I am, in fact, making no assumptions about the size of the under-reporting factor. Have there been 5,000 deaths? 10,000? 50,000? I have no idea.
You are, however, making the assumption that the chinese government is intentionally
under-reporting. That does imply that the chinese government, on some level, is aware of the real toll (or, at least, has data that diverges from the official data). It seems to me that, aside from the inherent unreliability of COVID-19-related statistics, statistics that have been intentionally manipulated would be subject to a higher degree of underreporting than "natural" data would be.
You must be joking. By saying that it doesn't matter what China's numbers are, you're doing exactly what jr2 and Goober were doing: minimizing the number of deaths, and the extent of the government's failures. jr2 and Goober were doing it with the U.S., and now you're doing it with China.
It doesn't matter whether or not the COVID data from China is accurate or intentionally fuzzed, because COVID is already everywhere. There is, bluntly, much more data available now, from ostensibly more reliable sources, that can be used to inform policy. I mean, the basic claim the chinese government made, through its data, is that travel restrictions, testing and tracing, and quickly ramped-up health care capacity are effective tools in mitigating the outbreak. Is that really so outlandish?
The only thing that matters is what the PRC government is doing to reduce the impact of COVID. Unless there's data to the contrary out there, I think it's useless to assume or speculate about what the PRC is trying to hide from whom; the thing is that, for all its faults, once the PRC decided to actually fight the disease, they did it in a coherent and apparently effective manner from what Kara tells us.
I don't quite know how you think that's anywhere close to what our resident trumpets are trying to do: I don't think I am actually minimizing anything when I try to point out to you that this whole "They must be covering something up, because those official numbers are obvious nonsense" thing you're doing where the only supporting evidence you present are restrictions on social networks and scientific communication and research is, in my humble opinion, just another conspiracy theory that is rooted more in prejudice than in fact.