by Pepe Escobar
Illustration: Asia Times
Fallout from Covid-19 outbreak
puts Beijing and Washington
on a collision course...
China has re-positioned itself.
However, in a Chinese cultural context, devil means "white devils" or "foreign devils":
This was Xi delivering a powerful statement in code.
When Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, voiced in an incandescent tweet the possibility that,
...the first blast to this effect to come from a top official - Beijing was sending up a trial balloon signaling that the gloves were finally off.
Zhao Lijian made a direct connection with the Military Games in Wuhan in October 2019, which included a delegation of 300 US military.
Zhao's explosive conclusion is that Covid-19 was already in effect in the US before being identified in Wuhan - due to the by now fully documented inability of US to test and verify differences compared with the flu.
Adding all that to the fact that coronavirus genome variations in Iran and Italy were sequenced and it was revealed they do not belong to the variety that infected Wuhan, Chinese media are now openly asking questions and drawing a connection with,
Some of these questions had been asked - with no response - inside the US itself.
Extra questions linger about the opaque Event 201 in New York on October 18, 2019:
This magnificent "coincidence" happened one month before the outbreak in Wuhan.
The World Military Games opened in Wuhan on the exact same day.
Irrespective of its origin, which is still not conclusively established, as much as Trump tweets about the "Chinese virus," Covid-19 already poses immensely serious questions about biopolitics (where's Foucault when we need him?) and bio-terror.
The working hypothesis of coronavirus as a very powerful but not Armageddon-provoking bio-weapon unveils it as a perfect vehicle for widespread social control - on a global scale.
Cuba rises as a biotech power
This is how a strategic partnership works.
The chessboard is changing at breakneck speed.
'Soft power' is paramount...
Beijing sent an Air China flight to Italy carrying 2,300 big boxes full of masks bearing the script,
China also sent a hefty humanitarian package to Iran, significantly aboard eight flights from Mahan Air - an airline under illegal, unilateral Trump administration 'sanctions'...
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic could not have been more explicit:
Under harsh sanctions and demonized since forever, Cuba is still able to perform breakthroughs - even on biotechnology.
A joint venture in China is producing an inhalable version, and at least 15 nations are already interested in importing the therapeutic.
Now compare all of the above with the Trump administration offering $1 billion to poach German scientists working at biotech firm Curevac, based in Thuringia, on an experimental vaccine against Covid-19, to have it as a vaccine "only for the United States"...
Social engineering psy-op?
Sandro Mezzadra, co-author with Brett Neilson of the seminal The Politics of Operations - Excavating Contemporary Capitalism, is already trying to conceptualize where we stand now in terms of fighting Covid-19.
We are facing a choice between,
There are key lessons to be learned from South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore.
The stark option, Mezzadra notes, is between,
It's easy to imagine who stands to benefit from this social re-engineering, a 21st century remix of Poe's The Masque of the Red Death.
Amid so much doom and gloom, count on Italy to offer us Tiepolo-style shades of light. Italy chose the Wuhan option, with immensely serious consequences for its already fragile economy.
Quarantined Italians remarkably reacted by singing on their balconies:
Not to mention the poetic justice of the actual St. Corona ("crown" in Latin) being buried in the city of Anzu since the 9th century.
Shanghai-based Dr. Zhang Wenhong, one of China's top infectious disease experts, whose analyses have been spot on so far, now says,
As the sources put it, history had never before seen anything like the FED's intervention via its little understood elimination of commercial bank reserve requirements, unleashing a potential unlimited expansion of credit to prevent a derivative implosion stemming from a total commodity and stock market collapse of all stocks around the world.
Those bankers thought it would work, but as we know by now all the sound and fury signified nothing. The ghost of a derivative implosion - in this case not caused by the previous possibility, the shutting down of the Strait of Hormuz - remains.
We are still barely starting to understand the consequences of Covid-19 for the future of neoliberal turbo-capitalism.
What's certain is that the whole global economy has been hit by an insidious, literally invisible circuit breaker.
Additionally, along the hard slog down the road, with immense, inbuilt human and economic sacrifice, with or without a reboot of the world-system, a more pressing question remains: