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China’s Zero-COVID Strategy: Part II

The CCP’s “Soft Weapons” in Controlling Citizens

By: Huai Ning(怀宁)

Over the last two years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated a strict “Zero-COVID” strategy. It has implemented complete lockdowns and quarantines with repeated mandatory COVID testing. This complete lockdown strategy has created many humanitarian crises in China, as exemplified in Shanghai recently.(1)

However, for the policy makers and social study researchers, a question is worth asking: How has the CCP been able to enact such a policy, while the free world has not been able to?

The secret to enforce the “Zero-COVID” approach is the CCP’s complete control over the Chinese populace. The virus is invisible and does not take orders from the authorities, so the CCP chooses to focus on what it can control: the people of China. Over the past several decades, the CCP has built a massive, systematic, prison-like infrastructure for controlling the Chinese people, and this system has been fully utilized and further expanded during the pandemic.

One may also ask why the CCP sticks to the “Zero-COVID” approach over the alternative, coexisting with the virus, which creates much fewer humanitarian disasters. The answer is that the CCP has an innate fear of COVID. This fear is not driven by its care for the Chinese people or by its desire to save them from suffering. Rather, the virus represents a threat to the CCP’s grip on power. Indeed, many Chinese people have become fed up with the CCP’s tyrannies and do not have much tolerance for the regime’s mistakes. An explosion in COVID-related deaths could lead to a wave of public outcry, shaking the CCP’s grip on power, and so the CCP will do anything it can to suppress the virus in China.

However, when it comes to controlling the spread of the virus, the practicality and effectiveness of the CCP’s lockdowns are questionable, especially given how highly transmissible the Omicron variant is. This being said, in this article we will not discuss the merits or flaws of the lockdown approach from an epidemiological perspective. Instead, we take a sociological view of the CCP’s population-control mechanisms.

Part I of this series discussed the “hard weapons” employed by the CCP’s regime for controlling and monitoring of the populace. These include the regime’s power at all levels of state and local governments, the military and police, as well as its unique mechanisms such as the urban administrators and the grid administrators.

This article, Part II in the series on “Zero-COID”, discusses the CCP’s “soft weapons”: state-run media, online censors, web commentators tasked with creating fake news, and high-tech solutions such as the mandatory “Health Code” smartphone app. Together, tools turn the country into something like a massive prison, forcing “cooperation” of the Chinese people.


IV. The CCP’s “Soft Weapons”

IV – A. The CCP’s “Pen”

The CCP controls all media in China. The party’s Central Propaganda Department sets the tone for reporting and publishing, while the National Radio and Television Administration oversees the radio, television, movies, and publishing industries. To control the internet, the CCP has created a special cyberspace administration. That office has dual titles: “The CCP Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission” and “The State Internet Information Office” (SIIO). These two affiliations of one entity, one reporting to the CCP Central Committee and one to the State Council (the government), ensure the party’s control over the Internet and legitimize its power administratively.

China’s major media outlets, including the People’s Daily, the Xinhua News Agency, and China Central Television (CCTV) are controlled by the CCP. Local CCP Party Committees or governments also own certain media companies. There is no purely-private media in China whatsoever. Internet and social media companies, such as WeChat, Weibo, are privately owned, but they have to follow the CCP’s strict direction and set up their own censoring teams so that they can proactively remove postings contradicting the tone set by the CCP’s propaganda office.

While people in the West enjoy freedom of speech, the Chinese people can hear only one voice – that of the CCP. Any stories or comments that could have a negative effect on the “glorious” image of the CCP are “harmonized” (cleansed). When the media give reports, they focus on the positive aspects of the story so as to glorify the CCP, minimizing the negative side or denouncing undesirable news (e.g. protests or mass incidents) as being rumors.

