Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

What Were the Chinese Thinking, Part 2?

From Esteban:

Last April I wrote piece for CT wondering why the Chinese government lied about the Kung Flu, greatly increasing the damage to the rest of the World. I was prompted to do so by another article that suggested that the reason the Chinese lied about it was that they needed to save face, that admitting to the world that they had a big problem was unacceptable to them, culturally or politically.

I had a problem with this theory about the “why”. It seemed to me that the repercussions would greatly outweigh the short-term benefit and they wouldn’t be long in arriving. At the time I wondered if they were willing to pay a steep price if it hurt their adversaries more or that it was a demonstration of force and will.

But now it seems there’s a more likely answer. What did the Chinese want? Answer – no more President Trump. They couldn’t possibly have anticipated how the election would play out and how the Kung Flu would be used to justify insecure mail-in voting and other changes that helped the Democrats immensely. But they could foresee that the Kung Flu would seriously hurt the U.S. economy. Without it, President Trump would have been running for reelection with (some would say arguably) the greatest economic record in history. Record low unemployment (especially among minority groups), a 60-year low in unemployment for women, blue collar wages rising faster than white-collar wages, energy independence for the first time in 60 years, a phenomenal increase in the stock market, etc.

Supposedly, one of Bill Clinton’s advisors frequently reminded him, “it’s the economy, Stupid”. Quite so, and the Democrats were not looking forward to trying to distract voters from the fantastic state of the U.S. economy. And the U.S. would have had at least 4 more years of business-friendly regulation and taxation, development of domestic energy sources, strengthening of the military, etc. Instead, we’ll have more regulation, subsidies for “green energy”, limits on real energy production, higher taxes, and so on. And the icing on this particular cake is they got a U.S. President whose son has been on the receiving end of millions of dollars from shady deals with them. The real winner of the 2016 election was China.

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Spike
Spike
1 month ago

In fact, with its influence in the WTO, China has neatly gotten the rest of the world’s economies to tread water for a year, while it re-arms and threatens its neighbors on every border. This is no less true if Covid-19 is really an unremarkable variant on the other common-cold coronaviruses.

Snarkus
Snarkus
1 month ago

Reasonable thinking Tim. Using my default assumption in assigning blame and cause, I assume that most of the Green Energy or Zero Net Emissions are a Chinese driven ideological warfare using useful idiots, FUD, and bought and paid for experts and UN bodies. A similar situation to much of the Nuclear Disarmament and “peace” groups that were influenced if not directed by Moscow during the Cold War. In Oz the local NSW state Government is babbling about creating massive employment in China by subsidising more wind and solar power locally. Apparently the climate crisis is so magical, CO2 created in… Read more »

Spike
Spike
1 month ago
Reply to  Snarkus

This piece is by Esteban. Tim, give ’em all their own bylines!

That some gov’t idiocy is China-inspired doesn’t mean that all of it is.

Why is employment in China a priority of NSW gov’t, anyway?

All owners of electric vehicles know that smog and soot isn’t a problem if it takes place where you can’t see it.

dodgy geezer
dodgy geezer
22 days ago
Reply to  Snarkus

“I assume that most of the Green Energy or Zero Net Emissions are a Chinese driven ideological warfare using useful idiots, FUD, and bought and paid for experts and UN bodies.”

They are certainly USED by the Chinese. They are also USED by many engineering companies and entrepreneurs, who are making good money. They are maintained by scientists, who are able to justify huge grants.

But the actual beliefs are nearer to a religion, and are whipped up by the equivalent of High Priests, who benefit by increasing their importance and earning power…

Steven C Watson
Steven C Watson
1 month ago

The virus shows all the signs of being manipulated in a lab. Surprise, surprise, Wuhan has one of the only two labs in the world cleared to do this sort of thing. Given where all the other stupid going on in the West leads back to I don’t think we can afford to treat the events of the last year plus as accidental. The Americans are leading exponents of “plausible deniability” which makes their repeatedly screwing the pooch on this really stupid even by American standards. Needless to say we shouldn’t be falling for this crap either.

