If you care about truth at all, the treatment of Li Wenliang should haunt you.

"We all knew" China was silencing critics. "We all knew" that was bad. But the latest international pandemic was allowed to fester and explode onto the international scene because, upon hearing the warnings of a cluster of infections in Wuhan, Chinese authorities started a massive coverup.

They started what they normally do – call someone in for questioning, tell them their rumors are making people scared and disturbing the peace. Tell them that the government takes all threats to the public order very seriously, and if you don't recant, your life will be ruined. And then they ruin your life if you don't.

The Chinese government is known for preferring engineers or similar in the party. But the institution is fundamentally (at best) indifferent to truth-finding, as they've taken the task of social authoritarianism to its near maximal point. China has issues with pollution, street defecation, 'gutter oil', etc. They want to be seen as cleaner, because they think their role is more secure with the perception they're doing their jobs well. So anyone who says things are bad can be punished – they oppose a goal the government has decided is critical.

The Chinese Communist Party thinks respect for traditional Chinese culture is important. So it makes some high schools require you learn old school martial arts, sure. It also uses the massive power of their life-crushing machine to threaten anyone who undermines their mission.

Take Xu Xiaodong (徐晓冬), who did a lot to make MMA popular in China. These days he's mostly famous for how systematically his life was ruined by the Chinese Communist Party because he doesn't like scammers, promising to help people defend themselves, but actually teaching them some Qi-related quackery. So he gets in a ring with these so-called Kung Fu masters, and essentially instantly destroys them. His home was taken from him. He can't get on planes or trains. He's being humiliated by the government, forced to wear clown make-up in his matches and then they attempt (and fail) to rig the matches. He's been fined so many times I'm amazed he can keep living, after they pressured him to be kicked out of his dojo.

The Chinese government is a serious asshole about this.

And this institutional defence of falsehood has a body count, now that the Coronavirus has spread. If you want the densest injustice in the world, look to North Korea. But if you're interested in the largest aggregate amount of injustice, look at China. Trading any moment to be a moral leader away for minor trade disputes massively misunderstands the moral gravity of their system. Any system that can ruin someone's life for pointing out a true fact about martial arts – and not be widely criticized for it internationally – is an extreme danger to freedom all over the globe.