The chinese government has the habit of lying. Its population first. It does not withstand the slightest criticism. Chinese who dare to criticise the government in the least end up in prison.
And yet, there is plenty to criticize the government of Xi Jinping.
The habit of lying comes from far away. The chinese communist Party was lying already regularly in the 20’s, well before his arrival to power in 1949.
See what you think about someone who was well-known that the chinese communist Party at the time :
“The Red fool of the free peoples to prevent them to interpret sanely the goals and methods of communist […] Intelligence, propaganda, peace talks, military operations, all offers to the communists an opportunity to trick the opponent. In the matter of espionage by example: the PC of all of the countries are organizations of espionage; PC chinese we flew thousands of information, and prevented us to collect; it was even further, he provided false information to western nations to make us lose confidence.”
Tchiang Kai-Sheck, How the communists seized control of my country, and Paris, Morgan, 1958, p. 351.
That is Tchiang Kai-Sheck? He is the former president of China. Of course, Tchiang Kai-Shek himself is full of animosity. His government was corrupt and incompetent.*
But it is not the only one to report this kind of lie. During the period of the Great Leap forward (an industrial policy madness of Mao Zedong between 1958 and 1962), the regional authorities have taken the habit to lie and inflate their returns to look better in the face of the central government. The episode ended with a huge famine national (camouflaged) and by the eviction of Mao in the field of economy (eviction passed over in silence).
Lie to the time of Nixon
In 1972, during the trip of Nixon in China, the journalists accompanying the american president had been invited to walk freely in the streets of a dozen cities in china. They were unaware that the government had made to repeat the citizens for months prior to the arrival of the journalists, in case they would ask questions.
Even Mao was lying. When he was traveling across China on his private train, the intelligence services, chinese populated stations where spent his train agents and supers, a question that the chinese president may observe the daily life of the good people safe. And perhaps also to avoid that some take the opportunity to complain to him.
Things have started to improve when Deng Xiaoping took power in 1978. From that moment on, China was opened again to the world. It became possible to criticize the government in private, and even, with the years, in public, until a certain extent.
The data of the chinese government have become more reliable over time.
But the government has become increasingly authoritarian in the years 2000. In 2012, the arrival of Xi Jinping has accelerated the return-to-control fast-paced of the information, the propaganda, all azimuths, and therefore a lie.
Old reflexes found
The chinese communist Party has returned to its old reflexes of lie.
But the chinese communist Party has a problem. It can’t easily silence critics outside of China. More than that, he now has to deal with people much more educated, both in China and outside. Similarly, the leaders of the rest of the world are not all of a large naïve as Tchiang Kai-Sheck.
The government of Xi Jinping’s lying. He’s lying and sometimes simplistic. It was obvious that when the COVID-19 would come out of China, it would make havoc in other countries of the world. It was obvious that the chinese statistics would be compared to those of other countries. However, the chinese statistics do not take into the road. Nor for the number of infected people or the number of deaths.
The number of cancellations and sudden contracts for cell phones (millions) gives an overview most likely the number of victims.
But now, the chinese government wants to show to its population that it is hypercompétent, that the governments at the head of the democratic countries can not protect their population. Then the chinese government presents figures that are false.
It is always easier to distort the facts and lie rather than question a doctrine and ideology.
*The chinese authorities hate it when people use sources taiwanese. Several years ago, while I replaced a guest professor of chinese at a university in Quebec, I discovered with amazement that this professor gave very bad grades to students simply because some of their sources were taiwanese.