First of all this is not intended as an insult towards the Chinese people but a rebuke towards their government, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), for their handling of the Corona virus which has caused so much damage within and beyond China's borders.
It's now clear that the CCP suppressed information, even prosecuted the local doctors who had discovered this disease and tried to inform the world about it. And they repeated one very big lie - that the virus could not be spread from human to human contact, despite clear evidence within China that this was not true. This lie was repeated by the WHO of the UN, and the rest of the world for the most part took the WHO at their word.
It appears the CCP did this primarily to save face. To maintain the facade to their own population, and the rest of the world that they were still in control of the situation. To prevent unrest and any questioning of their leadership. If this virus had appeared in a democratic country with a government that was accountable to its people, that had the rule of law and protected free speech; could this have happened to the same degree?
No it wouldn't have.