The group of international signatories includes concerned political leaders as well as some of the world’s leading authorities on Chinese politics, law, and modern history. They describe the Communist Party government’s cover up of COVID-19 as “China’s Chernobyl moment” 2/40
Among the noticeable public figures who have signed the open letter are Damian Collins MP (House of Commons, UK), Lord Andrew Adonis (House of Lords, UK), Lord Alton of Liverpool (House of Lords, UK), 3/40
Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata (fmr Italian Foreign Minister), Irwin Cotler (fmr Canadian Minister of Justice), Rt Hon Norman Baker (fmr UK Home Affairs minister), as well as numerous members of the European, Australian, Czech, Estonian, and Lithuanian Parliament. 4/40
Various senior security analysts and China watchers have signed the letter, too: Anne-Marie Brady (Global Fellow, Kissinger Institute on China and the US, Wilson Center, USA; Professor in Political Science and International Relations, University Canterbury, NZ), 5/40
Geremie R. Barmé (Historian, Professor Emeritus, The Australian National University), Aaron L. Friedberg (Professor, Princeton University), Jeffrey Wasserstrom (Professor, University of California, Irvine), William A. Callahan (Professor of International Relations, LSE), 6/40
Michael B. Yahuda (Professor Emeritus, LSE; Visiting Scholar, George Washington University), Jean-Pierre Cabestan (Professor, Hong Kong Baptist University), and Jerome A. Cohen (Founding Director, US-Asia Law Institute, New York University), to name a few. 7/40
The open letter is hosted by three leading security policy think-tanks, the Ottawa-based Macdonald Laurier Institute, the London-based Henry Jackson Society and the Prague-based European Values Center for Security Policy. 8/40
I hereby disclose that I was chief editor of the open letter. I also translated it into Chinese. My heartfelt thanks to the distinguished signatories for standing in solidarity with courageous and conscientious Chinese citizens who are willing to speak truth to power. 9/40

"The current global crisis has been caused by the regime so many of you have been tolerating or supporting for decades." 10/40
"They stated that '(at) this stage of the pandemic, the exact source and origin of COVID-19 remain undetermined, but these questions are unimportant ..." 12/40
"... and finger pointing is demeaning and hurtful to everyone'. They also argued against what they alleged is the politicizing of the epidemic." 13/40
"... and the nauseating adulation that the system heaps on itself via shameless pro-Party hacks who chirrup hosannahs at every turn'." 15/40
"... and instead to 'rage against this injustice; let your lives burn with a flame of decency; break through the stultifying darkness and welcome the dawn'." 17/40
"While the exact source and spread of the virus are not clear yet the question of origin is highly important, for the people of China and for all mankind: ..." 18/40
"The roots of the pandemic are in a cover-up by CCP authorities in Wuhan, Hubei province." 20/40
"The Chinese entrepreneur Ren Zhiqiang wrote that 'without a media representing the interests of the people by publishing the actual facts, ..." 26/40
"... the people’s lives are being ravaged by both the virus and the major illness of the system.' He disappeared on March 12." 27/40
"Mainland China’s political malaise goes beyond the leadership failure of Xi Jinping. In a recent video message a young student called Zhang Wenbin reflected on his evolution from an uncritical CCP supporter to a critical citizen with a conscience: ..." 29/40
"'Since I scaled the Great Firewall, I gradually came to the realization that the Chinese Communist Party has extended its dragon claws into every corner of the world, including collective farming [1950s], the Cultural Revolution [1966-1976], ..." 30/40
"... the Great Famine [1958-1961], the One-Child Policy, the Tiananmen massacre [1989], as well as the persecution of the Falun Gong [spiritual movement], and the peoples of Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang…" 31/40
"... Yet everyone continues to turn a blind eye, singing the party's praises. I just can't bear it'." 32/40
"Zhang disappeared shortly after recording his message. His friends fear he will face interrogation and torture by the secret police." 33/40
"The global pandemic forces us all to confront an inconvenient truth: by politicizing all aspects of life including people’s health, continued autocratic one-party rule in the People’s Republic of China has endangered everyone." 34/40
"Rather than trusting the CCP’s intentions and accepting establishment academics’ uncritical approval of the party-state’s policies, we should pay greater attention to the voices of what can be termed ‘unofficial’ China." 35/40
"These independent-minded academics, doctors, entrepreneurs, citizen journalists, public interest lawyers and young students no longer accept the CCP’s rule by fear. Neither should you." 36/40
"As an international group of public figures, security policy analysts and China watchers we stand in solidarity with courageous and conscientious Chinese citizens including Xu Zhangrun, Ai Fen, Li Wenliang, Ren Zhiqiang, ..." 37/40
"... Chen Qiushi, Fang Bin, Li Zehua, Xu Zhiyong, and Zhang Wenbin, just to name a few of the real heroes and martyrs who risk their life and liberty for a free and open China." 38/40
"Their individual voices are already forming a chorus. They demand nothing less than a critical evaluation of the impact of CCP policies on the lives of Chinese citizens and citizens around the world. We urge you to join them." 39/40
"We are reprinting the following open letter signed by scholars of China and senior political figures as part of ‘Viral Alarm’, a China Heritage series related to the 2019-2020 Covid-19 crisis and the dilemmas confronting China and the world."
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