China

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“China Is A Freakish, Backwards Nation” Bleat The Slaves From Their Dystopia

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 11/02/2022 - 12:03pm in

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” say the media in a nation whose government has spent the 21st century slaughtering people by the millions in military operations overseas so that it can literally rule the world like a comic book supervillain.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” say the westerners as they consume propaganda cooked up by their government and corporations on devices manufactured by stolen resources and exported slavery made possible by mass military slaughter, starvation sanctions and unipolar global domination.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” say the politicians who put on a daily performance of pro wrestling-style fake opposition against a political party they agree with on every major issue which is owned by the same corporate masters they serve.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” says the civilization that lets people starve and die of exposure and lack of medications because they didn’t win at a make believe game of accruing made-up numbers in their imaginary bank accounts by participating in a pretend economy.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” says the nation with the world’s largest prison population which they still to this day use as literal slave labor.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” parrots a brainwashed population in unison, just as it was programmed to do by the largest and most sophisticated propaganda system that has ever existed.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” blare the screens that have been indoctrinating us since birth to accept a murderous, oppressive, exploitative, omnicidal, ecocidal status quo that is driving our species toward extinction on myriad fronts.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” says the mind that has been warped and twisted its entire life to only function in ways which serve the powerful people who rule its own nation.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” say the inhabitants of a globe-spanning empire they don’t even know exists even as they blindly toil in its service their entire lives.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” say the masses as they ignore the freakish, backwards power structure that has been grinding them into the dirt.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” bleats a nation of unthinking automatons as they mindlessly crank the gears of an insatiable armageddon machine that is fueled by human blood.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” says a society that has turned away from sanity, turned away from truth, turned away from our authentic selves, all in service of a few clever people who discovered that human minds are hackable if you can just confuse their inner light.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, because it’s safer to yell impotently into the void than to turn and face the irrational wrath of our violent oppressors and demand change in the only people we can change: ourselves.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, because it’s easier to believe lies than to push against the uncomfortable feelings that cognitive dissonance brings up and find out what’s really going on over there.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation” we say, because we’re too brainwashed and befuddled to conceive of a world where governments don’t compete and strive to dominate each other and we instead collaborate together toward the good of our entire species.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, instead of looking at ourselves, and looking inward, and letting life get a word in edgewise, and letting truth take seed, and sprout, and blossom, and turning away from this self-destructive nonsense, and building a healthy world.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, because that’s what everyone else is saying.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, because to say anything else gets shouted down.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, because all the screens in our lives told us to.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, because thoughts are easily manipulated and perception is reality.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, because thoughts happen to us, thoughts aren’t something we do.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, from our minds that have been shaped by propaganda, on our social media platforms that are rigged for propaganda, into an information ecosystem that is made of propaganda.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, and we say, and we say, and we say, as they lock down our minds and harness our voices and steer us closer and closer toward the cliff.

_______________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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Dutton’s posturing can only lead to military confrontation with China

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 11/02/2022 - 4:55am in

Tags 

China

As the US draws its allies in an  encirclement campaign against China, Australia’s Defence Minister is adding fuel to the fire. Some politicians have a particular flair for proposing US military moves that would goad China into a military confrontation with collateral damage for Asia. This takes a special mind-set that includes a phobia of Continue reading »

Wanting Peace With Russia To Focus Aggressions On China Is Just Being An Imperialist Warmonger

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 09/02/2022 - 12:34pm in

Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz criticized the Biden administration’s dangerous escalations against Russia on the House floor on Monday, not because he thinks needlessly ramping up cold war brinkmanship with a nuclear-armed nation is an insane thing to do, nor because he believes the US government should cease trying to dominate the world by constantly working to subvert and undermine any nation who disobeys its commands, but because he wants US aggressions to be focused more on China.

“While the Biden administration, the media, and many in congress beat the drums of war for Ukraine, there is a far more significant threat to our nation accelerating rapidly close to home,” Gaetz said. “Argentina, a critical nation and economy in the Americas, has just lashed itself to the Chinese Communist Party, by signing on to the One Belt One Road Initiative. The cost to China was $23.7 billion — a mere fraction of a rounding error when compared to the trillions of dollars our country has spent trying to build democracies out of sand and blood in the Middle East.”