Sometimes the media cooperate directly with other government entities to manufacture news about fake events so as to deceive the public. This can be used to rouse public animosity against a group or an idea targeted by the CCP. For example, the staged Tiananmen Square self-immolation was used to incite hatred against Falun Gong, a spiritual practice in the Buddhist tradition that espouses the core tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. On January 23, 2001, five people posing as Falun Gong practitioners lit themselves on fire at Tiananmen Square. CCTV immediately broadcasted the video to the public, leading many Chinese people to believe that Falun Gong promotes suicide, and inciting hatred against Falun Gong practitioners. A careful analysis revealed that the incident was a setup – it was a collaboration between the police and the CCTV’s video  CCTV crew. The video shows police officers and fire fighters arriving with fire extinguishers seconds right after immolation started, however, on a normal day not a single fire extinguisher was in sight on Tiananmen Square. The video also shows many close-up views, indicating that cameramen were prepared for the event, standing right in front of those actors who set themselves on fire. Furthermore, those actors were not even Falun Gong practitioners. A Washington Post reporter visited the town of Liu Chunling, who died during the incident. In interviews with Liu’s neighbors, the reporter learned that “none ever saw her practice Falun Gong.” {2} In fact, Falun Gong is against suicide.

The background of the staged self-immolation is that then-CCP-head Jiang Zemin launched a persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, with the goal of eliminating Falun Gong within three months. This was unsuccessful as, by the end of 2000, millions of people were still persisting in practicing Falun Gong (despite tens of thousands of practitioners having been put in jail). The failure of the regime’s persecution efforts is what motivated the police collaborated with the CCTV to forge the self-immolation incident; to make Chinese people hate and fight against Falun Gong practitioners.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCTV and other major media in China have tried their best to broadcast the CCP’s messages to the Chinese people. The initial strategy to address the COVID outbreak in Wuhan was to hide the information; in the early days, the media focused on helping the Chinese authorities to attack whistle blowers Dr. Li Wenliang and Dr. Ai Fen, saying that they were spreading rumors.

Later, within 25 hours of the initial lockdown of Wuhan, an online article began to circulate in China and in the overseas Chinese media. This article told a story of the Eyam villagers who, during the Great Plague of London (1665 – 1666), were hit by the virus and decided to isolate themselves so as to save others from the virus. Although the villagers all perished from the plague, the result of their decision to isolate was that the bubonic plague was blocked from entering Scotland. The online story praised the Eyam villagers for being willing to sacrifice themselves to the benefit of other people. {3} Obviously, the article had a hidden agenda with the right timing: To encourage Chinese people, especially those locked in Wuhan, to follow the example of Eyam villagers, sacrificing themselves as to contain the spread of COVID-19. This article was widely distributed among all major Chinese newspapers and social media, such as Weibo and WeChat. Strangely, this great, “positive energy” article was from a mysterious author named “Walking between strange roads.” It is unknown what other works the author has published or where the author published this Eyam Village article initially.

During the initial lockdown of Wuhan, this article may have inspired the city’s residents as well as the 346 medical teams and 42,000 medical staff from 29 provinces and cities that the CCP ordered to go to Wuhan as volunteers. Soon after the authorities acknowledged the pandemic, Chinese media became busy reporting on how great these volunteers were, and how brave they were under the great leadership of the CCP.

IV – B. The CCP’s Cyber Control

To affect controlling over cyber space, the CCP employs Cyber Police, Net Commentators, and the Youth Net Army. These forces enable controlling over the web both inside and, to some extent, outside of China.

Beijing’s Cyber Police consist of staff from the Ministry of State Security as well as from the Ministry of Public Security. These police operate a “Golden Shield” system, which automatically filters the Internet, blocking Chinese people off from information that the CCP does not want them to access. The Cyber Police also monitor all the cyber activities of Chinese citizens, both inside China and overseas. They can quickly delete any unwanted posts on China’s cyber space and trace content on the web back to the person who originally posted it.

