For at least the past week we’ve been treated to stories from Chinese media about how ‘hero’ leader President Xi Jinping has managed to thwart the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

In fact, as The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, there is quite the propaganda blitz underway in state-controlled media (well, all media in China is ‘state controlled’) to portray the Chinese leader-for-life as legendary for his ‘vision’ and ‘quick actions.’

As Chinese authorities voiced confidence they were containing the country’s coronavirus outbreak, the official Xinhua News Agency meticulously chronicled President Xi Jinping’s personal battle against the epidemic—from visiting front-line medical workers to fielding calls from foreign leaders.

In a glowing article published this past week, the state-run media organization concluded that Mr. Xi’s dedication proved he has a “pure heart like a new-born’s that always puts the people as his number one priority.”

Well then, if the great Xi has corralled coronavirus, why would his Communist government be shutting down flights and train schedules to the country’s largest urban centres?

Because that’s what’s happening, according to The Epoch Times, which has led the way in Western media circles with its honest, accurate virus reporting.

According to the paper, two major cities in Guangdong province recently cancelled most of their flights to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou, which drew new speculation that the cancellations were in response to the ongoing viral outbreak. Also cancelled, according to the paper, were “a large number of passenger train routes” in several large cities around the country.

While the airlines claimed “public security issues” are what caused the cancellations, as usual there were no further details. That said, state-run media did quote an Air China staffer who said that the cancellations “could be related to coronavirus outbreak.”

Most People Will Never See The Virus Coming

If that’s accurate, the only reason we can think of that the great Xi would order such actions is because the virus’ spread isn’t quite as contained as Beijing is leading the world to believe.

Flight-tracking websites noted that nearly all flights from Shenzhen and Guangzhou to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou were cancelled after 5:15 p.m. local time March 5. Additional flights to Tianjin, Nanjing, Shenyang, and other big cities were also cancelled.

Meanwhile, The Epoch Times reported that a top Chinese railway ticketing website published information noting that all passenger trains leaving from Hangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing city, Chengdu in Sichuan province, Zhongshan in Guangdong province, and several other major cities ceased operations March 6.

Granted, one could make the assumption that these efforts, while tied to the virus outbreak, are merely prudent acts aimed at preventing further spread. But that seems extreme, given that Chinese factory production and economic output has already been severely impacted by COVID-19. 

Restricting travel is going to further reduce economic activity, so it’s most likely an extreme measure in reaction to the continued spread of a virus that has already infected tens of thousands of Chinese citizens (if not more).

Also, China hasn’t been honest and open about the virus and its various impacts on society and the economy, especially trade and the global supply chain. It’s one thing for China to claim it’s ‘getting back to work’ and ‘factories are operating at capacity,’ but it’s another to be walking into stores around America and see signs placed by workers that you can’t buy more than a few of certain items because there is a limited supply.

The fact is, the coronavirus could still explode into a massive global pandemic, but thanks to the opaqueness of China and its coronavirus ‘hero,’ Xi, most people will never see it coming.