China expert: Coronavirus could lead to a collapse of Chinese Communist Party

'People in China are talking about Chernobyl'

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Last Updated:
February 29, 2020 - 9:46am

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The coronavirus could contribute to a collapse of the Chinese Communist Party in the same way that Chernobyl led to the former Soviet Union’s demise, China expert Gordon Chang said Friday. 

Chang compared the suppression of information about the recently emerging coronavirus by the Chinese regime to the Soviet coverup of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The Berlin Wall fell in 1989.

“People in China are talking about Chernobyl. Chernobyl was, of course, the disaster in 1986, the secrecy was something that led to the failure of the Soviet Union within a half decade,” Chang said in an interview with Just The News at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in Washington, D.C. “Maybe we’re starting to see the same dynamic now. But the Communist Party certainly is weakened, and it’s fighting to keep itself in place.” 

Chang also said the Chinese Communist Party is “in trouble” and that “a number” of academics in Beijing are demanding Chinese premier Xi Jinping resign, amid the virus, which started in China and has so far contributed to the deaths of 2,791 people in that country. 

The World Health Organization reported Friday that China, which has the world’s second-largest economy behind the U.S., now as 78,961 confirmed cases of the virus. 

“The Communist Party certainly is weakened,” Chang said. “We don’t know what the consequences of that will be, but we know that after the death of one of the doctors in Wuhan that tried to tell people about what was going on, that death caused white hot anger. 

“But it was not just anger that’s important, it’s what people were saying. They started to demand freedom of speech, and they adopted as their anthem ‘Do you hear the people sing?’ which is that politically-impactful song from [the musical] ‘Les Miserables,’ the one that people in Hong Kong have been singing because they demand autonomy and freedom. So the people in China are getting the message.”

Chang noted that Beijing initially foreign virologists from reporting at the epicenter of the outbreak, only recently allowed the World Health Organization team into Wuhan. Chang said China was also perpetuating an inaccurate narrative that the coronavirus “is going away.” 

Coronavirus nervousness contributed to a sharp drop in the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq this week. Firms shed trillions of dollars in value in their worst week since the 2008 financial crisis.

“Xi Jinping has started to not only impose the secrecy, but he’s also started to attack the United States,” Chang said. “He’s laying the groundwork for this notion that the U.S. can spread the coronavirus to China."

 

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