For example, a Weibo user posted an article about how people had different opinions from the authorities’ guidance on sorting and classifying trash. As a result, policemen harassed him multiple times beginning on the next day. {4}

The CCP cyber police’s long arm even reaches outside of China. For example, a male Chinese student who studied in Canada was harassed after registering a Twitter account using a fake name and female gender. After he re-posted three tweets from others, which touched on the CCP’s human rights violation and corruption, the Chinese cyber police called him and threaten him over the phone. The police also harassed his parents in China. {5}

There are about two million net commentators spread throughout the country of China. For example, there are more than 2,000 net commentators in Fudan University in Shanghai alone. These net commentators are sometimes called the “50 Cents Party (五毛党)” members because in the past they were paid 50 cents for every article they posted to support the CCP’s “main theme.” These days, the reward system for them is more complicated. In addition to their salaries, they are awarded stipends based on how many posts they create and how much influence those posts have.

The CCP’s Cyber Security and Information Committee recruits and trains these net commentators to write and post comments that distract the public’s attention from sensitive events or to create and spread rumors that influence public opinion in a way beneficial to the CCP.

For example, on March 12, 2020, CCP’s spokesman Zhao Lijian tweeted that “Maybe the U.S. military brought the pandemic to China.” Soon after, net commentators in China began circulating many articles on Chinese social media supporting the argument made in that tweet; this led many Chinese people to believe that the coronavirus originated in the United States, not in China.

Recently, Ryan Fedasiuk, a researcher at Center for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University, disclosed that China has a Youth Net Army consisting of about 20 million volunteers. Indoctrinated by the CCP’s propaganda, these youth volunteers actively post lots of pro-CCP comments and articles online; they believe what they are doing is good for their country and for the Chinese people. Given the flood of fake postings on the web in China, it is hard to tell which opinions truly represent the voice of the Chinese people, and which ones are just noise.

IV – C. The CCP’s “Health Code App,” a High-Tech Tool

In the wake of the COVID pandemic, CCP developed a “Health Code” smartphone app, which is mandatory for everyone to install on their mobile phones. Used for tracking COVID-19 cases, this app displays one of three colors indicating the COVID exposure status of the phone’s owner. When the app’s display is yellow or red, the phone holder is barred from entering facilities, not to mention taking flights, trains, buses, or taxies. (Please see Part I of this series for further details on the Health Code).

Ostensibly, the authorities use high-tech algorithms and big data (including mobile phone location tracking and automatic contact tracing) to set each individua’s Health Code app color. Given that the authorities can control the app’s color, however, in practice this means that individuals’ health codes can be changed for punitive reasons.

The CCP has used the Health Code app to abuse human rights attorneys, political dissidents, and others who they do not like. For example, lawyer Mr. Xie Yang in Changsha City, Hunan Province was a friend of Zhang Zhan. Zhang Zhan had been arrested for going to Wuhan to do reporting on true situation during the Wuhan lockdown (see more details in section V – B). Mr. Xie planned to go to Shanghai on November 5, 2021, to visit Zhang’s mother. He bought an airplane ticket online, but very soon two police officers visited him and asked him to cancel the trip. Mr. Xie refused. The next morning, he found his Health Code suddenly turned from green to red at 5:29 am, stopping him from taking the flight at 7:55 am. Mr. Xie had not left Changsha and Changsha had no COVID cases for a while. The only logical explanation for his Health Code turning red was that the authorities manually employed it to stop him from going to Shanghai.

On January 4, 2022, Xi’an government changed the rules for the Health Code App: Instead of using yellow to indicate that a person had possible exposure to a COVID patient, the government set the code to yellow for those that had not taken a COVID PCR test. The government of Zhengzhou City, Henan Province followed suit. In a video speech, an officer said that if a citizen missed two PCR tests, he would get a red color on his Health Code app and would be taken away, facing harsh punishment.


V. How Did the CCP Achieve “Zero-COVID Success”?

Did the CCP really achieved great success in implementing its “Zero-COVID” strategy? The answer has two parts.