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“China buying influence and infrastructure in Argentina to collaborate on space and nuclear energy is a direct challenge to the Monroe Doctrine and far more significant to American security than our latest NATO flirtation in the plains of Eastern Europe,” Gaetz continued. “China is a rising power. Russia is a declining power. Let us sharpen our focus so that we do not join them in that eventual fate.”

For those who don’t know, the “Monroe Doctrine” refers to a decree put forward by President James Monroe in 1823 asserting that Latin America is off limits to European colonialist and imperialist agendas, effectively claiming the entire Western Hemisphere as US property. It essentially told Europe, “Everything south of the Mexican border is our Africa. It’s ours to dominate in the same way you guys dominate the Global South in the Eastern Hemisphere. Those are your brown people over there, these are our brown people over here.”

That this insanely imperialist and white supremacist doctrine is still being cited by high-profile politicians to this day says so much about what the US government is and how it operates on the world stage. This is especially true given that Biden himself just articulated the same idea in so many words last month when he declared that “Everything south of the Mexican border is America’s front yard.”

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So on one hand Gaetz is opposing warmongering against Russia and condemning the trillions spent on US wars in the Middle East, which by itself would normally be a good thing. But the fact that he only opposes doing that because he wants to focus imperialist aggressions on another part of the world to preserve US unipolar planetary domination completely nullifies any good which could come from his opposition to aggressions somewhere else.

This is a very common phenomenon on the right end of the US political spectrum; you’ll hear a politician or pundit saying what appear to be sane things against the agendas of DC warmongers, but if you pay attention to their overall commentary it’s clear that they’re not opposing the use of mass-scale imperialist aggression to preserve planetary domination, they’re just quibbling about the specifics of how it should be done.

Tucker Carlson has been making this argument for years, claiming that the US should make peace with Russia and scale back interventionism in the Middle East not because peace is good but because it needs to focus its aggressions on countering China. He inserts this argument into many of his criticisms of US foreign policy on a regular basis; he did it just the other day, criticizing the Biden administration’s insane actions in Ukraine and then adding “Screaming about Russia, even as we ignore China, is now a bipartisan effort.”

Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp summarized this dynamic well in response to a recent Reason article making the same “Make peace with Russia to focus on taking down China” argument, tweeting “Unfortunately, a lot of the opposition to war with Russia is rooted in this idea that the US needs the resources to eventually fight China. We need more people to view war for Taiwan as dangerous and foolish as war for Ukraine.”

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Do you see how this works? Do you see how wanting to refocus US firepower on a specific target is not actually better than keeping that firepower diffuse? The difference between “Let’s have peace” and “Let’s have peace with Russia and stop making wars in the Middle East so that we can focus on bringing down China” is the difference between “Stop massacring civilians” and “Stop massacring these civilians because you’ll need your ammunition to massacre those other civilians over there.”

And it’s especially stupid because it’s the exact same agenda. One imperial faction believes it’s best to preserve US hegemony by focusing on bringing down the nations which support and collaborate with China, while the other imperial faction wants to go after China itself more directly. They both support using the US war machine to keep the planet enslaved to Washington and the government agency insiders and oligarchs who run it, they just manufacture this debate about the specifics of how that ought to happen.

This is what Noam Chomsky was talking about when he said, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”

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That strictly limited spectrum of debate is known as the Overton window, and imperial narrative managers work very hard to keep shoving that window further and further in the favor of the oligarchic empire they serve. In order to prevent us from arguing about whether there should be a globe-spanning capitalist unipolar empire in the first place, they keep us arguing about how that empire’s interests should best be advanced.

The longer the drivers of empire can keep us debating the details of how we should serve them, the longer they can keep us from turning toward them and asking why we should even have them around at all.

