CCP Virus Follows Communist China Ties: Bavaria, Germany

In 1633, when the bubonic plague swept through Europe and taking lives from one in four people in an alpine town in Bavaria, Germany, villagers in Oberammergau made a promise to God.

They swore to perform a Passion Play depicting the last weeks of Jesus’s life every 10 years if their lives could be spared.

“And they did that. The first performance took place here in this church,” Pastor Thomas Groener said, adding that nobody else died after that.

Oberammergau kept their promise and staged the play every decade for the past four centuries.

But not the 2020 edition. The show had to be delayed due to the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as the novel coronavirus.

This time, due to the plague coming from the East. Bavaria became the worst-hit area of Germany, which has one of the highest number of confirmed cases in the world.

So what happened to Bavaria and why is the situation there so dire?

We need to start from Bavaria’s “patient zero.”

On Sept. 7, 2019, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in Wuhan, China, cutting the opening ribbon for a new car parts factory by German manufacturer Webasto.

By her side was the mayor of Wuhan, Zhou Xianwang, as well as a large business delegation from Germany.

Three months later, German state Bavaria detected its patient zero of the CCP virus. The virus had come from the very same factory Merkel visited.

The 33-year-old Webasto employee was infected by a Chinese colleague who traveled to Germany for company training.

As of April 14, over 30 thousand residents of Bavaria have contracted the virus. Over 800 have died.

“I say that for Bavaria things are not developing positively,” said Bavaria’s Premier Markus Söder. “We need to now shut down almost entirely for a certain amount of time”

Bavaria is Germany’s largest state and second largest economy.

Its gross regional product is similar to Switzerland’s and is home to many top companies including BMW, Audi, and Siemens.

The booming economy caught the attention of the Chinese Communist Party.

Over the past few decades, using China’s cheap labor and huge market, the Chinese regime successfully intertwined Bavaria’s economy with its own.

China was Bavaria’s biggest trading partner in 2018 and 2019. According to the local Chinese embassy’s website, over 2,000 companies in Bavaria trade with China and over 600 have established offices there, with employees frequently traveling back and forth.

China is also the biggest growth market for Germany’s carmakers. Volkswagen, for example, earns nearly half of its sales revenue in China, according to a New York Times report.

Volkswagon’s chief executive told the outlet that if the company were to pull out of China, half of its 20,000 development engineers in Germany would lose their jobs overnight.

And the carmaker’s ties with China run deeper than trade.

Volkswagen’s luxury car unit, Audi, had a strategic cooperation with China’s military-linked telecommunications company Huawei.

Washington considers Huawei a Trojan horse that spies for China and has warned its allies not to use Huawei. But the tech company has been expanding its influence in Bavaria.

The New York Times reported that Huawei is “a generous sponsor of all mainstream parties, including Bavaria’s governing conservatives.”

And their money might have been well-spent.

Bavaria’s premier has publicly defended Huawei’s bid to supply Germany’s 5G network.

Söder is an influential politician and seen as a potential successor to Merkel when she steps down next year.

An intertwined economy gives China more influence over German decisions.

Last winter, when German officials considered a ban on Huawei, China threatened to retaliate through the car industry, forcing officials to choose between national security and their carmakers.

And it’s not just the carmakers who got tied up with China.

To sell medical equipment and metro trains to China, engineering giant Siemens systematically bribed Chinese health officials. The company was later investigated and fined by the U.S. government.

But Siemens got the contracts and enriched corrupt Chinese officials like Jiang Miankang, son of former Communist leader Jiang Zemin.

New York-based pro-democracy journal “Beijing Spring” reported that Jiang started helping Siemens get Chinese contracts 20 years ago, when he worked for its China bureau.

The cost of the corruption ultimately fell on Chinese patients and taxpayers.

Bavaria is renowned for its higher education institutions, and the Chinese regime has been active there too, seeking partnerships with its universities such as setting up Confucius Institutes.

The state-funded language center is used to push Chinese Communist Party narratives around the world.

The institute in Munich, for example, frequently organizes trips to China for local German officials to promote its Belt and Road initiative.

Human rights debates are not allowed at the institutes; lecturers are not allowed to talk positively about Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline persecuted in China; and they have to agree that Taiwan is part of China.

There are three Confucius Institutes in Bavaria. Critics worry that “German universities are at risk of becoming mouthpieces for the Chinese Communist Party” by complying with its censorship.

In an interview with German media DW, Michael Lackner, the head of the Sinology department at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, said that “Confucius Institutes are not necessarily the right place for debates on touchy subjects like Tibet.”

Over the past decades, politicians and businesses in Bavaria have built an increasingly close relationship with a regime that threatens the German state’s economic independence, national security, and freedom of speech; a regime known for burning Bibles, jailing Christians, and tearing down churches, and with arguably the worst record for persecuting people of faith.

When the virus came, Bavaria was the first state to announce a state of emergency.

As the CCP virus pandemic continues, what will be the fate of Oberammergau, Bavaria, and Germany?

Pastor Groener remains hopeful that 17th century vow may once again save them from the virus.

“God helped the people back then,” he said. “He saved them from the plague epidemic, spared them. That continues similarly to today. We are in this corona crisis, but a religious person who prays to God asks him for help. He has confidence in God that he will help. And I am absolutely certain that God is there for people and stands by them and saves them, just like back then.”

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