Countries with Close Ties to China Hit Hard by Coronavirus Pandemic

When a surge of new SARS-like pneumonia cases first appeared in Wuhan in late 2019, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) silenced them for months—until the situation evolved into an epidemic that could no longer be hidden. 

Days after a health expert confirmed the human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus, the authorities locked down Wuhan, the epicentre of the epidemic.

For the next two months, the virus quickly spread to more than 170 countries around the world and was declared a pandemic by the WHO on March 11, 2020. 

Outside of China, Italy has become the hardest hit, with 35,713 confirmed cases as of March 18, followed by Iran and Spain. In Asia, South Korea only trails China with 8,565 cases reported.

Although many factors could have facilitated the rapid spread of the coronavirus, Italy, Iran, Spain, and South Korea shared one thing in common: close partnership with China. 

During its 70-year reign, the CCP has single handedly caused many miseries in China, from the Cultural Revolution to the Great Famine, from the Tiananmen Massacre to the persecution of Falun Gong and harvesting of organs from its practitioners. 

When the CCP does business with a country, it also exports its communist ideology and corruption, as well as bringing its vicious energy to that country. 

In traditional Chinese medicine, plagues such as the coronavirus epidemic 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, records a conversation between the Yellow Emperor and Qi Bo, a respected 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.

While many other countries have compromised their principles to do business with China, Taiwan has been taking a tough stance against the CCP in the past many years.

The landslide victory of President Tsai Ing-Wen also affirms Taiwanese’ determination to uphold democracy and opposition to the CCP’s invasion threats.

Taiwan’s strong stance blocked the CCP’s “vicious energy.” An island only 81 miles from the mainland, Taiwan has only reported 100 cases as of March 18. 


Italy was the first G7 Nation to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative in March 2019. 

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), sometimes referred to as “the New Silk Road,” was launched in 2013 and aims to expand China’s economic and political influence from East Asia to Europe.

Many analysts were wary of China’s ambition to become a world power and suspect the BRI could be a Trojan horse for China-led regional development and military expansion.

To show its friendship with China, Italy invited the Chinese police, who are notorious for their human rights abuses, to help patrol the tourist sites in Milan and Rome in 2019, wanting to help the Chinese tourists to “feel like home” and “more secure” while abroad. 

As the coronavirus cases surge in Italy, some netizens are commenting in homonyms that the “One Belt One Road (一带一路)” has now become the “One Belt Virus Road (一带疫路).” [Note: “one” and “virus” sound similar in Chinese.]


Iran, another country essential to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, has also been hard hit by the coronavirus. 

“The exact route of the virus is unclear. But Iran’s strategic partnership with Beijing has created a constellation of potential contacts that helped unleash the illness, called Covid-19,” reported the Wall Street Journal on March 11, 2020, in an article titled “Strategic Partnership With China Lies at Root of Iran’s Coronavirus Outbreak.”

In particular, many of the people who have been infected in Iran are government officials.

As of March 11, at least six high-ranking officials have died from COVID-19, including Mohammad-Reza Rahchamani, former Iranian MP, and Farzad Tazari, former politburo official in the Revolutionary Guard.


After the first incidence of the coronavirus was reported in Spain on January 31, 2020, the number of cases grew to nearly 14,769 by March 18. 

Josep Borrell Fontelles, a Spanish foreign minister who now serves as the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, said that “[The Belt and Road] is proof that China no longer considers itself a net receiver and has started to consider itself a contributor to the world, and this is something Spain welcomes,” before attending the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in April 2019.

Although Spain has not officially joined the BRI program, it has worked with some Chinese shipping companies in some ports and has a direct freight train link between the Chinese city of Yiwu and Madrid.

Madrid, the capital of Spain, boasts the largest flagship Huawei store outside of China. The Spanish telecom giant Telefonica also chose Huawei as an important partnership to deploy its 5G network in June 2019. 

Huawei, a Chinese company with deep connections to the government and military, has been known to play a critical role in the CCP’s mass surveillance and human rights abuses of its own people.

South Korea

In South Korea, although it didn’t participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, President Moon Jae-in refused to close its doors to Chinese tourists or those who had recently traveled to Hubei Province, even after infection cases exploded in Hubei.

Despite the shortage of face masks in South Korea, President Moon donated more than 3 million masks to China.

On February 11, the South Korean Embassy in China said on their official social media Weibo account, “China’s hardship is our hardship. The South Korean Embassy is with you!”

More than 1.4 million Koreans are petitioning to impeach President Moon. The petition says, “Given Moon Jae-in’s response to the new epidemic, we feel that he is more of a president for China than Korea.”


Many people attribute the low number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to its strong stance against the CCP, as well as several other factors, including early border closures and transparency.

Jason Wang, a Health Policy researcher at Stanford University, told Deutsche Welle that Taiwan learned its lesson from the SARS epidemic 17 years ago. They quickly set up a command centre at the very early stage of the epidemic, with experts from different agencies to quickly respond to different situations.

He credits Taiwan’s use of technology and big data for helping the government analyze patients’ travel history and medical symptoms and to determine whether they are at risk of contracting the virus.

Wang also said, “In addition to the use of modern technology, the Taiwan government also delivers the message to patients in quarantine that the government truly cares about their wellbeing. This encourages more people to report to the government about their symptoms and seek help. This is the biggest difference between a democratic country and a totalitarian state.”

Hong Kong

In comparison to Taiwan’s swift actions to combat the outbreak, the Hong Kong government didn’t implement many special measures to contain the virus and is still open to people traveling back and forth between the mainland all the time. 

But compared to Shenzhen, the south-central Guangdong Province city just 15 minutes away that was hit hard by the coronavirus, the number of infections in Hong Kong was surprisingly low, with only 193 by March 18.

Since last summer, millions of Hongkongers have taken to the streets to protest the CCP’s tyranny. Signs that read “Heaven Is Eliminating the CCP” could be seen everywhere in Hong Kong. 

While putting up a big “Heaven Is Eliminating the CCP” banner on a bridge at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in November 2019, a student told The Epoch Times, “After I put up the banner, I felt very secure. I felt that gods are protecting us.”

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