Charles
Charles
1 month ago

What an absurd comment. If Wuhan is one of only two labs, where is the other? You have surely heard of Porton Down in the UK, which would then mean that neither the USA nor Russia have such a lab, which is ridiculous. In fact, if you bother to check your facts, you’ll find that there are at least 15 in the USA alone.

Spike
Spike
1 month ago

The virus has evolved from a similar virus in ways that make it more contagious. But tell me how you can tell by looking at the DNA whether the changes came about naturally (contagion is a boon to survival) or through human manipulation (for which China’s motive is obvious, and is not to develop a world-class study facility).

Given that the incoming President already implied that the outgoing one’s flight ban was racist, look for continual stupidity from the new one regarding standing up to China – his family’s benefactor.

dodgy geezer
dodgy geezer
22 days ago
Reply to  Spike

” But tell me how you can tell by looking at the DNA whether the changes came about naturally (contagion is a boon to survival) or through human manipulation …” You would need to study virology. Bur briefly, direct Gain-of-Function manipulation could be inferred by finding a virus which was IDENTICAL to a pre-existing animal one, but with a SINGLE change spliced in which changed its function. A typical virus which has spread naturally from animal to human will have several places where mutations have occurred. These often show that a virus has travelled from, say, bats, to pangolins, to… Read more »

Charles
Charles
1 month ago

What a ridiculous theory. Since the spread of the disease was caused by gross incompetence in countries like the UK (where nothing was done even after seeing what was happening in Italy), it is clearly not something that could have been planned or expected. Previous potential pandemics, such as the closely related SARS, were handled adequately and I can see no reason why China would have expected anything different here.

Spike
Spike
1 month ago
Reply to  Charles

Diseases spread. The incompetence was in not protecting the truly vulnerable, and in ordering people to curtail their lives in hopes of “managing” a virus and especially avoiding stress to the NHS. The incompetence continues.

But you can see no reason why China, releasing the virus deliberately or by mishap, expected no adverse consequences abroad? Can you see no reason why China would parlay the resulting chaos into their own maximum advantage, including by exaggerating the threat?

Charles
Charles
1 month ago
Reply to  Spike

Diseases spread, but can be controlled – see various countries. Protecting the vuilnerable is the Great Barrington delusion. It’s impossible, so any solution which relies on that is going to be an expensive failure.

There’s no evidence that China engineered the virus, nor released it deliberately (if they wanted to do that, why not send someone to a foreign country to release it at a safe distance).

Spike
Spike
1 month ago
Reply to  Charles

Viruses are not “controlled,” and “various countries” are not doing so, though various cultures and genomes make Covid harder to spread. But anyone who thinks that Great Barrington is a “delusion” doesn’t want to control a virus but use virus panic to control a population.

The evidence on China is circumstantial, plus observation of their belligerence in every direction. It does not constitute proof it is not an attack to say there might be a better (but less deniable) attack.

Charles
Charles
1 month ago
Reply to  Spike

The number of cases in Australia compared to the UK proves the virus can be controlled.

Snarkus
Snarkus
1 month ago
Reply to  Charles

dumb luck given the gross incompetance by health bureaucrats and panicy pollies looking for excuses to be heroes. Also a big country where one can go outdoors easily in all weathers unless one lives in inner city hell hole

dodgy geezer
dodgy geezer
22 days ago
Reply to  Spike

The evidence that it originated in China is pretty conclusive, and can be obtained by studying the genome. The virus is essentially one that infects bats in certain Chinese caves, with some mutations.

It is likely that this was a sample virus sent to the Wuhan lab for examination, and which was accidentally released, probably before its impact could be fully understood…

Snarkus
Snarkus
1 month ago
Reply to  Charles

so the virus researcher who decoded the HIV virus and pointed out C19 has bits of HIV virus DNA to enhance infection rates is not evidence ?

dodgy geezer
dodgy geezer
22 days ago

I have got tired of telling people that there is no such thing as a single decision which drives activity in this world. Decisions are made, and then people take them and adapt them to benefit themselves. Thus decisions are either quietly suppressed, or gain a life of their own and are driven forward by those who find them advantageous. A good example is the perennial debate about dropping the A-Bomb over a soon-to-surrender Japan. The scientists and engineers made it but at the end didn’t want it used. The US military wanted it used. The Japanese military wanted to… Read more »

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