On the one hand, the CCP’s fierce lockdown might have worked in some cities when there were only a small number of COVID cases; under such circumstances, locking down an entire community might have stopped the spread. However, after COVID became widespread, locking down an entire city and forcing many people (both infected and uninfected) to quarantine in the same facility could increase the chance for the uninfected to be infected.

This increased chance of exposure does not bother the CCP, as the CCP does not care about humanitarian concerns such as the life or death of its people; its primary concern is its grip on power and its prolonged reign over China. As long as the virus is contained within a given city and does not spread to neighboring regions, the CCP could care less how many people within that one city would pass away. It may even view the death count as having been worth it.

The CCP’s lockdown approach was like amputating a limb when there was only a sore, despite the fact that most of the limb is still healthy.

On the other hand, the CCP has greatly underreported the numbers of infections and deaths, contributing to a rosy illusion in the year of 2020 and 2021 that China had won the battle against COVID “under the party’s leadership” while no other country had succeeded. (However, when it comes to the year 2022, many countries have returned to normal business due to vaccination and community immunity, but the China still struggles with its fierce lockdown.)

The CCP’s handling of the Wuhan and Xi’an lockdown showed us its true “Zero-COVID” work.

V – A. Underreporting on COVID Data

The CCP’s first lockdown of Wuhan was from January 23 to April 8, 2020. The official data published on claimed that 50,333 people had been infected, with 3,869 passing away during the 76-day lockdown.

Netizens pointed out the CCP’s data could not have been real; the death rates exhibited a perfect mathematical pattern: between January 22 and January 24 the mortality rate hovered at exactly 3.1 percent of the total infection count, then dropped to almost exactly 2.1 percent for the five days between January 30 and February 3. Netizens joked that “the virus must be good at math.” In fact, all the hospitals in Wuhan were in great chaos until Beijing sent in 6,200 volunteer doctors and nurses from 13 provinces on February 8. How could the death rate have declined from 3.1 percent to 2.1 percent, following a perfect mathematical pattern, during a time when the hospitals were out of control?

Some accidentally published numbers might have revealed the real numbers. and showed that by January 26, 2020, China already had 15,701 cases of infection and 2,577 deaths – indicating a death of 16.4 percent among the reported infections.

On February 1, 2020, another set of statistics appeared on total of 154,023 cases of COVID and 24,589 resulting deaths had occurred by midnight of that date. The leaked data painted a picture of an infection rate about 10 times higher than that reported by officials, as well as a death count 80 times higher and a mortality rate 16 times higher. These leaked data were a much better match for the numbers estimated by many experts. Though the CCP removed those numbers quickly and denied their validity, many people consider them to be more reliable.

On January 2, 2022, Forbes posted two articles saying that, based on an economist’s model, the overall COVID-19 death rate in China should be about 170 times higher than the numbers reported by the CCP. The article also pointed out that the CCP intentionally underreported the mortality to rebrand itself as the “unequivocal leader in the global fight against the virus.” {6}

V – B. Citizen Journalists Reveal the Real Pandemic Situation in Wuhan

Despite the CCP’s great efforts to hide information about the pandemic, citizens spontaneously posted a lot of short news articles, photos, videos, comments, and other types of content on WeChat, Weibo, and other social media. Four volunteers who functioned as news reporters (and who were thus called “citizen journalists”) posted a lot of documentary reports online, including on foreign media such as on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and so on. These citizen journalists were soon arrested since their reports opposed the CCP’s agenda.

