Glenn kicks around a few ideas.
There are many lessons to be learned from the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. But one is already clear: China needs to be isolated from the civilized world until its behavior improves. We are in the current situation, with deaths and economic devastation worldwide, because China handled this outbreak with its trademark mixture of dishonesty, incompetence and thuggery. Were China a more civilized nation, this outbreak would have been stopped early, and with far less harm, inside and outside of China.
Expecting any Communist dictatorship’s behavior ever to improve, or even moderate, is futile. The iron law regarding the behavior of such nation-states can be easily summed up thus: Commies gotta Commie. Brutality; indifference to human liberty, rights, and suffering; oppression; deceit, double-dealing, and manipulation; and, where said nation-state can manage it, bare-knuckled imperialist aggression and adventurism—these are all characteristics that go with Communism like beans go with cornbread. They aren’t aberrations or curiosities; they’re the fundamental building blocks of every Marxist prison-state.
Multiply all that times ten for China, which also throws extreme paranoia and resentment into the mix—at least some of which is justified by China’s perennial status as whipping boy and/or cash cow abused by pretty much every other major-power nation throughout history—and a good few Oriental cultural beliefs and attitudes of a sort that, before PC speech restrictions were implemented, had been cast in polite company as “inscrutable,” and the somewhat-free world has good reasons aplenty to decouple itself from the thuggish ChiCom slave-state even without considering the Creeping Chinese Crud at all.
This calls for a response.
The response needs to be harsh enough to teach the Chinese government a lesson, which means pretty harsh, as they appear to still think they can brazen this out. Among other things, the United States — and ideally the world community at large — need to sharply reduce economic relations with China. In particular, no one should be relying on them for medicines, medical equipment and other vital goods. (China’s state news service threatened to plunge America into a “mighty sea” of coronavirus by withholding critical medications.) Chinese scientists should no longer have easy access to Western laboratories or universities. Chinese political leaders should no longer find it easy to travel the world.
Fine by me, for whatever good it will do. We should already have been doing all those things anyway, not strictly for purposes of punishing China but also as a matter of simple self-preservation.
Congress should pass legislation stripping the Chinese government of sovereign immunity to lawsuits for COVID-19 damage in the United States. China should be stripped of its leadership roles in international organizations. And finally, Taiwan — a nation that has handled the outbreak better than almost any other nation, but has been excluded from the World Health Organization because its membership would offend the Chinese government — deserves membership in WHO, and full diplomatic recognition from the United States, and the rest of the world.
Diplomatic recognition for Taiwan, along with all the rest of the accompanying goodies? Yes, certainly. But membership in WHO, a corrupt, wholly-owned subsidiary of ChiCom Inc? What on earth has poor little Taiwan ever done to deserve having THAT booby-prize inflicted on ’em?
We should, just as a matter of principle if nothing else, be making the going as rough as we can possibly make it on any and every Communist shitrapy. That, too, is a matter not only of being morally sound and ideologically consistent, but of safeguarding our own national interest. Unfortunately, we have foolishly put ourselves in a very bad position here. Thanks to our enforced reliance on Red China for manufacturing, consumer goods and medical supplies, the underwriting of our national debt, &c, we have now effectively made ourselves the “weak horse” in what was never going to be anything but a dysfunctional relationship. And none of us should be kidding themselves that the ChiCom leadership doesn’t know that very damned well.