recommended

The Latest