  • The first citizen journalist to report on the Wuhan pandemic was Mr. Fang Bin. On January 24, 2020, he told Voice of America that the number of infected persons in Wuhan was incalculable. A few days later, on February 1, he visited at least five hospitals and found that many infected patients had died before being tested for COVID, resulting in their exclusion from the official COVID death count. At the Wuhan No. 5 hospital, he made a video recording showing eight dead bodies being carried out of the hospital within five minutes and an additional two body bags left behind in the hospital. Fang posted his video on YouTube, which prompted a visit from the police that evening. They seized his mobile phone and laptop computer and took him to a police station. Due to pressure from the public, the police released him shortly thereafter. Mr. Fang continued reporting his discoveries every day from February 4 to February 10, when the police broke into his home and arrested him again. His family has not seen him or received any official legal document since the arrest.
  • Chen Shiqiu was a lawyer who became a citizen journalist. On January 24, 2020, Chinese New Year’s eve, Chen went to Wuhan to document the budding pandemic. He received many warning phone calls from the police, and eventually he was taken away by a security team on February 6. After being imprisoned without trial for almost 20 months, he reappeared in public on September 30, 2021. He was ordered not to mention his case in public.
  • Li Zehua was another citizen journalist who went to Wuhan in the early days of the pandemic. He resigned from his position as a CCTV news anchor so that he could cover and report on events without needing to follow the CCP’s regulations. Li visited funeral facilities and some communities in Wuhan, and he even tried to investigate the Wuhan Virology Institute. What he did terrified the CCP; the authorities quickly arrested him on February 26, 2020.
  • Miss Zhang Zhan was another citizen journalist who had also previously been a lawyer. She went to Wuhan on February 1, 2020, and made numerous posts on Twitter and YouTube about what she saw in hospitals and funeral facilities as well as what she learned about the Wuhan Virology Institute. She was arrested on May 14, 2020 and sentenced to four years in prison on November 22, 2020.
  • In a work called “Wuhan Diary,” a female Chinese writer named Fang Fang chronicled her personal experiences during the lockdown. Since the CCP didn’t allow the Chinese version to be published in China, Fang Fang published her diary in English. The “50 Cent Party” members and the Youth Net Army strongly denounced her, saying that she had “belittled China.” These net commentators didn’t realize that Fang Fang was trying to help those Chinese people whom the CCP decided to sacrifice and who were given no chance to speak.

These citizen journalists, along with many others, have exposed tragic scenes brought about in Wuhan by the COVID virus and the CCP’s lockdown:

  • In a residential community, workers nailed wooden boards onto condo apartment doors to prevent people inside from leaving.
  • In a hospital, bodies in body bags lined the hallways, waiting for transfer to funeral facilities.
  • Armed police guarded modular hospitals, ensuring that the number of deceased remained a secret.
  • In another hospital, two people in medical hazmat suits threw bagged bodies into a van; inside the van, the bags were stacked high.
  • A piece of news circulated on social media saying that Wuhan was short of body bags; another news piece said that support teams had carried mobile incinerators to Wuhan.
  • In a funeral facility, a female worker said she and her fellow workers had been working continuously to cremating dead bodies, hardly having little time for sleep over several days.
  • On WeChat, some locked-in residents asked others to help their family members who were patients in local hospitals; these residents could not leave their homes, not to mention going to visit a hospital.
  • On Facebook, there is a long list of names under a heading for “Those who are unrecorded” – those who died of COVID-19 but were not included in any official count.

V – C. Xi’an City’s Dynamic “Zero-COVID” Practice

During a COVID outbreak in December of 2021, Xi’an city announced its goal of reaching zero COVID cases by January 4, 2022. The authorities came up with a “creative” way to meet this goal: all residents of communities with COVID cases were ordered to “voluntarily” take buses to quarantine facilities outside the city. After transferring these “problem people” out, the city announced a zero COVID count in the city. {7}

Other cities have followed the example set by Xi’an city. For example, on January 15, 2022, Tianjin City transported all residents from communities with COVID cases to a quarantine facility out of the city, achieving its goal of zero COVID.