_______________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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How Xi Jinping became the real-life Dr Evil through the mainstream Western media

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 09/02/2022 - 4:58am in

Tags 

China

Endless negative news stories and opinion pieces about how bad China is in almost every way are bound to shape public perception. Almost nine in 10 Americans (89 per cent) consider China a competitor or enemy, rather than a partner, according to the authoritative Pew Research. Commenting, Winston Lord, a US ambassador to China in Continue reading »

Any hope of an Australia-China reset in the new Tiger Year?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 09/02/2022 - 4:57am in

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China

A new year, a new Chinese ambassador, half a century since diplomatic relations were established in 1972. Is there any hope of a reset? As we enter the Tiger Year, Beijing is hosting the Winter Olympics while the Morrison government could be a matter of months from its end. China has sent a new ambassador Continue reading »

West’s bid to subvert others is no longer a secret

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/02/2022 - 4:56am in

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China

The US’s attempts to destabilise its perceived enemies and cling to global supremacy have been laid bare in a new book. America’s overt and covert actions to subvert other communities while claiming to spread liberal democracy are likely becoming apparent to people around the world, a new study says. It’s evident that the US and Continue reading »

Sleazy Edit By Canadian State Media Frames Video Blogger As An Agent Of Beijing

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/02/2022 - 12:26am in

The state-funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has committed an absolutely jaw-dropping act of journalistic malpractice amid the west’s mad scramble to whip up public hysteria about China.

Daniel Dumbrill, a Canadian video blogger who lives in China and frequently criticizes western narratives about the Chinese government, has posted a series of videos on Twitter which proves the CBC deceitfully edited part of an interview with him to make it appear as though he was saying the exact opposite of what he’d actually said.

In a newly released segment titled “How China uses influencers to squash human rights concerns”, the CBC warns its audience about “westerners living in China with pro-government views” who act as social media “influencers” and were “invited on trips organized and often paid for by the Communist Party.” The CBC then introduces Dumbrill as a “China-based influencer” who makes “videos defending Chinese policy in Xinjiang” that were “often amplified by state media.”

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After framing Dumbrill in this way, the CBC then inserted a short, out-of-context clip of Dumbrill saying “If anywhere else in the world was doing the same thing, it would be called a marketing campaign.” After introducing Dumbrill as a pro-China influencer whose work gets amplified by Chinese state media, the sudden insertion of that clip makes it look as though Dumbrill is defending himself and confessing to being part of a Chinese marketing campaign, especially after the video then cuts away and CBC’s Steven D’Souza moves to another subject with a “But China isn’t just using influencers at home…”

A review of the interview footage that video clip was taken from however makes it abundantly clear that Dumbrill was in fact saying the exact opposite of what he was portrayed as saying.

While the CBC only used about three seconds of footage from what Dumbrill says was a 23-minute interview, Dumbrill’s own footage from that interview shows that Dumbrill had explicitly denied being part of any propaganda campaign shortly before his out-of-context “marketing campaign” comment, and that he’d used that phrase to refer not to himself but to the unbalanced way the west has been reacting to Beijing’s attempts to promote its image to the world.

You’ve actually got to watch both clips to fully understand how unconscionable the CBC’s deceitful edit was. Don’t worry, they’re quite short. First watch this clip of the way the CBC framed Dumbrill’s comment:

https://medium.com/media/cda09e84b1f7f23c8e28dd0ae6762ace/href

Now watch this footage posted by Dumbrill. Notice his explicit denial of D’Souza’s accusation that he is part of any campaign and pay attention to the context in which he makes the “marketing campaign” comment:

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Dumbrill not only denies being part of any kind of campaign but adds that he doesn’t benefit financially from his video blogging about China and in fact does so at great personal expense. His “marketing campaign” remark is snipped out of a thoughtful, nuanced objection to the way Beijing working to improve its public image gets labeled an “influence campaign”, a rather nefarious-sounding term not typically applied to western cities, provinces and nations who do more or less the same thing. It’s crystal clear that he’s not making that observation in any relation to himself and his work but rather speaking objectively about Beijing’s behavior, entirely separate from the accusation of being a propaganda influencer.

D’Souza knew this. He sat there with the CBC editors and knowingly put together a deceitful propaganda piece falsely framing someone else as admitting to being a government propagandist. All with the funding of Canadian taxpayers.

