The coronavirus broke out in Wuhan City, China in late 2019. Within several months, this epidemic has evolved into a global pandemic.
As people in over 200 countries and regions are combating the disease and searching for a cure, we would like to present a holistic view of what we can learn from the pandemic: about our society, modern science, and culture as well as history.
It is our hope that this four-part series will help our readers understand the pandemic would not have happened without continued misleading information from the Chinese Communist Party (Part 1). We also examine theories of where the coronavirus started (Part 2) and how it started (Part 3).
Understanding the pandemic in the context of culture and history (Part 4), on the other hand, offers clues of how to reevaluate our principles and moral obligations while preparing for the next chapter in history.
Below is an outline of the series:
Part 1: Timeline and Analysis
Chapter 1: Cover-ups of the Outbreak in China
Chapter 2: Will Such Tragedies Happen Again?
Part 2: A Mysterious Virus — Where Did It Start?
Chapter 3: US-origin Theory
Chapter 4: China-origin Theory
Part 3: A Mysterious Virus — How Did It Start?
Chapter 5: Man-made Theory
Chapter 6: Natural-origin Theory
Part 4: Rethinking Modern Science and Returning to Traditional Values
Chapter 7: The CCP Poses An Unprecedented Challenge to Humanity
Chapter 8: Reflection on Ancient Wisdom
(Continued from part 3)
Part 4: Rethinking Modern Science and Returning to Traditional Values
There are over 1,000 types of bats and China has nearly 100 types. As indicated in Part 3 of the series, Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Virology Institute and her team traveled to 28 provinces in 7 years in their quest to find the origin of the 2003 SARS virus. The task was like finding a needle in a haystack, but they were fortunate to have found the bat virus that caused the SARS outbreak.
Little did they know that they had also opened the Pandora’s Box when they brought the virus samples back to Wuhan.
In part 3, we proposed two possible transmission routes of the current coronavirus: one was through the lab animals infected with the bat virus brought back to Wuhan, and the other was through Shi’s team members who were infected with the bat virus. In either case, we believe that the bat virus that Shi and her team found in a bat cave in Yunnan Province seeded the current outbreak.
This unexpected outcome was opposite to what Shi set out to accomplish. Her team had hoped to learn more about the 2003 SARS virus so as to prevent future epidemics. But her well-intended scientific efforts were followed by the ongoing global pandemic.
In summary, science has yet to find answers to the many puzzles about the mysterious coronavirus that has killed more than 300,000 people worldwide. It may be time to rethink science and reflect on why pandemics would happen in the first place.
Chapter 7: The CCP Poses An Unprecedented Challenge to Humanity
Our planet has nurtured numerous civilizations in history, including the 5,000 years of Chinese culture that spanned many dynasties. For example, as the Western culture had the great Roman Empire, China’s Han Dynasty was also well known for its literature, art, prosperity, and openness.
The prosperity in the Han Dynasty continued, from the Tang Dynasty (when the prototype of Journey to the West occurred) to the Ming Dynasty (when Zheng He’s voyage reached East Africa). Even during the Qing Dynasty (last dynasty in China), Emperor Kangxi and China were well known for prosperity and cultural exchange.
As depicted in shows presented by Shen Yun, a United States-based performing arts and entertainment company, ancient Chinese dynasties across thousands of years were keen to preserving China’s divine traditional culture, which emphasised the harmony between heaven, earth, and man.
Ancient Chinese, from emperors to their subjects, valued virtue and focused on spiritual enlightenment, which in turn helped create advanced science long before modern science came into existence. Below is one such story.
A Solar Eclipse
Suitang Jiahua (Stories in Sui and Tang Dynasties) documented a story of Li Chunfeng, a well-known sage in the Tang Dynasty. After Li calibrated the calendar system, he told Emperor Taizong of an upcoming solar eclipse.
The emperor did not believe him and asked, “Are you sure? What if there is no eclipse?” “If there is no eclipse, I would accept punishment and die,” Li replied.
When the day came, the emperor and Li waited in the yard for a long time, but the eclipse did not occur. “You can go home now and bid a farewell to your family,” the emperor joked.
“It will come in a moment,” Li pointed at the sundial, “the eclipse will happen when the shadow reaches here.” About fifteen minutes later, the solar eclipse occurred as he predicted. This was September 3 of 639 and Li was said to be the first to predict a solar eclipse.
