Wuhan conspiracy theories aside, diplomatic traction is the reward.
A week or two ago we wrote an article "Conspiracies & Ripples" which focused primarily on conspiracy theories and kicked off with the rather obvious statement that a conspiracy theory is simply a theory without the facts i.e. just a theory. Within that we highlighted that ‘flavour of the month’ theorist’s delight, the origins of the Coronavirus and its links to Wuhan. This echoed our views published in February which, as many did, ponder the chances of this remote coincidence maybe actually being true. Since then there have been swathes of articles on the topic citing all sort of sources and from numerous ‘renowned’ scientists. We have also recently had the opinions offered by those whose opinions really count, that this virus originating from the labs in Wuhan may not actually be so far-fetched after all.
We do tend to agree, or at least we did. That was then and this is now and in the world of Politics things move quickly and one does have to look at the reality of the situation. If there is enough fog between you and your destination, then sometimes the route you take can change, leaving you all sorts of options. If the objective was originally to circumnavigate through uncertain waters to establish who, what, why and when the virus came about – then that is now lost in the fog. It is arbitrary. Now we have something that is far more concrete and tangible to use to our advantage – we have uncertainty. We now have enough debate and conspiracy to render the findings of the scientists open to interpretation. And that… is a diplomat’s dream come true. This particular carcass will feed many and although the WHO will go in, on the ground, and no doubt find yet more uncertainty…it really is irrelevant. You will certainly not find individual government’s chomping at the bit to send their representatives into Wuhan anytime soon, and even if they did, why? Wuhan is not some sleepy suburb in leafy Northamptonshire… it is in China. Whatever was there has long gone, if indeed it was ever even there. So perhaps it would be wise to assume that at least for the next few decades this is a conspiracy that will never find out those salient facts.
Now, listening to the scientists, there is an overwhelming urge to say, “shush now”. Step back ladies and gentlemen and look at the bigger picture at play. Nobody is actually interested whether or not the virus started in Wuhan, intentionally or not. As long as it is open to debate, it is far more valuable. The scientists have debated at length and argued, but there is still no unequivocal proof either way that satisfies all parties…and why could that be? Scientific fact is not open to debate or questioning, that is a given. However, to say Science is correct, is not true. That is because Science has Scientists, and Scientists are human beings who in turn are fallible and motivated by many many other factors. In China for example, one might say that scientific fact is exactly what they want it to be. Indeed, who is to say it ends in China.
So why is uncertainty such a blessing in this case? It provides an additional bargaining chip and a weapon in the armoury for all Governments to now use against the Chinese. Maybe on the other side of the fence their own initial conspiracy theory that a foreign Government (the US) planted the virus in their midst, is being written about in their own press. Or maybe not. The fact is it is a safe bet to assume that no body will ever know. There will be no compensations or admissions of guilt in this case sadly…however the capillaceous network that is politics, diplomacy and economic negotiations will be the real beneficiaries.