Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday a plan to restrict visas to current and former Chinese Communist Party officials who “undermined” Hong Kong’s autonomy. Additionally, Pompeo said the families of such officials could also be subject to the punishment.
“The CCP has stepped up efforts to undermine Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy by announcing Beijing’s authority to ‘supervise’ Hong Kong’s governance, accusing at least one member of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council of misconduct, and moving to unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong,” Pompeo said in his remarks.
Pompeo’s announcement comes as Beijing inches closer to passing a national security law handing over significant control to the Chinese Communist Party. However, the move would be a violation of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, Pompeo argued, under which the British government gave Beijing back control over Hong Kong, but promised to allow its autonomy.
Pompeo added, “Beijing’s continued actions undermine its commitments and obligations in the Sino-British Joint Declaration to respect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy. At the same time, Beijing continues to undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong by putting pressure on local authorities to arrest pro-democracy activists and disqualify pro-democracy electoral candidates.”
President @realDonaldTrump promised to punish the CCP officials responsible for eviscerating Hong Kong’s freedoms. Today, we are taking action to do just that– we've announced visa restrictions on CCP officials responsible for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and human rights.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 26, 2020
“The United States calls on China to honor its commitments and obligations in the Sino-British Joint Declaration – namely that Hong Kong will ‘enjoy a high degree of autonomy’ and that human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, will be protected by law and respected by governing authorities in Hong Kong,” Pompeo said.
“Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and the full implementation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, as well as respect for human rights, are of fundamental importance. The United States will continue to review its authorities to respond to these concerns.”
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China Says It’s Ready for Monkeypox and the West Isn’t
As the Western press is becoming more and more concerned with monkeypox outbreaks, a recent bombshell report shows that Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China manipulated monkeypox to be more contagious in humans. This follows more evidence that the WIV had been experimenting with bat coronaviruses to increasingly infect humans.
But rather than agree to an honest investigation into the WIV and its role in spreading contagion around the world, China is once again trying to sell us an alternative reality. According to Chinese state-run media, it is China that is once again poised to be humanity’s savior and darling when it comes to fighting monkeypox, much like COVID-19. Not only that, but CCP press reporting shows evidence of China having an eerily well advanced infrastructure and gameplan to fight monkeypox. The West in contrast is not prepared, according to China.
Claim #1: China has the Wisdom to Fight Monkeypox
First, Chinese state-run media portray China as in a good position to combat monkeypox due to wisdom gleaned from combating COVID-19 and smallpox. One Global Times article noted that “[i]n the very early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has taken the measures of ‘early identification, reporting, isolation, diagnosis and treatment.’ Under such guidance, China has become one of the most successful countries in the COVID fight.” Another Global Times article cites a World Health Organization official as stating that “China’s COVID-19 control measures in place and largely reduced international arrivals minimize the risks of contagion in China.” A third Global Times article, citing “experts,” claims that “China’s successful experience in eliminating smallpox would also help the country act if monkeypox enters China’s borders…”
Claim #2: Chinese Healthcare Infrastructure Is Well Prepared to Deal with Monkeypox
China is well ahead of the game in dealing with monkeypox, according to Chinese state-run media. Chinese experts “suggest preparation of testing and treatment capacities in advance” to proactively combat monkeypox, according to Global Times. And “drug research should start early so that China can still control [monkeypox] should it assume pandemic proportions,” according to China Daily.
China is apparently quite far along in this “preparation” and “research.”
There are “several” Chinese manufacturers that have already made monkeypox nucleic acid test kits, and that these “can be quickly put into mass production and on the domestic market once approved by the government,” according to a second Global Times article. This article also states that Chinese manufacturer Liferiver Bio-Tech has a nucleic acid test that has already been ordered in China and abroad.
This same article also states that vaccine development faces “no technological problems” and a vaccine can be produced in China in a year if China’s drug administration administers “a rapid special review.” China’s CDC also has already stockpiled “millions” of doses of smallpox vaccine, produced “an emergency response technical plan on monkeypox, stocked monkeypox detection reagents, and conducted training on monkeypox nucleic acid PCR testing for provincial and municipal CDC professionals.”
Mirroring its earlier “mask diplomacy” for COVID-19, it looks like China is beginning to export its healthcare to the world to help combat monkeypox. China’s Sansure Biotech is ready to register its nucleic acid test kit for monkeypox abroad, according to Global Times. And Jiangsu Bioperfectus Technologies has already has its Monkeypox Virus Real Time PCR Kits in the international market, according to Global Times.
Claim #3: The West is Ill-Equipped to Handle Monkeypox
On the other hand, Chinese media portrays the West as ill-equipped to handle monkeypox. For example, according to one Global Times editorial, “[t]he COVID pandemic that killed more than 1 million people in the US has given a tragic lesson to the US and the West, but it still remains to be seen to what extent the US and the West learned from it.” The West’s “conspiracy theories” and “panic” contributed to the “Western countries’ poor response to COVID-19.” That CCP editorial also pontificates that “[i]t is hoped that Western countries hit by monkeypox can do a good job in responding to the outbreak. They should not misjudge the virus with outdated perceptions…”
Claim #4: Current Monkeypox spread originated from outside China
Chinese media avoids the possibility that this current monkeypox outbreak could have originated in China. One Global Times article claims that there have been no cases of monkeypox reported in China, and that China faces a threat from monkeypox due to the cases being “outside known epidemic areas of Africa.” The fact that many countries have now lifted bans against international travel is the culprit for increased risk of monkeypox transmission, according to anonymous source within the Chinese CDC as mentioned in that same article. Another Global Times article stated that China could quarantine inbound international travellers “if necessary.”
The CCP propaganda machine is at it again. Much like it tries to portray itself as a leader in fighting COVID-19, China is beginning to run a similar propaganda campaign for monkeypox. China is using COVID-19, and increasingly now monkeypox, as vehicles to curry favor and deflect responsibility for spreading contagion around the world, and to grow markets for healthcare technology and supplies.
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