BEIJING, November 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – China’s president has called for world leaders to introduce Covid-19 digital health passports using QR codes, as part of a plan to restart international travel and to ensure the “orderly flow of personnel.”
President Xi Jinping made the remarks when speaking to the virtual G20 summit this past weekend.
“We need to further harmonize policies and standards and establish ‘fast tracks’ to facilitate the orderly flow of personnel. China has proposed a global mechanism on the mutual recognition of health certificates based on nucleic acid test results in the form of internationally accepted QR codes,” Xi said.
He expressed the wish that more countries would join the endeavour, promising China’s support to the G20 “in carrying out institutionalized cooperation and building global cooperation networks to facilitate the flow of personnel and goods.”
Commenting further, Xi added that Covid-19 “has exposed the deficiencies of global governance.”
“The international community has a keen interest in the post-Covid international order and global governance as well as the future role for the G20,” Xi stated.
China has been operating a QR code system for several months now, with three colours used to denote the level of freedom an individual might have. A green code permits a person the most freedom of movement, whilst an amber code means one must be “quarantined for seven days.” A person with a red code has “to go into government quarantine or self-quarantine for 14-days.”
The Financial Times reported in May, that for users of the system who had a red code, “the police might be called.”
In order to gain one of these health codes, people have to enter their “name, national identity number or passport number, and phone number,” as well as travel history, suspected contact with anyone infected with the virus, and personal symptoms indicative of the virus.
The version used in the city of Beijing, stipulates that users must not only give these details, but also operates on a facial recognition basis.
The Financial Times noted that “Sometimes it feels every transaction — even entering a park — is subject to government approval.”
The New York Times also discovered that the system “appears to share information with the police, setting a template for new forms of automated social control that could persist long after the epidemic subsides.” The paper adds that the police were involved in the development of the system.
President Xi’s comments prompted concerns from the director of Human rights Watch, Kenneth Roth. Roth took to Twitter to write: “Beware of the Chinese government’s proposal for a global QR code system. An initial focus on health could easily become a Trojan Horse for broader political monitoring and exclusion, akin to the dangers associated with China's social-credit system.”
Beware of the Chinese government's proposal for a global QR code system. An initial focus on health could easily become a Trojan Horse for broader political monitoring and exclusion, akin to the dangers associated with China's social-credit system. https://t.co/rKfmCZQ376
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) November 23, 2020
Paul Bischoff, a security analyst who has written on surveillance in cities, previously told the Mail Online: “This is the exact sort of surveillance creep that privacy advocates have warned against since contact tracing apps were first introduced.”
Bischoff continued: “There was always a risk that contact tracing apps would be used beyond their intended purpose, particularly for surveillance. It’s not hard to imagine authorities taking advantage of access to contact tracing data and using it to restrict freedom of movement and assembly.”
QR codes are fast becoming prevalent throughout the world, as the U.K. government is also currently planning for a digital code allowing people to access public events, based on whether they have received a Covid-19 vaccine or not. A government insider stated that such a move would “encourage more people to get vaccinated.”
Earlier in the year, former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, issued his own call for digital IDs to track “disease status” as part of the plans for restarting international travel after the global coronavirus crisis.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have also signalled their own plans to use a phone app in order to keep tabs on Covid-19 vaccine recipients, and to even send daily messages for six weeks after the injection.
Earlier in the year, U.S. Attorney General William Barr referred to Bill Gates’ idea for digital certificates proving vaccination as a “slippery slope in terms of continuing encroachments on personal liberty.”
The first digital passports recording the status of Covid-19 vaccinations have already been issued. The CommonPass was launched in October and allows airline passengers to scan a QR code to give proof of vaccination history.
The CommonPass itself was developed by the Commons Project with help from the World Economic Forum (WEF), under whose guidance top government and corporate leaders gather yearly at the Davos summit in Switzerland to talk about global economic and global governance issues.
As Jeanne Smits wrote for LifeSiteNews in October, “The truth of the matter suggested by this new worldwide app is, of course, that global rules with global implementation will allow control of all potential travelers (from country to country, from city to city) with regard to their Covid-19 status.”