This is made even more ironic by the fact that the CBC segment is dominated by the analysis of a think tanker from the anti-China narrative management firm Australian Strategic Policy Institute, which D’Souza never bothers to inform CBC’s audience is extensively funded by governments and the military-industrial complex. Dumbrill had even posted footage of the interview where he’s seen telling D’Souza that citing think tanks funded by governments and the arms industry without telling your audience that that’s what you’re doing is journalistic malpractice, which is plainly true. And they went and did exactly that anyway.

A war machine-funded think tanker appearing on a brazenly propagandistic show on western state media to explain the dark mechanics of Chinese propaganda is so twisted it’s actually delicious.

“Do you have any shame about doing exactly what you claim others are doing: pushing state propaganda?” journalist Aaron Maté tweeted at D’Souza in response to Dumbrill’s footage. “If you have any remote interest in journalism, you should have Daniel on — live — and let him respond to your smear job.”

Somehow I doubt that’s going to happen.

___________________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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The Ugly Face of War: How Technology is Set to Change the Battlefield

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/02/2022 - 10:17pm in

Tags 

China, Russia

The Ugly Face of WarHow Technology is Set to Change the Battlefield

Iain Overton explores how facial recognition technology is being applied to military conflict

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The horror of a future war is often revealed incrementally.

Last week, it was reported that Clearview AI, an American technology company, had won a contract to provide the US Air Force with glasses equipped with facial recognition systems.

The $50,000 contract promises to help protect airfields by, it might be assumed, allowing guards to get alerts if a ‘hostile face’ appears in their bespectacled field of view.

Clearview, backed by Facebook and Palantir investor Peter Thiel, is on a mission to help America’s military identify potential enemies. No doubt, images of America’s most wanted terrorists – such as Ibrahim Salih Mohammed Al-Yacoub or Mohammed Ali Hamadei – are already uploaded to their facial recognition servers. 

It is a company well-placed to do this, having harvested more than three billion images of people’s faces from social media. It is so good at identifying people that it even has a facial recognition app that lets a person take a picture of someone, upload it and then see all the photos of them currently on the web, with links to where these photos are posted. It seems, horribly, like a stalker’s paradise.

But why should we be concerned with the world’s most powerful military getting into facial recognition defence? After all, police departments in the United States have been using facial recognition tools for almost two decades, cross-checking images such as mug shots with driver licenses?

The reason is because what Clearview does is far superior.

It operates a neural net that converts the image of a face into what is best described as a mathematical formula. Vectors are ascertained from a face’s geometry – how long the nose is, how wide the mouth – put into groups of images with similar geometric shapes. So, when a new photo is uploaded, it can be converted into geometrical code and then quickly compared with the other facial groupings. A person can be identified in an instance. 

It sounds very exciting. But when it is imagined how a military drone might be equipped with such facial recognition systems, something approaching horror emerges. 

Imagine for a moment, swarms of drones – fully-electric, solar-powered autonomous drones – ever present in the skies of a conflict zone. Imagine them being used to search out and assassinate key targets, constantly referencing backed to an enormous online kill list that has been extracted from social media and other websites.

It is a dystopian vision.


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But the technology to realise this is already happening, albeit incrementally.

As Forbes has pointed out, an American patent application was filed by Tel Aviv-based AnyVision back in August 2019. It was to help drones to attain the best angle in order for on-board facial recognition systems to work, and for that drone to reference the shot with a store of faces stored downstream.

In December 2021, AnyVision executives announced that they had partnered in a joint venture called SightX with the Israeli defence company Rafael. Their executives reportedly said that facial recognition features were in development. 

So far, so bad.

But some may say: so what? Surely it is better to have drone systems that are programmed only to blow up in the face of a pre-approved target? Particularly considering that, when explosive weapons are used in populated areas, 90% of those killed or injured are civilians, targeted killings sound like a better form of war.

But the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Ignore, for a moment, what the use of distanced assassination drones means for due judicial process, and all the possibilities of extra-judicial killings. Ignore, too, the fact that national intelligence agencies are well known for providing such poor intel that it is far from certain that the ‘right’ faces will be uploaded to their kill lists.

But do consider this concerning development: that if the US have it, then Russia and China – countries that US intelligence chiefs have identified as their main threat – will also have facial recognition-equipped lethal drones. Or at least they will soon.

