The media are increasingly accusing the PRC and widely publishing theories about a relatively deliberate or unintentional leak from Chinese secret laboratories.

“The mission of the World Health Organization asks new questions to China”, “CNN learned about the receipt by US intelligence of data on viruses in the Wuhan laboratory”, “China refused to verify the theory about the leak of the COVID-19 coronavirus from the laboratory”, “A scientist working in Wuhan did not rule out a COVID leak from the laboratory”, “US Intelligence received a database of viruses from the Wuhan laboratory. How will it help to find out the origin of COVID-19?”, “Laboratory leakage of coronavirus has been proven in the USA”, ” Coronavirus outbreak: what is China hiding, or Why is the US interested in the laboratory in Wuhan?”, ” The origin of the coronavirus. Could he have escaped from the laboratory? ” and other names. The Chinese theme in the context of COVID-19 is now in all the world’s media. And loud headlines in the press attract attention.

It has already happened that China has long become one of the main newsmakers of our time. Why? The answer is simple – because in many parameters of development it has already overtaken, and in others it is ahead of the most developed countries of the G7, or the “big Seven”, etc.It is clear that this cannot please the established club of world leaders, and therefore all possible methods and means are being used today. COVID-19 has added an edge to the problem. In particular, because the PRC has managed to quickly take the epidemic on its territory, no longer introduces large-scale lockdowns – and now stands out too much against the general background. Since last year, they have been actively trying to label China as a “source of danger”, calling the coronavirus “Chinese”, “Wuhan”, etc.


As a result, economic competition turned into total competition. And instead of combining scientific and medical potentials to ensure the universal security of the planet, a number of countries are targeting their special services to search for compromising materials. Individual states (in particular, China) are branded as an “enemy”, loud statements are made with accusations without real evidence… Behind this is a purposeful work for the internal audience – that is, an attempt to divert the attention of their citizens from total failures in governance and the inefficiency of their political systems, to hide their confusion and ignorance of how to act.

There is a global information war going on in the world. A pandemic that takes the lives of people, it seems that all states should join forces for protection and security. But “the safety of the planet” is just a beautiful statement: this is evidenced by unhealthy competition between vaccines and bans of vaccines produced in other countries. Thus, the life of the world’s population is at stake in political rivalry. There is an active exchange of accusations, as well as the search for various “fried facts” and pseudoscientific arguments in order to undermine the reputation of a competitor.

There is no reasonable analysis of the situation behind all this information noise. And this raises questions. After all, Western countries at one time broke ahead in development precisely thanks to progressive thinking, which is based, among other things, on a critical understanding of all processes. And if we critically consider the “conspiracy theories” proposed in the mass media that China allegedly artificially created an epidemic – then we get largely contradictory conclusions. And this inconsistency refutes the alleged accusations against the PRC. Therefore, it makes sense to critically consider the current situation. Even if we assume this strange and not yet secured theory that the PRC allegedly specially created the 2019-nCoV virus in its laboratory in the city of Wuhan and allowed the virus to leak… a reasonable question arises – why does China need this and what practical tasks could it solve due to such a dangerous biological adventure? Let’s talk in the language of facts and analytically analyze the” accusation “of the PRC that this country” released 2019-nCoV strains to infect the planet”.

First. China, with its population of 1.4 billion people and a high density of settlement, is a very favorable environment for the spread of any virus in principle. The epidemics of all sorts of avian, swine flu or atypical pneumonia that were in Asia in the 21st century confirm this. In densely populated China, they are well aware of what biological security is and its threats to the state. That is, if the Chinese government really would be so insidious and would release an artificially grown virus from the laboratory, then why would it be done on its territory? Real-time military exercises, as some theorists think? But what is the point of Beijing putting its own population at risk-without an effective vaccine and treatment methods? There are no answers based on facts to these irrational questions. Moreover, the city of Wuhan is located in the very center of a densely populated part of the PRC with a very high population density (see the attached map). This means that one “sneeze” of a sick person can spread any virus at a crazy speed. The extinction of a large number of the population would be guaranteed.

