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Did China avoid blame for causing the pandemic?

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The ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic are evident in countries around the globe more so than in the nation of its birth — with China ranking among the least affected nations in terms of infection rates and economic effects.

It also remains a mystery as to how the country has managed to stay largely unaffected by a virus that originated within its borders, even as all its neighbors currently are grappling with COVID-19 surges.

No less odd is the fact that the untold global suffering wrought by the pandemic has allowed China to make major economic gains. Its economy has boomed during the pandemic, while its exports have soared to record highs. In other words, the pandemic-triggered socioeconomic disruptions across the world have worked to China’s advantage.

If another country had let a lethal virus escape from its territory, creating a globally disruptive pandemic, it would today be in the international doghouse. But China thus far has escaped blame for the COVID-19 pandemic.

After infecting people across the world, the Chinese Communist Party, through one of its publications, cynically called it “a rare example of a shared situation connecting every human being in the world.” The CCP has even manipulated online discourse to enforce its narrative on the novel coronavirus. As The New York Times reported, it “directed paid trolls to inundate social media with party-line blather and deployed security forces to muzzle unsanctioned voices.”

Not only has China managed to get away with spawning the greatest global health calamity of our time, it also has successfully stymied an independent and thorough investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 virus.

Today, despite U.S. President Joe Biden’s belated interest in probing the pandemic’s origins, the international focus is not so much on the genesis as on the threat posed by the virus’s different........

© The Japan Times

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