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[00:00:00]

I'm Cyrus. I'm Liz Clayman. I'm Greg Gerard, and this is the Fox News rundown. Tuesday, August 25th, 20-20, I'm X, where the Corona virus outbreak first began, life has returned to normal, but China still must fight off a second wave and no one knows how to properly confirm their covid-19 numbers.

[00:00:22]

These images are basically China's state run media, saying to the Chinese people, nothing to see here. We've gotten all of this under control. The problem is that there's almost no way to independently verify any of this.

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This is the Fox News rundown. Global pandemic.

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China has gone ten days without any local transmission of coronavirus, but is still struggling with imported cases, though the Chinese Communist Party is likely not being completely transparent about outbreaks in the country. Over the next few minutes, you'll get the latest headlines on the global covid-19 outbreak and hear from Dean Cheng, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Starting first in Italy, where daily cases have nearly doubled in the past five days, according to reports, the Italians have around 20000 active cases and are now seen over 200 daily cases.

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Officials do not plan to re-enter lockdowns at this point. Now to Brazil that has seen more than three point six million cases of covid-19 with more than 140000 deaths. The Brazilian government is reportedly stopping Doctors Without Borders from going to help Amazonian tribes who have contracted the virus. The World Health Organization says new cases are stabilizing in Brazil. Finally, in China, officials say some essential workers have been taking a coronavirus vaccine since late July. These workers include doctors and border employees.

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Life is starting to return to normal in Wuhan, where the outbreak first began. And in Beijing, Maheswaran is no longer required outdoors. But are the Chinese being transparent in their apparent coronavirus success?

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About a month ago, we saw flare ups of covid in China, including in Beijing, the capital reportedly out in Xinjiang and elsewhere.

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This is Dean Cheng, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation. The Chinese ascribed all of this to outside influence, whether it was Chinese people returning from overseas or foreign people coming to China. This basically arguing the claim is that there are no cases within China coming from the community. I find that somewhat difficult to believe, but that's what the Chinese are saying and they're sticking to that story. So these images are basically China's state run media saying to the Chinese people, nothing to see here.

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We've gotten all of this under control. Beijing also said that residents of Beijing can now go mask free when they are outside. The problem is that there's almost no way to independently verify any of this. Beijing, as far as I know, is still not cooperating with the WTO. They are not allowing outsiders to come in and separately audit or monitor. And Chinese statistics, certainly on the economic side and the security side have always been viewed with skepticism.

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I'm not sure why we should view their health statistics any more confidently. I want to talk about the size of China because we see the statistics coming out of Europe and countries around the world. And I think that it's hard to put into perspective for many listeners just how many people live there. And when we're talking about the cities like Wuhan, for example, there are millions of people. And when you're not testing everyone in a population and they tried to reportedly do that in Wuhan, but in other cities, like you said, it's tough to independently verify whether or not they've really got it as under control as they're saying.

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So two useful metrics. One, if you are one in a million, there are thirteen hundred of you, 1300 of you in China because China is one point three billion people. The U.S. is about 300 million people, a little more than that. So they are four times the size of the United States in terms of population. The the nation of China physically is about the same size as the United States. Obviously, they don't have West Coast, but broadly speaking, you could overlay the two countries on top of each other.

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So what the Chinese are saying is that in a country with four times the population, they would know whether there were any outbreaks. In Pocatello, Idaho, Bar Harbor, Maine. San Antonio, Texas. Clearwater, Florida. They would know and they are saying with absolute certainty there are no new cases. So it's difficult to take them at their word when they're trying to be that specific and and claim they have it that under control. You and I had talked before about some of the security moves China was making as a result of this pandemic.

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And while global attention was elsewhere, the Chinese were trying to make some serious what appeared to be diplomatic spats at first, but then turned into real military action. What's the latest on the South China Sea and how the Chinese are posturing amid this pandemic in the South China Sea? Things are. Pretty much where they have been for a while, which is they are moderately tense, the Chinese continue to they've stop island building mostly because they've finished building the islands that they were going to.

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But there are still military garrisons on these islands. It's an interesting contrast with what President Xi promised President Obama in 2015 at a Shiogama summit. He said that the Chinese leader said that he would not militarize the South China Sea. We are watching them deploy military forces to them. And the Chinese basically said that's not militarization, that's self-defense. It's an interesting definition. This week there was a very interesting photograph taken by Planet Labs that showed a Chinese submarine going into an underground underwater cliff facility on Hainan Island, which is much further north.

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But it's a reminder of just how far China has gone in terms of building massive, expensive infrastructure to hide its military capabilities from our satellites, from our aircraft, from our sensors. More broadly speaking, the Chinese continue to push their Southeast Asian neighbors to accept China's claim over what is essentially most of the South China Sea. Interestingly, this year is a RIMPAC year rim of the Pacific Rim. The largest multinational exercises led by the United States and both Singapore and Brunei are participating.

