Beijing Weaponizes Healthcare and Mobile Apps to Target Individuals: Expert

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The Epoch Times

The communist regime in China uses healthcare and apps as weapons as part of its playbook, said an expert on China and the Indo-Pacific.

Cleo Paskal, an associate fellow at Chatham House and a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said that lessons could be learned from China’s neighbors, particularly India and the Solomon Islands, in understanding the threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), in a recent interview on Epoch TV’s “American Thought Leaders” program.

“It is understanding how invasive and destructive and coercive the mentality of the Chinese Communist Party is—in terms of an individual’s right to think anything they want or believe anything they want, is imperative for understanding what we’re dealing with,” Paskal said.

She added: “In a Chinese-run world or Chinese-influenced world healthcare is used as a weapon to punish political dissidents.”

Paskal pointed to the example of Daniel Suidani, the premier of Malaita Province in the Solomon Islands and a prominent China critic. Since the South Pacific country ended its 36-year diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China in September 2019, Suidani has continued to voice support for the self-ruled island and rejected Chinese investment in Malaita.

Suidani’s continued support for Taiwan—a de facto independent nation that China claims as a part of its territory—has put him at odds with the Solomon Islands’ Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, who enjoys a close relationship with Beijing.

About six months ago, Suidani came down with a brain disease that required CT scans but the Solomon Islands does not have the medical device. As a result, the premier began seeking foreign medical care but was financially strapped to pay for it.

Suidani approached the Sogavare government for financial aid for his medical care, but he rejected the money after learning that there were strings attached to it—he had to shake the hands of Sogavare in public. Earlier this month, Suidani’s senior advisor Celsus Talifilu told Al Jazeera that the premier refused the offer because “it would be like shaking hands with China.”


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