Michael Ledeen, What is it Beijing’s leaders fear?
The Chinese are warning about an impending nuclear war if the United States does not cease its investigation into the origins of the COVID pandemic. They warn that the Americans must call off its probe into the sources of the disease, prompting many American analysts to conclude that the leaders in Beijing fear discovery of the truth: that they — the Chinese Communists — are the source of the pandemic.
The Chinese Communists have long experimented with bioweapons, and have apparently continued the nasty habit, both recruiting Western scientists and putting them to work on Chinese projects, and smuggling Westerners into projects within China itself. One of the world’s top China experts, British citizen Roger Garside, foresees a mounting crisis, since Beijing will have to confront a triple whammy: a financial crisis, a moral vacuum, and widespread corruption. In an interview he gave recently about his new book, Garside summarized the situation grimly: China is outwardly strong but inwardly weak.
The oil-sector protesters stressed that they will continue their strike and will further expand their activities if their demands are not met. The demonstrations have been spectacularly effective and continue to grow.
According to the “official” statistics, the expansion of the strikes has been little short of amazing. Since the beginning of the strike, the movement has expanded to more than 70 companies in more than a dozen cities, including Tehran, Arak, Isfahan, Ahvaz, Abadan, Mahshahr, Jask, Gachsaran, Damavand, Behbehan, Bushehr, Kangan, Qeshm, Khark, Urmia, Kerma, Bandar Abbas, and Ilam. Given the poor reporting from Iran, it’s necessary to assume that the real numbers are substantially higher.
The strikers have gathered global enthusiasm, including explicit support from the United States Department of State, and now from the White House.
The Biden Administration has kept the worst of Trump’s policies in the Middle East, and reversed the best policies. The people of Afghanistan already endure the catastrophic results while the Lebanese suffer the indignities of defeat and invasion. “Ending endless wars” unites Trump/Biden, and will only result in more wars, US entanglements, and challenges from enemies around the world.
The most dramatic contrast is the ongoing conflict between India and China, which also entails an ideological conflict. The Chinese assert that a ruthless totalitarian regime is required to effectively govern a nation of more than a billion souls, while the Indians argue that only a democratic government can effectively manage such a task.
Both regimes have sent substantial numbers of troops to the borders, and China’s dictator recently proclaimed that it might be time for a change in Chinese public statements. Xi Jinping told a meeting of the Politburo that Beijing needed to make its international statements more “credible, likable and respectable.”
Such sentiments may reflect a desire to make China more attractive, and to downplay the longstanding style of Chinese “wolf-warrior” propaganda.
Time will tell.