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Brunei is one of the claimants to the Spratly Islands. So you're watching both sides posturing, maneuvering both diplomatically and militarily to try and influence the various players in the region.

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What comes next, in your opinion, and where should the international community be focused? We've seen a lot of reports about how the Chinese could, for example, withhold information or data regarding vaccines in exchange for some of the military agenda items that they would like to see completed without foreign interference. How accurate are those reports and is that where the focus for the international community should be?

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Well, a major U.S. news organization uses a tagline, Democracy dies in darkness. And I would say that not only democracy, but human rights. So I would say that, for example, it should be very worrisome that even the Chinese admit that there's been a major outbreak of covid in Xinjiang where the Chinese have locked up over a million Muslim workers, mostly for the crime of being Muslim and scarily much of the Arab world. It seems, you know, Muslim nations of the Arab world have chosen to turn a blind eye to this.

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The U.S., I think, should be speaking out and saying, we are watching what you are doing and this is wrong. China just sent a bunch of workers to Papua New Guinea and said that they had inoculated them with a covid-19 vaccine. Needless to say, this caused a lot of people by surprise, including the Papua New Guineans who basically stopped the plane and turned it around. But it's an interesting question. What the Chinese are doing with human trials, with how safe is this vaccine, how effective is this vaccine?

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And are they using claims of having vaccinated as a basis for sending people abroad? Again, when we look at how far the covid-19 spread in the first place, with China not locking down, this almost looks like an invitation to to round two, round three of a very dangerous situation. So I think that, you know, it can't be done just by the United States. I think other countries also need to basically make it very clear that China's behavior needs to conform to international standards, not because we're trying to impose our will on China, but because we're not prepared to let them get us sick.

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You've been listening to Dean Cheng, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

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We'll be right back from the Fox News podcast network download and listen to listen to him. I don't believe in government instituted drivers know you as a libertarian driver.

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I think like like the government to say if you can drive or not, like, OK, listen, for example, I have a driver's license. I got lucky on that test. I haven't driven in five years and I still have the license. I get six. I could still get behind the wheel, not my truck.

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To subscribe and listen now by going to Fox News podcasts, dotcom. It seems like from the perspective of the administration during this pandemic, we've also have this parallel story of a trade war with the Chinese ongoing. It seems like it would be a good opportunity to speak out about some of the human rights issues, especially knowing that there are outbreaks in the weaker community and that this is a topic that people can easily digest and understand. The whole world is dealing with the covid-19 outbreak and to think that there are more than a million people in prison and the Chinese are admitting that those prisoners are facing this outbreak, it seems like an opportunity to talk about multiple important topics.

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You would think so. But unfortunately, of course, we are in the middle of a presidential election cycle. I have heard from more than one person. We should instead of criticizing China, we should be criticizing the Trump administration for its handling of covid-19. I've heard other people say I don't care whether China was honest about the information. I do care that Donald Trump is a liar. When you've got people who are basically, you know, it seems almost willing to accept China's version of reality because it will have political benefits.

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It's kind of sad, kind of scary what that says about the state of political discourse and how willing people are to actually criticize China. And I guess my last question would be in the weeks to come and you mentioned the the worry that China will face another outbreak and try to conceal it to some extent in order to appear like they're the front runner in covid-19 recovery. Do you envision that they will move forward and a vaccine regulation process much more quickly on a broader scale, not just sort of these specific groups, but as the Russians have, and then sort of claim that they are ahead of the United States in not only the vaccines, but also treatment for covid-19.

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The U.S. and China are not in the space race. OK, but the U.S. and China and Russia are in a vaccine race. It's the same sadly, it's the same logic that it was in the 1950s and 60s. The nation that first went to the moon was going to demonstrate that its political system, as well as its economic system and its science and technology was simply better today. That is the race for the vaccine to produce a vaccine that will be available that is, above all, safe, which we will probably define differently than the Russians or the Chinese, you know, with verified testing data, et cetera.

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But the nation that produces that vaccine first is going to be able to trumpet its political superiority, its economic superiority and its science and technology superiority. That is absolutely, I think, how the Chinese are looking at it. I think it's why the Russians have announced that they have a vaccine already. Hey, all good to go. And I don't know whether we realize the political stakes behind getting a vaccine that I am more confident. I think that Western American pharmaceutical companies and European ones will hold to higher standards with regards to human testing, with regards to data reliability, with regards to at least think about longer term impacts.

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People may or may not remember the thalidomide babies of the 1950s, the the birth defects that resulted from that particular drug. I'd hate to imagine that an improperly tested vaccine, what it might do if if we're not careful. It's a great point. And I always appreciate your perspective on the broader issues that we face, not only during this pandemic, but security wise and the political spectrum in China. Dean Cheng, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

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Dean, thank you again for your time.

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Thank you again for having me. You've been listening to the Fox News rundown and stay up to date by subscribing to this podcast and Fox News podcasts, Dotcom and for up to the minute news, go to Fox News dot com.