The outcome of this could be quite profound, not least for what it does to transparency and accountability.

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It does not take long to realise that, if such drones are unleashed in the first hours of war by the enemy, those drones would be programmed to search for the faces of all senior military personnel. Given this threat, a natural and logical response would be wholesale armed forces anonymity.

Facebook posts would be banned. Twitter profiles deleted. Photo ops shunned. The militaries of the developed world would be forced to march quickly into the shadows.

Worryingly, this would lead to a great shutting down of transparency. In a world in which someone’s face can be weaponised, militaries necessarily have to be faceless. It will become harder and harder to hold individuals to account, as they would be protected by a security right to privacy. 

The decline of accountability is the natural offspring of targeted warfare. 

If you know my face, the logic goes, you will hunt me down and kill me – so, I won’t let you know my face. But the entire basis of due legal process in liberal democracies is about identifying the accused. And, if the accused cannot be identified, then prosecutions for matters such as war crimes or murder will be more difficult to levy. Generals will become anonymous. Commanders will wear masks.

This might also create problems of morale. The public praise of the battle hero will no longer be possible. Anonymity does not lend itself towards propaganda-fuelled medal ceremonies. 

This may also lead to ‘softer’ targets being acquired by the enemy. Politicians, healthcare chiefs, trauma medics, fire service personnel, police officers – their faces may be targeted. Total War might be waged because Face-Targeted War cannot be fought against soldiers wearing balaclavas.

Sadly, perhaps this is all simply inevitable. Technology’s blind impetus is already moving to this logical position. But, what humans can make, humans can unmake – so just as the systems are programmed to recognise our faces, perhaps we should quickly recognise that the face of this violent future is the furthest from a defence utopia that some imagine.

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Prime Minister Dutton Promises To Not Wash Anyone’s Hair But May Strangle Their Puppy

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/02/2022 - 8:18am in

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Politics, China

Australia’s Minister for the Dark Arts Peter Dutton has been telling colleagues that if they give him the Prime Ministership he will not wash anyone’s hair, however, he will not promise to stop strangling people’s puppies.

”The Dark Lord has been on the phones over the weekend trying to shore up numbers to bring on a spill,” said a Government Insider. ”He does bring a lot to the table, especially the promise to not wash any random person’s hair.”

”Sure, his habit of strangling puppies doesn’t play well in all electorates, but it does poll highly in Queensland.”

When asked if the party would seriously consider changing leaders this close to an election, the Government Insider said: ”Well, if we’re not going to change leaders what are we going to do for the next four months, govern?”

”The Australian people know that Governments don’t really do much this close to an election anyway so why not change up the leadership.”

”Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go out and purchase some fresh puppies for the Dark Lord.”

Mark Williamson

@MWChatShow

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MPs Raise Concerns as Government’s Reliance on Controversial Foreign COVID Testing Firm Continues

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 05/02/2022 - 2:00am in

MPs Raise Concerns as Government’s Reliance on Controversial Foreign COVID Testing Firm Continues

John Lubbock investigates why domestic lateral flow test manufacturers are still being left out in the cold by the Government

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At least £980 million worth of lateral flow tests (LFTs) were ordered in the last four months of 2021 from companies that rely heavily on Chinese supply chains, an investigation of Government contracts by the Byline Intelligence Team has revealed. 

Such reliance on Chinese-made testing kits, despite it being more than two years since COVID-19 first emerged in Wuhan, raises questions about why the UK appears to be reluctant to support the production of domestically-produced LFTs – with opposition MPs accusing the Government of “stifling” British manufacturers.

In December 2021, at the height of the Omicron wave, there was a national shortage of LFTs – the home-applied tests that form a core part of the national ‘Test and Trace’ system. In response, the Government spent hundreds of millions on lateral flow tests over the New Year from foreign firms, which use foreign production lines, to meet an “urgent and unforeseeable” demand – despite the fact that UK-manufactured LFTs have been readily available for more than a year. 

One company awarded at least £752 million in three new testing contracts in December 2021, for instance, was Innova Medical Group. Innova was already the single-biggest winner of UK Government contracts during the Coronavirus pandemic. Innova is an American company and its tests are almost entirely produced in China. 

