Li Zehua, Covid-19 and the Chinese censorship. Giulio Terzi’s take.

In the midst of a national emergency, it would be appropriate not to be fooled by Beijing and its many – and not necessarily disinterested – supporters and admirers, even here in Italy. Giulio Terzi, Ambassador, President of the Global Committee for the Rule of Law “Marco Pannella” and former Foreign Minister of Italy has looked at the case of Li Zehua for the online magazine Formiche.net.

The case of Li Zehua – a former Chinese CCTV journalist who documented the lack of transparency and propaganda of the Chinese Communist Party in the management of the Covid-19 emergency and of which there has been no trace for days – rekindles the spotlight on the manipulation and falsification of the information by the Chinese government.

From Sars onwards, China has hidden, censored and falsified its public health data, by preventing from reacting in time due to its dominance on the UN agencies. Why, today, has not the World Health Organisation (WTO) declared the spread of the virus as pandemic yet? It is simple. Why should it impose the legal obligation on China to provide detailed and proven information on the origin and spread of the virus, on the measures taken and, in particular, on how the pandemic has been irresponsibly “exported” around the world. Unfortunately, it seems that the Executive Director of the WHO is only interested in saying how clever and wise Xi Jinping is.

China asserts its global responsibilities more and more ideologically – for example, it acclaims the superiority of the communist/Maoist model over the liberal democracy and it claims, for many years now (especially since 2012), its role of global power able to dictate its laws, its alleged rights (e.g. Sea of China), and its “models” in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security and intellectual property. All these “responsibilities” of the communist government are worth absolutely nothing when a pandemic that continues to be manipulated by propaganda and falsified by media breaks out within a country where massive shortcomings exist in the prevention system and sanitation policy.

In the light of this, it is sad, as well as unbelievable, to think that Italy was the first European country to have opened the entire continent to the Silk Road and the economic, political and strategic domination of China. It is also surprising that, in the aftermath of a huge health crisis of Chinese origin, no one from Rome has remotely suggested its “friends” from Beijing to communicate all data and information to contain the contagion to Italy and Europe. Indeed, today we know little or nothing about nature, speed of propagation and repeatability of the virus.

In a climate of national emergency like the one that we are facing, it would be appropriate not to be fooled by Beijing and its many and not always disinterested supporters and admirers, even here in Italy.

Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata

Translation: Federica Donati

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