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China’s Coronavirus Pandemic Lack of Transparency: An Interview with Scott Simon Ep 72

By Felicia Lin

A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:

Scott Simon, Professor in the School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies and Co-holder of the Research Chair in Taiwan Studies at the University of Ottawa spoke with us about an article he wrote for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute which served to sound a warning to the global community about China’s lack of transparency. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, several media sources have reported that Chinese authorities alerted the WHO on December 31, 2019, about several cases of pneumonia of unknown cause. China then announced its first death from the Coronavirus on January 11, 2020.

In our conversation, Scott also offered an anthropological perspective on the Coronavirus pandemic by discussing the term anthropocene, which is defined as the period of time during which human activities have had an environmental impact on the Earth regarded as constituting a distinct geological age. He also offered thoughts on what should be taken into consideration as the world begins to look at when to end lockdowns.


Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:

• The March 16th incident in which China flew one of their military jets very close to Taiwan’s airspace at night
• Chinese aggressive behavior since the COVID-19 outbreak towards Taiwan’s outer islands, Taiwan’s main island, Japan and Guam
• Chinese military’s operations during the global COVID-19 pandemic
• How do we really know about what’s going on in China and the PLA
• Does China have its COVID-19 outbreak currently under control
• China’s lack of transparency
• How China has tried to rewrite history and dispute that COVID-19 originated from China
• How China has blocked Taiwan’s WHO membership
• How Taiwan and the WHO have differed in their early responses to COVID-19
• The Free and Open Indo-Pacific foreign policy spearheaded by Japan
• Coronavirus cases on the USS Theodore Roosevelt
• Scott’s perspective as an anthropologist on the COVID-19 pandemic and what considerations should be made as lockdowns are lifted
• How the Western world failed to see the possible impact of the Coronavirus


Related Links:


Professor Scott Simon’s author page on The Center for International  Policy Studies of the University of Ottawa website:


We Must Be on Guard as China Seeks Strategic Advantage: Scott Simon for Inside Policy:


Macdonald-Laurier Institute (Canada’s only truly national public policy think tank based in Ottawa):


The Free and Open Indo-Pacific foreign policy:

The Pandemic Is Turning the Natural World Upside Down:


About the Host

Felicia Lin is the Host and Producer of Talking Taiwan, a podcast which seeks to introduce you to interesting stories connected to Taiwan and the diverse individuals who make up Taiwan’s global community.

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