Chinese dictator Xi Jinping on Tuesday presented a national medal and honorary titles to four supposed Chinese medical experts for their “outstanding contribution” to fighting China’s coronavirus epidemic.
Xi “presented medals to the four outstanding individuals, and delivered a speech at the ceremony,” the CCP mouthpiece Global Times reported on Tuesday. Respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshan received China’s highest national honor, the Medal of the Republic, “for delivering timely information on the latest epidemic situation and leading the formulation of diagnosis and treatment guidelines.”
While Zhong may enjoy domestic praise from the CCP, he remains infamous internationally as a conspiracy theorist who claimed without evidence in late February that the Chinese coronavirus — first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan last year — “might have multiple birthplaces co-existing around the globe.” The Chinese Foreign Ministry has repeatedly blamed the U.S. Army for unleashing the virus on the world, offering no evidence of the virus being present anywhere in the world before its discovery in Wuhan late last year.
“Zhong Nanshan, once a hero, has been reduced to a propaganda worker. This recent statement from Zhong is laying the groundwork for blaming others – especially the US – for spreading the #coronavirus to #China. Zhong must know his words are ludicrous and dangerous,” Gordon Chang, a conservative Chinese-American author and lawyer, wrote on Twitter of Nanshan’s choice to peddle CCP conspiracy theories.
Among the recipients of national honorary titles on Tuesday was also Zhang Boli, “a Traditional Chinese Medicine [TCM] expert, who presided over the research of the COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] treatment scheme combining traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine,” according to the Global Times. The CCP has co-opted the ancient practice of TCM — which includes natural health treatments such as herbal teas, acupuncture, and the Tai Chi martial art — to promote supposed coronavirus treatments. The TCM industry generates tremendous revenue for the Communist Party, which expects to earn $430 billion from its coronavirus-focused iteration by the end of 2020.
“TCM is able to reduce the ratio of severe [coronavirus] cases turned from mild ones,” Zhang claimed at a TCM symposium for an Australian audience in April.
Zhang’s fellow honoree on Tuesday, “military medical expert” Chen Wei, received an honorary title for making “major achievements in COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus]-related basic research and development of vaccine and protective medicine,” according to the report. Chen is a bioweapons expert whose close work with the Wuhan Institute of Virology made headlines in late February.
Many speculated at the time that the Chinese coronavirus may have been leaked from the laboratory, which studies bat coronaviruses. The CCP dispatched Chen to the Wuhan laboratory in January to enforce “new guidelines from the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology calling for ‘strengthening biosecurity management in microbiology labs that handle advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus.'”
In addition to honoring China’s coronavirus “role models,” Xi delivered a speech at Tuesday’s award ceremony. He claimed that “the major strategic achievement gained from China’s fight against COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] fully demonstrated the remarkable advantages of the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and socialism,” the official CCP newspaper People’s Daily reported.