Besides astronomy, Li was also a great mathematician (British sinologist Joseph Needham considered Li the greatest math annotator in Chinese history), historian, scholar of I-Ching (Classic of Changes), and prophet. His prophecy, Tui Bei Tu (Push Back Chart) was also one of the most known prophecies in Chinese history.
The traditional Chinese culture has nearly vanished since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took over China decades ago.
Similar to that in the former Soviet Union, the CCP’s core theory is class struggle, brutality, and lies. Historians found that the CCP has caused about 80 million unnatural deaths, including at least 45 million who starved to death in the Great Leap Forward movement in the late 1950s alone.
“With 800 million people, how can it work without struggle?” former CCP leader Mao Zedong once claimed and also planned to conduct a Cultural Revolution “every seven or eight years.”
Such cruelty also extended overseas. “An excellent example of the Communist Party’s use of violence is its support of the Cambodian Khmer Rouge. Under the Khmer Rouge, a quarter of Cambodia’s population, including a majority of Chinese immigrants and their descendants, were murdered,” wrote Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party (Nine Commentaries hereinafter). The book also noted, “China still blocks the international community from putting the Khmer Rouge on trial, so as to cover up the CCP’s notorious role in the genocide.
Needless to say, such brutality is accompanied by lies.
“Since a young age, we have thought of the U.S. as a lovable country. We believe this is partly due to the fact that the U.S. has never occupied China, nor has it launched any attacks on China. More fundamentally, the Chinese people hold good impressions of the U.S. based on the democratic and open-minded character of its people.”
It is hard to believe that the above words came from the CCP’s official newspaper Xinhua Daily, given the long-time hostility that the CCP had towards the U.S. In fact, these words were from an editorial published on July 4, 1947, when the CCP needed help from the U.S. When the CCP sent troops to fight American soldiers three years later in Korea, however, it depicted the Americans as the evilest imperialists in the world.
Through constant brainwashing of its people especially during the political movements, the CCP instigated people to attack each other, and even family members were coerced to turn in each other. This quickly damaged moral standards in China, making lying, adulterated products, fake merchandise, and intellectual property theft a norm.
It was not until these past few months that the international community began to realise the harm of the CCP’s constant lying and massive propaganda. In reality, the CCP’s tactics have been continuing for decades, and they have posed a serious threat to both China and the world, as the pandemic has shown us.
Unlike ancient scholars who dared to speak their minds, modern intellectuals in China have been targeted repeatedly for voicing their opinions.
One example was the suppression of intellectuals in 1957. The CCP first appeared humble and urged the intellectuals to offer their opinions about the government. It then persecuted them as “rightists,” using their speeches as evidence of their “crimes.”
When some criticised the persecution as a conspiracy or “plot in the dark,” Mao claimed publicly, “That is not a plot in the dark, but a stratagem in the open,” accordingly to Nine Commentaries.
Unfortunately, this has become a standard tactic in the playbook of the CCP in its numerous political movements, from the Great Cultural Revolution to the Tiananmen Massacre, from the persecution of Falun Gong to the 2003 SARS and the 2019 coronavirus. In almost all these cases, the CCP would punish those brave enough to voice different opinions as a tool to intimidate the rest to reinforce its ruling.
Li Wenliang was a doctor from Wuhan Central Hospital. After learning about the coronavirus from colleagues on December 30, 2019, he posted the info on social media on the same day. But he was summoned by Wuhan Health Commission at 1:30 a.m. several hours later and criticised, followed by other types of punishment.
Li was a CCP member and he was easily silenced, just like other doctors. Later on he followed the Party’s order of taking minimal protection and died of the disease.
But the real danger is beyond his death.
Were another outbreak to occur, would there be anyone who dares to challenge the totalitarian CCP and speak out?
For most people, it is quite unlikely, but there are a few exceptions, one of which is Falun Gong practitioners.
Persecution Based on Belief
Introduced to the public in 1992, Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) is a meditation system based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Together with five easy-to-learn exercises, it attracted about 100 million practitioners within several years.
Coming from all walks of life and of all ages, these practitioners have witnessed dramatic physical improvement. Many have also reported that they were glad to find the principles of Falun Gong consistent with the traditional Chinese culture and a great guidance of moral improvement, just like what happened in the past thousands of years of Chinese history.
Despite the huge mind and body benefits Falun Gong has brought to practitioners and their families, former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin began to suppress it in July 1999.
