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Corona Virus may bring down Red China



Not with nukes. Not with the 82nd Airborne. Not even with a president standing there and say, "Chairman Xi, tear down this wall." But with a bug.

Red China has the flu. The communist regime stands in peril this afternoon, helplessly, as the Corona Virus holds its economy hostage. Factories are closed, which interrupts the supply chain for the American companies which provide the trade surplus that finances the totalitarian state. Companies already seeking alternatives (thanks to President Donald John Trump's tariffs) are looking harder today for more reliable sources.

Nothing personal, just business. Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola got that right.

The Associated Press reported, "China remained mostly closed for business Tuesday, as the daily death toll from a new virus topped 100 for the first time, pushing the total above 1,000.

"Despite the official end of the extended Lunar New Year holiday, many remained at home on Tuesday with around 60 million people under virtual quarantine.

"Authorities in Hong Kong evacuated people from an apartment block where four were found to be infected, raising fears the virus may be spreading through plumbing, similar to what happened in 2003′s deadly SARS outbreak."

The flu shut down factories and Xi is reeling. Bloomberg News reported, "China’s efforts to contain the Corona Virus are rippling far beyond Hubei province, the epicenter of the disease. At 4.6 trillion yuan ($660 billion) in 2019, Hubei’s economy is bigger than Poland’s or Sweden’s and accounts for 4.6% of China’s national gross domestic product."

Tariffs compound the problem.

Bloomberg News reported, "For factories in China that make lower-end goods such as furniture and cheap phones, the Corona Virus is the latest in a series of existential threats. Already operating on paper-thin margins because of rising labor and materials costs, these businesses sustained another blow from the tariffs the Trump administration levied on $360 billion worth of Chinese exports to the U.S."

The Chi-Comm economy is motionless. Xi's secretary general of the National Development and Reform Commission, told reporters, "Without the reopening of businesses, in the short term, it will affect the supply of medical material and ... in the long run, it will affect the supply of all kinds of production and life materials and will make the control and prevention efforts on the front line unsustainable. The target of defeating the epidemic will not be reached."

President Donald John Trump pounced.

The Associated Press reported, "Among a growing number of travel restrictions, the U.S. said that, as of Monday, it had suspended regular visa services at the embassy in Beijing and consulates general in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenyang. The Consulate General in Wuhan has already been closed and its staff evacuated.

"A presidential proclamation issued Feb. 2 banned entry to the U.S. to foreigners or non-permanent residents who had been in China fewer than 14 days prior to their arrival. Exceptions were made for foreign diplomats, flight crew and family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents."

Worried communist sympathizers in our country are calling this xenophobic.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News also reported, "Bloomberg Economics estimates that if the outbreak is successfully contained, the impact on China’s economy will be severe but short-lived -- with growth slowing to 4.5% in the first quarter, followed by a recovery and then stabilization in the second half. That trajectory would put full-year growth in 2020 at 5.7%, which is 0.2 percentage point below Bloomberg Economics’ forecast prior to the outbreak and down from 6.1% in 2019. If it takes longer to come under control, the hit to growth would be bigger."

David Ni is the chief executive of Jiangsu Siborui Import and Export Co. headquartered in the Yangtze port city of Nanjin. The company buys aluminum alloy wheels for cars from Chinese producers and exports them to retail outlets in the U.S.

He told Bloomberg News, "We are missing our peak sales season." He also said, "There’s little factory owners can do except wait. On and off, the epidemic could delay production for at least two months. Most factories this year wouldn’t be able to make any money."

The story said, "None of its suppliers have gone back to work yet, and it’s unclear when they will, says Ni, who’s based in Los Angeles."

And Red China has another flu-related problem. CNBC reported, "Mongolia has suspended deliveries of coal across its southern border into China until March 2, Reuters reported Monday, citing the country’s National Emergency Commission.

"The move is designed to prevent the spread of the Corona Virus, with the commission also recommending the country suspend its Tsagaan Sar Lunar New Year celebrations later this month. Mongolia has not yet reported any cases of the Corona Virus."

And of course, Red China's tourism industry is dead for now, and will likely have a slow recovery. The cruise industry worldwide also will suffer a hit.

Red China's foreign customers may be the least of Xi's worries. The Wall Street Journal reported, "The Chinese leader also faces anger and frustration over the government’s response to the outbreak, emotions that swelled Friday with the death from the virus of Li Wenliang, a young doctor punished for trying to raise an early alarm.

"In the province of Hubei, the center of the outbreak, hospitals are overwhelmed, medical and food supplies depleted, and some 60 million people are held under the largest quarantine in history. The virus first emerged in December in the industrial city of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei.

"While much of the nation’s anger is directed at local authorities, blamed for trying to cover up the outbreak, many people also are channeling fury at the censorship and rigid, centralized authority that Mr. Xi has galvanized over the past seven years."

Part of the problem is the public does not trust the media, which means it does not trust the regime. This spoils communication.

Glenn Reynolds wrote, "Well, perhaps the Chinese officials are lying, but perhaps they’re telling the truth, at least to the best of their ability. But while the Chinese government undoubtedly knows more than the rest of us about the scope of the problem, it probably knows a lot less than it would like to about what is going on. People are often afraid to report bad news, because the government has a history of punishing those who do.

"Police in Yunnan province punished medical workers for sharing information about what was going on in their areas. And, of course, Li Wenliang, the doctor who first spoke out about the need for urgent action and shared his observations with medical associates, was formally reprimanded for rumor-mongering, likely resulting in a delay of weeks before the problem was taken seriously. Li died last week at the age of 34, apparently after he contracted it from a patient."

Peons will put up with a lot from their government. A flu epidemic, though, is not on that list of things the serfs suffer in silence.

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