By Randy YalozCommentary
Greta Samuel, an inspired young London-based Polish artist, last month created and posted an illustration of Chinese leader Xi Jinping opening and offering humanity a gift box with embellished CCP (Chinese Communist Party) viruses floating out and alongside a slogan, “Made in China … No Thanks.”
This innocent-looking yet provocative artwork contains many underlying messages that are critical of the communist regime for its responsibility in the COVID-19 crisis, highlighting its deceitful coverup of the virus’s origin and propagation and finally inciting the rest of the world’s consumers to not buy Chinese-made products in retaliation for this deadly gift.
Little did Samuel know that her work would stir harsh reactions from Chinese communist hardliners. A downpour of insults was quickly followed by death threats against her and her family, to instill fear and force her to take down the post. Since then, she’s gone into hiding and reported these activities to the police.
With the wave of unrest in Hong Kong, recent intelligence reports confirm that the regime in Beijing is increasingly using online bullying, threats, and harassment to silence opposition across the world.
Distraught by CCP’s acts of intimidation, Samuel contacted our law firm and asked for our assistance. As international litigators and ardent advocates of freedom of speech and press, we were inspired by her courage and assured her that she could rely on our support in her different legal battles. While afraid, she’s determined not to yield to CCP pressure. The regime’s borderless reach threatens the pillars of our liberal democracies, silencing the voices of opposition abroad and stifling our long-cherished liberty of expression.
Whether intentional or not, China has largely amplified the morbid repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic that its state-run propaganda denies and misrepresents. Campaigns of disinformation and fake news are disseminated by the CCP across the globe.
Underlying the CCP virus outbreak is Beijing’s disastrous management of an epidemic and possibly its careless manipulation of one of nature’s most dangerous microscopic creatures. Man’s thirst for power always succumbs to nature’s overwhelming force.
Ancient Greek mythology offers precious insight into human nature, power, the fate of gifts, as cleverly depicted in Greta’s illustration.
The Greek god Zeus spared the shrewd titan Prometheus from death and imprisonment for not fighting with the other titans in the war with the Olympians. Zeus entrusted Prometheus with the task of creating man in the image of the gods. To live peacefully together, build cities, and ward off beasts, Zeus also had Hermes give mankind the qualities of justice and conscience. Prometheus then endeavored to further primitive man’s cause and offer the gift of fire and questioned mighty Zeus who, angered, insisted that the destiny of man must remain in his hands and such a feat would spell danger for the gods.
In his interrogation of Prometheus, Zeus reminded him that every gift carries with it a penalty, weaving fates and destiny by which gods and man alike must abide. Instinctively, Zeus feared more the crafts that fire taught in man’s hands: warfare. He always sought to preserve his authoritarian rule, but Prometheus tricked Zeus and later obtained fire for man. Furious, Zeus would endlessly inflict punishment upon Prometheus for his wrongdoing.
From then on, man would live in and endure the hostility of the gods.
Like Zeus, the CCP has reigned with an iron fist over the Chinese people, repelling any initiative to spur freedom of speech in Chinese society. CCP propaganda spreads the word of its oppressive vision of truth and happiness—which each Chinese citizen must willingly or otherwise adopt or face persecution, imprisonment, and even death.
Mistakenly thinking the CCP could, like the Greek gods, control or transform the forces of nature such as fire and wind to harness their powers, it accidentally or intentionally unleashed the fiery rage of the COVID-19 virus, as in Samuel’s portrayal of the poisonous gift given to all mankind, wreaking havoc across the planet.
Now, as Zeus had forewarned, the fate of the CCP and the Chinese people have become intricately intertwined into the destiny of all the other nations, and vice versa.
President Donald Trump is rallying America’s allies to seek reparation for the human and economic toll the CCP caused because of its coverup and withholding of information. Our leaders will bear the responsibility to take appropriate and proportional measures to seek compensation from the CCP and limit long-term economic dependence in strategic sectors and the risk of new COVID-19 or similar outbreaks in the future.
Likewise, in the way that Zeus was apprehensive about offering the gift of fire to man, today’s fire in communist China is the much-feared natural right of free men and women—the gift of free speech—that the CCP so ferociously opposes.
This modern-day fire, of the sort that Zeus and other Greek gods dreaded in ancient times, could be used and crafted to threaten their reign, is so fiercely combated by the communist regime that it uses its army of agents to fight the flames of liberty of expression, even against a young illustrator.
This artist finds much of her inspiration in her Christian faith. The Bible has been the cornerstone of Western Christian society for centuries. Its wisdom has enlightened generations in the quest for spiritual truth. During Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Poland last year to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II, he emphasized the importance of upholding all freedoms in our liberal democracies and cited a pertinent Bible passage: “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17).
Inversely, where liberty of expression is undermined, there is no place for God and no religious freedom. Communist China serves as a contemporary example; its crackdown on free speech is synonymous with its persecution of religious minorities.
In the aftermath of China’s coverup that magnified the devastating impact of the coronavirus on rich and poor nations alike, Samuel’s savvy artwork will encourage individuals to act against the CCP for its destructive health policies implemented to preserve and spread its domination at home and abroad at any cost. Each consumer can and will likely think twice before purchasing products that are “Made in China” and may simply say, “No Thanks,” as she eloquently portrayed.
Inspired, supporters of Hong Kong demonstrators have already posted the illustration across social media.
Her action symbolizes this fight. We have a duty to stand behind her and others like her if we intend to offer today’s liberties to our future generations in our liberal democracies.
Randy Yaloz is a Paris-based American and French attorney and litigator, and founder and managing partner of Euro Legal Counsel Group.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.