This has become just a numbers game. After Shanghai was hit with a severe spike COVID cases in March this year, it lined up buses, ready to transfer infected people and uninfected people in the same community out of the city to quarantine facilities or modular hospitals. Since they were out of the city, these people were excluded from the city’s infection count. The authorities were not concerned with how those transferred individuals were doing or whether they would be exposed to a high risk of infection while sitting on buses next to each other. Since these facilities were set up outside the city, they may even lack some basic services such as Internet services. This means the people there cannot complain or post on the web about their living conditions or any mistreatment. Some facilities lacked medical equipment or services, which could lead to deaths or even mass deaths – thus, some people call these facilities “concentration camps.”


VI. “Great Cooperation of the Whole Society”

In July of 2020, Dr. Zhang Wenhong, the former leading medical expert on Shanghai’s anti-COVID task force, said that the CCP’s “Zero-COVID” policy relies on two of China’s unique characteristics: “strong community management ability” and “great cooperation of whole society.”

In Part I of this series we analyzed the CCP’s “strong community management ability” in great detail. Let’s now examine the notion of “great cooperation of whole society.” We will focus on where this cooperation comes from – what motivates the Chinese people to cooperate with the CCP?

VI – A. The Result of Brainwashing

Since the CCP took over of China in 1949, it has used propaganda to instill in the Chinese populace a sense the Chinese people were liberated by the CCP. All Chinese people have been taught to sing the song “Without the CCP, there is no new China,” and the CCP has painted itself as their savior. It has pushed a false logical equivalence between “loving China” and “loving the CCP.”

As a result of this brainwashing, the Chinese people cooperate with the CCP’s orders, even though some people have different opinions. The Chinese people have been made to believe that to be patriotic is to be loyal to the CCP, and that a person not following the CCP’s order is a traitor against China.

Chinese youth are all the more deeply poisoned, as they grow up under the influence of a propaganda machine that has matured over the time. At home, their parents cannot teach them the traditional Chinese values, as the parents too have been steeped in the CCP’s culture.

The CCP’s long-standing practice of human rights violations causes people to disregard other people’s rights as well as their own. During the pandemic, the public opinion has followed the authorities narrative: It is okay to lock down the minority (the high-risk individuals) to protect the majority. However bad the minority is treated is of no concern; so long as this practice brings safety to the majority, the sacrifice is well worth it. This amputation approach might sound good at the beginning, but once more people became the minority to be amputated, they started to realize how they were deprived of basic rights and how the “sacrifice” theory legitimized the CCP to pick on and destroy anyone that it wants. By then it was too late. They were locked down and suffered the consequences of complete isolation, insufficient food, and no medical treatment.

VI – B. Volunteers Turned into Bullies

During lockdowns, many residents volunteered to support their city’s pandemic response efforts. Some people signed up as volunteers in the hopes of securing better conditions for themselves and gaining political brownie points during lockdown. Volunteers were typically allowed to participate in activities outside of their homes and wield some degree of power; for most civilians, the alternative would be to stay indoors for the duration of the lockdown. The relative increase in freedom that came with volunteering was tempting for many.

A phone conversation recording revealed that a lady was locked in the home of a man she was visiting. Nobody else was at home, and the man did not want to host the lady for an extended period, so he called the community office for help. The advice he received was to have the lady work as a volunteer so that she could leave his home to return to her own house.

The CCP’s long-standing brainwashing efforts left the volunteers with little sympathy for the civilians who were under lockdown. Some volunteers oppressed, bullied, or even beat residents. The following are several examples of mistreatment of residents by volunteers during city-wide lockdowns:

  • The day after the Xi’an lockdown began in late December of 2022, five volunteers beat up a person at a PCR test site based on a petty disagreement. Volunteers attempting to coerce residents to take PCR tests by noisily banging gongs that they carried from door to door.
  • In early January of 2022, a young man escaped from his locked down community in Xi’an to buy food, as he had not stored sufficient supplies at his home when lockdown suddenly started. The volunteers caught him at the community gate when he was returning with several steamed buns; they beat him up and knocked his food to the ground. {8}
  • Shortly after, a resident escaped from another community to buy food and was also caught by Xi’an community volunteers. instead of beating him up physically, they set up public humiliation for the man: disclosed his name and address to the public and forced him to read a confession, and then broadcasted the confession to the community and posted it online. {9}