Through a nationwide Gestapo-like organisation called 610 Office, a large number of practitioners have been detained, imprisoned, and tortured for their belief. Some of them have become victims of psychiatric abuse and forced organ harvesting.
Taking Wuhan as an example: When Jiang first decided to suppress Falun Gong in 1999, he met with resistance from top communist leaders, including other members of the Politburo. Zhao Zhizhen, director of Wuhan Television Station, however, acted on Jiang’s order. Zhao dispatched a crew to Changchun in Jilin Province, the hometown of Mr. Li Hongzhi (founder of Falun Gong), and filmed a 6-hour video that defamed Falun Gong and its founder.
This video was played among top communist leaders and later throughout all of China in the news media, including the state-owned China Central Television. Countless other videos were produced over the next 20 years to demonise Falun Gong and its practitioners.
In addition, Tongji Hospital in Wuhan was one of the earliest medical facilities involved in forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, a crime first reported in 2006 and corroborated by extensive evidence from third parties. Investigations revealed that at least 14 types of organs and tissues were transplanted at Tongji Hospital. In February 2005 alone, more than 1,000 kidney transplants were carried out at this facility.
To some degree, the persecution of Falun Gong in China highlights the clash between the CCP and traditional values. It is unfortunate, but it also gives China and the rest of the world, a chance to reverse the moral decline brought by the CCP.
Our Moral Obligations
Before President Nixon’s trip to China in 1972, the international community had little collaboration with the CCP. Since Nixon’s trip, however, lots of activities have taken place. The U.S. and China established a diplomatic relationship in 1979, and China joined the WTO in 2001. Similarly, the investment from the U.S. and other Western countries to China also increased dramatically.
Many world leaders believed economic development would eventually lead to political openness and democracy. But as analysed earlier, this turned out to be wishful thinking. Within one month after Mao’s successor Deng Xiaoping’s visit to the U.S., he launched a war against Vietnam in February 1979.
Ten years later, Deng ordered the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989. Not only that, but he promoted Jiang Zemin as the successor due to the latter’s tough position on this issue. Jiang in turn began to suppress Falun Gong after another 10 years, in 1999.
In a new report released by Freedom House in March, “Freedom in the World 2020,” China was listed as “one of the 15 worst-performing countries” with only 10 out of 100 points for “global freedom.”
“China pressed ahead with one of the world’s most extreme programs of ethnic and religious persecution, and increasingly applied techniques that were first tested on minorities to the general population, and even to foreign countries,” according to the report. “The progression illustrated how violations of minority rights erode the institutional and conventional barriers that protect freedom for all individuals in a given society.”
Without continued support from the Western countries, the CCP would not have become as strong as it is today and its global influence (such as influence on the WHO), would likely have been curbed.
A closer look at the countries where the coronavirus hit the hardest indicates that many of them have close financial ties with the CCP. For example, some of them supported the CCP’s entry to the WTO, some supported its expansion plan for Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), while some compromised their principles in exchange for collaboration with Chinese companies such as Huawei.
We have now witnessed the price of working with the CCP. Distancing ourselves from the regime will help with our long-term safety.
Chapter 8: Reflection on Ancient Wisdom
According to traditional Chinese medicine, plagues such as the coronavirus pandemic are considered “vicious qi” (or “vicious energy”). Huangdi Neijing (The Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor), one of the most respected books on Chinese medicine, relates a conversation between the Yellow Emperor and Qi Bo, an ancient physician.
Emperor: I heard that, when plagues come, people infect each other regardless of their ages. Their symptoms are similar and it is difficult to treat them. Do you know how to prevent the infection?
Qi Bo: When a person has righteous qi residing inside, no viciousness is able to invade.
In modern science, the relationship between mind and body is also widely recognised. Vyacheslav Gubanov, a Russian scientist and President of the International Institute of Social Ecology, believes all illnesses are closely associated with one’s mental state. Therefore, he believes the soul also needs to be cured when dealing with an illness.
Throughout Chinese history, from emperors to ordinary citizens, people tended to look within when disasters hit and reflected on what they had done wrong that might have invited plagues or other misfortune. They would then correct their mistakes and improve themselves. Emperor Wu of the Western Han Dynasty (206-9 AD), for example, issued a decree reflecting on his political mistakes, known as the “Repenting Edict of Luntai:”
“The most important task at the moment is to prohibit officials at all levels from being harsh or cruel to the people and to prevent them from increasing taxes without authorisation. By doing so, it will be possible to greatly enhance agricultural production.”