Second. The issue of deliberately releasing the virus to the masses would jeopardize all the economic, social and technological achievements of the People’s Republic of China, which this country was able to achieve with incredible efforts and paying a very high price. Any laboratory flirting with the virus is an unpredictable threat to national security. What is the point of the Chinese leadership to take such a risk with new viruses and with a high probability to lose all the achievements of three generations? The current rise and future revival of China is the long-term goal of the Chinese after two hundred years of crisis and humiliation, or as it is now called the “Chinese dream”. Thus, allowing an artificial virus to leak could lead to a grandiose historical failure of the Chinese. After all, it is impossible to calculate scenarios for the use of biological weapons, any virus is a living organism, it develops and changes (the appearance of new COVID-19 strains in a short period confirms this).

Therefore, it is impossible to predict how the virus can behave in real life and in a “nutrient environment”, that is, among a large mass of people. Just as it is impossible to control any virus if you create it artificially, now it is more than obvious. Thus, conspiracy theories that allegedly “China deliberately released 2019-nCoV from the laboratory” for the purpose of testing it or any other purposes are meaningless, primarily for China itself. To the disappointment of supporters of the “Chinese conspiracy” theory and the version about the leakage of the coronavirus from a secret laboratory, WHO experts failed to find the facts that the virus could be a biological weapon of the PRC.

The third. The population of China is a strategic resource for its development. It played a key role in many ways in the formation of the PRC as a world factory (in 1980-2000). For three decades, it was the cheap Chinese labor force in huge numbers that managed to ensure the growth of large-scale production with minimal costs, which is why Western corporations rushed there at one time. Those who have lived in China know that this is a social state that really creates conditions for the life of its population. Now a huge population has a new economic significance. 1.4 billion Chinese with a share of the middle class of 28.5%, or 400 million, is a factor in the new growth of the Chinese economy. And the PRC did not come to this immediately, and for 40 years the state has pursued a policy of eradicating poverty, achieving this only in 2021. Now the Chinese government has embarked on a new economic model that includes the domestic consumption of its solvent population.

That is, a huge number of residents is a long-term advantage of the PRC and risking this resource, as some conspiracy theorists in the West think, is economically and politically meaningless for Beijing. Then China’s forty-year efforts to lift 800 million people out of poverty should also be considered meaningless. So much effort has been invested in the PRC in cultivating and improving the quality of its human capital that it is suicide to imagine some laboratory games with a dangerous little-studied virus.

Fourth. There is also another theory, allegedly China “deliberately released the virus to undermine the economic well-being of developed countries like the G7”. To this theory, in addition, they add statistics from last year, according to which China became the only economy that showed growth of +2%. Against this background, all the leading developed countries really unexpectedly collapsed. Yes, in fact, the statistics are as follows: China has grown, and its competitors have fallen. But if you look deeper, then it makes no sense for China – which has long grown on the production capacities of Western corporations and trade with Western countries-to drown the G7 countries.

For the PRC, they are not competitors, rather, the G7 countries are its crony partners, with whom China continues to do business even in the conditions of trade wars and political friction. Thus, China is the largest trading partner for the EU countries as a whole, the US accounts for 17.5% of Chinese exports, Japan accounts for 5.5%, and the UK-2.8%. What is the point for Beijing to worsen the economic situation of its customers who buy Chinese goods and services? In addition, if we look at the situation from the point of view of global competition, the PRC is already in principle the second global economy, and the economies of the two powers – China and the United States are so intertwined at all levels that acute competition between them is more counterproductive than effective. The answer to the question of why China has grown, and the G7 countries have fallen-you need to look for the specifics of the political systems of these states.