These newly-awarded contracts take Innova’s total income to £4.5 billion from the UK Government during the crisis – equivalent to the 2020 budgets of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (£2.1 billion) and the Foreign Office (£2.4 billion) combined.

Due to commercial confidentiality, it is not possible to find out how many LFTs the UK has bought from Innova.


Confusion Over Recording andEnforcing of ‘Day Two’ Tests
John Lubbock

Such an over-reliance on a single company, though, raises concerns about supply chain integrity.

In March 2021, Innova was forced to recall almost 80,000 tests in the US due to a “risk of false test results”. The Food and Drug Administration issued a statement “warning the public to stop using the Innova Medical Group… test for diagnostic use”, adding that it had “significant concerns that the performance of the test has not been adequately established, presenting a risk to health”.

Despite such concerns, following a June 2021 review by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK Government decided to continue sourcing LFTs from Innova.

Although it is not known how much Innova has made in profits on its UK contracts (private US companies do not have to file public accounts), Dr Charles Huang, CEO of Pasaca Capital, which owns Innova, donated considerable amounts of money to external causes in 2021.

In September, the University of Strathclyde announced that it had received its largest ever donation from an individual. £30 million of this £50 million gift to the university will go towards a new building named after Dr Huang. Dr Huang has also donated $40 million to Wuhan University, in the city where he was born and grew up. A news item paid for by the Charles Huang Foundation said that the money, “will be used to support six programmes named after Innova Medical Group Inc and Pasaca Capital”.

Innova’s lucrative contracts have also helped one British firm. Disruptive Nanotechnology, which was in debt at the end of 2019, made profits of £20.5 million last year, helping to secure Innova’s LFT contracts.

The Domestic Market

Some argue that such shortages could be averted if there was a greater plurality of supply options of LFTs, including sourcing the testing kits from British supplies.

Professor Prashant Yadav, a supply chain expert at INSEAD, told Byline Times that “building resilience in the supply chain for rapid tests is extremely important” and that “while resilience doesn’t mean having all of rapid test production in the UK, a better balancing of supply is definitely needed”.

“In the short-term it may be seductive for a government procurement team to buy from manufacturers with large capacity who can supply quickly, but that loses track of the medium/long term objectives of building a sustainable manufacturing base,” he added.

Despite such calls to action, a number of UK-based companies that were given funding by the Government to produce LFTs have faced hurdles in getting their products accredited.

The Government’s scientific laboratory at Porton Down has refused to accredit an LFT produced by UK company Mologic, for instance, saying that its LFT had failed its tests. 


COVID Hindsightand Lockdown Parties
Sascha Lavin

Professor Sanjeev Krishna, of St George’s University of London and a consultant to Mologic, said of the rejected tests: “If Porton Down couldn’t get [them] to work then we need a powerful spotlight on this… what are the procedures, how are they being done?”

“What we’re seeing here,” Professor Krishna added, “is some process which is at variance with international processes to passing these tests.”

Opposition MPs who talked to Byline Times also criticised the Government’s inaction on the domestic production of COVID tests.

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper said that “it’s deeply concerning that UK manufacturers may have been overlooked when the Government was handing out large contracts”.

“It becomes clearer every day that we need a truly independent inquiry into the Government’s handling of the pandemic, right now,” the MP added.

Meanwhile, Labour MP Florence Eshalomi said: “It’s two years since the pandemic began and it is unacceptable that the Government is stifling the ability for British manufacturers to support testing. Labour will work with British manufacturers to make sure we always have a supply of tests when we need them.”

A UK Health Security Agency spokesperson told Byline Times: “All tests used by the UK Government must go through a rigorous validation process to ensure they are highly effective at detecting people who are infectious with COVID-19. Manufacturers that are unsuccessful in completing the validation process are not eligible for procurement but we remain committed to supporting British manufacturers and suppliers, wherever possible.”

Innova did not reply to Byline Times’ request for comment.

This article was produced by the Byline Intelligence Team – a collaborative investigative project formed by Byline Times with The Citizens. If you would like to find out more about the Intelligence Team and how to fund its work, click on the button below.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BYLINE INTELLIGENCE TEAM

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