Several emperors in later dynasties issued similar edicts of repentance including Emperor Ming of the Han, Emperor Taizong of the Tang, Emperor Lizong of the Song, Emperor Xizong of the Ming, and Emperor Yongzheng of the Qing Dynasty.
Such a mentality also existed in ordinary people. Zhang Daoling, a renowned Taoist during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 BC–220 AD), had tens of thousands of disciples. Like other Taoists, he focused on character improvement and spiritual enlightenment. Besides teaching his disciples, Zhang also guided the public to strive for a higher moral standard and better conduct. One example was his unique way of dealing with plagues.
Zhang asked those infected to write down all the wrongdoings they had ever done in their entire lives. Then they were to place the paper in water and vow to the divine not to do bad things again. They also had to promise that, were they to do wrong again, they would rather end their lives.
Many people followed this advice and recovered. More people heard about this, did as instructed, and were cured. As a result, Zhang and his disciples saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
Lessons from the Ancient Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was one of the largest and longest-running empires in human history. With a population of about 65 million, it rivaled its counterpart in the East, the Han Dynasty of 60 million people. At its peak, the Roman Empire spanned about 5 million square kilometers (or 1.9 million square miles), close to the landmass of the Han Dynasty.
After Rome’s suppression of Christians, however, this powerful empire went downhill. Stricken by three major plagues, the Western Roman Empire ended in 476. The fourth disaster, the Plague of Justinian (541-542) killed another 25-50 million people, further weakening the empire.
The most notorious attack against Christians came from Emperor Nero between 64 and 65 AD. Nero, who became emperor at 54 AD, killed his mother, brother, and two wives. After labeling Christians a cult and a danger to society, Nero mobilised the Roman public to persecute them. As a result, many Christians were killed – torn apart by beasts or burned alive as human torches.
Many people who followed Nero and persecuted Christians soon faced the consequences. A plague broke out the following autumn in Rome, killing some 30,000 people. Three years later, a rebellion against Nero took place. He fled Rome in AD 68 and died, possibly by suicide.
By 680, people awakened and began to reflect on the cruelty against Christians as well as the general moral decay of society. In 680, Roman citizens carried the bones of Saint Sebastian (256 – 288, killed during the persecution by Diocletian) and proceeded through the streets. As people repented of their wrongdoings, the plague miraculously vanished in Rome.
History Repeating Itself
In many ways, the suppression of Falun Gong by Jiang Zemin and his followers is similar to the religious persecution by Nero, which included defamation, detention, torturing, and killing.
Compared to Nero, however, the CCP’s actions are much more comprehensive. From the central Politburo to the lowest level (villages in the countryside and streets in urban areas), from schools to government agencies and private businesses, the CCP has mobilised nearly all resources to slander Falun Gong and mistreat practitioners.
Together with the police, procuratorates, courts, detention centers, and prisons, the CCP has detained practitioners and tortured them severely. Inside brainwashing centers and mental hospitals, practitioners are also further humiliated and deprived of basic rights, such as sleeping or accessibility to the toilet.
Furthermore, with strong censorship (in collaboration with Western technological companies) and massive propaganda apparatus, the CCP has been defaming Falun Gong in the past 21 years. It has also exported such propaganda overseas through Confucius Institutes and other pro-CCP associations (some of them disguised as NGOs).
As we have now seen, during the past several decades, through help from Western countries, companies, and technologies, the CCP has built a state-of-the-art massive system to police its citizens, manipulate opinions, and fabricate lies to deceive people, domestically and abroad.
Any hope that the CCP would change for the better is futile, as the CCP survives and thrives on violence, class struggle, and lies, and will need to constantly deceive people in order to maintain its power.
Liu Bowen, a sage and renowned prophet in the Ming Dynasty, once wrote in the Taibai Mountain Monument Inscription:
Heaven has eyes, earth has eyes,and everyone has a pair of eyes;Heaven is looking, earth is looking,[by nature] life is happy and worry-free.
In the above, he warned people that heaven and earth have eyes and are aware of the good and evil people have committed.
In his prophecy, he also predicted a devastating pandemic that would cause huge damages to those who committed evil deeds but would spare those who harbor kindness in their heart. He further predicted that Falun Gong would guide people to safety:
Pursue your defenses, your auric physique, But compassion in heart is the only safety. …
In an era when some are spreading the great gospels,it is not worthwhile to remain foolish and lose the future.