The People’s Republic of China, no matter how it was criticized for its rigid management style, managed to ensure 100% quarantine in the conditions of an emergency crisis due to this rigidity. To drive 1.4 billion people into their homes requires enormous resources and political will. The G7 countries (except Japan, where discipline is also of high value), due to the liberal management style and the lack of authority and effective mechanisms for the use of force (even in emergencies), can neither persuade their citizens to stay at home, nor drive them home. And the logic of an epidemic is always simple – there are no contacts between people – there is no chain of communication – there is no spread of the virus. This factor became the key factor in the differences in economic statistics in 2020: China suffered a very painful lockdown from February to May and stopped the epidemic inside (local outbreaks are mainly due to viruses imported from abroad). And the G7 (except for Japan, which is now suffering due to imported strains from outside) are experiencing social and economic crises, as a result of the peculiarities of their political systems.

Fifth. There are also voices of some failed politicians that allegedly China ” should pay $ 10 trillion for the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.” But wait, the United States has suffered largely because of D. Trump’s inept, ill-conceived and illogical policy. When the epidemic was just beginning, it was he who denied its danger and deliberately did nothing (many materials with his statements have been preserved in the media). Having a huge scientific potential in medicine, the former US leadership could not apply it properly and generally disorganized a very effective system of public administration (and it was this system that once made the United States the number one power). Having survived the shocks, crises and losses of hundreds of thousands of people in peacetime, the American political system still managed to legitimately get rid of the populist Trump through the elections, but the “number one” country will have to deal with the tragic “Trump legacy”for a long time.

The only regret is that at the head of all this hysteria with COVID-19 is not advanced American science, which, in cooperation with other countries, could really contribute to the safe development of the planet and the neutralization of the pandemic. It seems that now the inertia of Trump’s radicalism is still operating, and the realization of the lack of alternatives to constructive cooperation will still come to the American leadership, because the United States as an advanced power has always been distinguished by reason, strategic approach and pragmatism, and not by populism “a la Trump” (that’s why he lost his political career and entry into power forever).

And with regard to the claims for the payment of trillions of compensations, this is a very controversial and contradictory issue. After all, the fact that the epidemic began in China does not automatically make him guilty. Hypothetically, in its place could be any other country whose population consumes exotic animals for food, and there are many of them. If we recall the global epidemics and deadly diseases of the past years, no one in history has paid any compensation. Various epidemics of plague, smallpox, cholera, Spanish flu – were they less deadly? Or if we recall the country from which AIDS began to spread in 1981, to whom and what did it pay for the 25 million dead?

Why is this topic relevant for Kazakhstan?

First, contradictions divide the world, and vaccines create artificial barriers at the borders. If the disputes continue, and there is less cooperation between the leading countries – it will turn out that the population of the planet will be divided into groups and countries that they will be able to visit. The vaccine can suddenly become a kind of” visa ” for permission to enter a particular state, which is basically wrong. This can divide the citizens of one country by the type of vaccines received – European, Russian, American or Chinese.

Secondly, Kazakhstan is well aware of the problem of infodemia and what a negative effect incompetent media can create in pursuit of “fried facts”. In July 2020, due to discrepancies in the statistics of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan (the division into COVID-19 and a certain “pneumonia” in the South of the country), information began to spread around the world that a new infectious form had allegedly appeared in Kazakhstan and a number of citizens faced problems when obtaining foreign visas, etc. As a result, thanks to the work with WHO, this issue and the tension around the Republic of Kazakhstan were removed.

Thirdly, there is a modern biolab in Kazakhstan, which was built with the support of the United States. For a long time, some neighboring countries have suspected this object – without evidence – as a military one, where”the United States is allegedly developing biological weapons”. In fact, this institution in Almaty conducts the necessary research for the biological safety of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Central Asia. After all, our region has areas with natural sources of diseases such as plague, etc. The presence of a laboratory built by the Americans (not managed by them) and the accumulated experience in studying viruses allowed Kazakhstan to create its own QazVac vaccine. Now the task of the world community is to stop the pandemic with as few losses as possible.

If this energy and enthusiasm of individual political leaders, who are actively looking for arguments to blame China, could be directed in a constructive direction, for example, to restore the economy, to provide developing countries with free vaccines or mutual recognition of vaccines produced in different countries, then the world would really be safer and healthier.

China Studies Centre

Nur-Sultan, 2021

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