VI – C. Forced “Cooperation”

The CCP regime forced so-called “cooperation,” both in society and in cyber space; the CCP has invested significant resources and manpower in controlling what goes on in China. As announced at a news conference hosted by the Shaanxi Provincial government on December 31, 2021, Xi’an city dispatched 29,000 policemen to assist in pandemic control, including 20,352 in community control, 3,709 at checkpoints and in patrol, 1,095 in hotel quarantine management, 3,296 in traffic control, and 894 at PCR test sites.

Interestingly, the news conference also mentioned 260 administrative cases, which are either lawsuits or complaints filed by citizens against the authorities’ violating their rights.

Finally, the Xi’an announcement also said 188 negative news articles posted on the web had been deleted, and 70 people who had posted those articles had been tracked down and held responsible. Only “positive news” supporting the CCP’s policies and positions had been kept online. While there may be many people who disagree with the CCP, they are forced to stay silent. Thus, the CCP has produced a “full cooperation” for the public to see.


VII. What Can We Learn from the CCP’s “Zero-COVID” Strategy?

Following the initial wave of COVID in 2020, China was able to resume factory production ahead of other large countries; the CCP attributed this “success” to the “Communist system advantage.” Being the first big country back to normal business in 2020 let Beijing pick up more orders from the world, attaining a record high global export and a record high trade surplus against the United States. Some CCP spokespersons have said that “the great party led people to win the battle against COVID.”

However, what helped the CCP to maintain a low COVID count in the past was not its “system advantage,” but rather its inhumane nature. Using its various people-control mechanisms, it has built up COVID concentration camps for the Chinese people, something which no democratic country would do. The CCP’s “success” is at the cost of people’s lives and the deprivation of their human rights.

Second, the CCP’s brutal approach may fail when facing an extremely contagious virus; Shanghai was defeated by COVID’s Omicron variant. The CCP resorted to covering up the infection numbers and death count so as to save face in front of the Chinese people and the international community.

Third, the CCP introduced the Health Code App, a tool for tracking people’s health condition. As the government can adjust a person’s Health Code arbitrarily, the app can be used to control people’s movement. This app’s backdoor capability allows the authorities to freeze people anywhere, anytime, e.g. imposing travel restrictions on political dissidents (or on anyone they don’t like).

Fourth, the CCP can use “COVID prevention” as an excuse to impose lockdowns and move people around (e.g. imposing harsh persecution on Uyghurs in Xinjiang) if it wants.

Finally, the CCP has built and put in full practice various population-control mechanisms. Thus, mass protests are smothered, and the Chinese people are forced to “cooperate.” During this period of COVID-19, the Chinese people have been conditioned to be obedient, and the CCP has gone through many practice sessions in cities throughout China.



1. 3AW693MewsTalk, “Humanitarian Disaster: Shanghai residents without food and medicine as harsh lockdowncontinues, April 8, 2022                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Washington Post, “Human Fire Ignites Chinese Mystery,” February 4, 2021.
3., “The English Village with the Most Sacrificing Spirit: Using Death to Stop the Bubonic Plague,” January 24, 2020.
4., “An Article Led to Police’s Visit.”
5. Epoch Times, “Chinese Cyber Police Threatened A Chinese Student in Canada for His Twitter Posting,” September 20, 2021.
6. Forbes, “Part 1: Beijing Is Intentionally Underreporting China’s Covid Death Rate,” January 2, 2022.
7. NTDTV, “Xi’an Forced-Reduction of COVID Count to Zero Made People Scared,” January 4, 2022.
8. The Paper, “Xi’an Police Reported That Two Volunteers Beat People,” January 1, 2022.
9. Phoenix, “Xi’an Man Was Forced to Confess His Mistakes Online for Going out of His Community,” January 4, 2022.