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John James: Let's social distance from China's diseased regime

John James

As our daily lives are restricted across America, we must ensure that a major contributor to pandemics is eradicated — wet markets.  

Wet markets are places where live and dead animals, including many endangered species, are sold to be eaten. It is common in these cruel and inhumane wet markets that microbes from blood, saliva, pus and feces, from all sorts of species, mix together. These germs and potential novel viruses then risk being inhaled or ingested by humans. As we take extreme measures to prevent coronavirus, we must also shut down the global menace of wet markets and wild game markets.

Just as we social distance from colleagues and loved ones today, we must also social distance from countries that allow these wet market petri dishes to cause future pandemics.

The Chinese government, run by the Chinese Communist Party, knows these wet markets are deadly health hazards. It was clear that wet markets in Guangdong in 2002 and 2003 were the origin of SARS, which swept across the globe causing rampant damage. The party's utter disregard for human life led to the spread of SARS to 29 different countries, killing 800 people. Now almost 20 years later, COVID-19 has spread to over 71 different countries and already killed over 10,000 people. Too many Americans have already died and our economy has been badly damaged. The economic devastation and loss of life will continue. Wet markets in Wuhan are the likely point of origin for the Coronavirus.

The Chinese government has taken steps in the last few weeks to temporarily ban wet markets, but these changes must be pervasive and permanent. 

This is not a smear of the amazing Chinese people. Hurting anyone because of how they are born is vile, but if knee-jerk cries of xenophobia and racism prevent targeted action and result in the deaths of more Chinese people, then you’re doing "outrage" wrong. Calling out the communist regime is both legitimate and long overdue to protect the health of the Chinese people and the rest of the world from communist malfeasance.

In this Jan. 23, 2020, file photo, Chinese paramilitary police stand guard outside the closed Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province.

Wet markets and wildlife markets originated as a starving people's desperate answer to the failures of their communist government to feed them. Between 1970 and 1978, 36 million out of 900 million died of starvation. Now, wet markets are obsolete because even the communist party recognizes the benefits of capitalism and can easily amend their trade policies so that any food shortages can be alleviated by Michigan and other American farmers. Selling more agricultural products to the Chinese market is a win-win for the world.

Michigan is ground-zero for the Chinese government’s long-term strategy to hollow out America’s manufacturing base. For decades the CCP has engaged in predatory business practices, such as industrial espionage, dumping, intellectual property theft, currency manipulation and forced technology transfer, to name only the most blatant examples.

The regime has been hurting Michigan residents for decades, and now Michigan lives have been lost.

For far too long both Democrats and Republicans have failed to recognize the Chinese Communist Party for the threat that it is to America and to the free world. The party, like COVID-19, is a virus. It infects everything that it touches, and we will not know how vulnerable we are until it’s too late.

For the Chinese government, state-sanctioned piracy isn’t enough. The regime targets America's economy and its national security. Violating international law in the South China Sea, propping up the Iran and North Korean regimes, the push for space supremacy, increasing cyber-attacks — these are all par for the course. Along with comrade Russia, China is weaponizing the UN Security Council and spreading its money among developing countries to buy seats in the UN General Assembly.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate John James speaks during a rally in Pontiac  on Oct. 17, 2018.

Worse, it’s infiltrating the American psyche by flexing its marketing muscles in familiar areas such as American academia, media outlets and Hollywood to censor criticism and advance its aims.

The world must socially distance itself from the Chinese Communist Party until its government shows no more symptoms of malign global ambitions, predatory economic practices, human rights violations, and animal cruelty.

In the meantime, our leaders must be honest about the party's nature and aims.

A critical first step is to demand the Beijing regime end wet markets and wild game markets forever.

John James, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, is a former captain in the U.S. Army and currently serves as president of James Group International, a Detroit-based automotive logistics company.