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Post-COVID China: The Economy Is Collapsing

China’s economy is in big troubles.

Its historic COVID chapter ended along with a series of public protests, including the “A4 Revolution,” the “firecracker revolution,” and the “White-Hair Movement (白发运动)” (see Chinascope’s analysis “Post-COVID China: More Protests To Come”). These protests not only demonstrate that the Chinese people are unhappy with the communist regime, but the “White-Hair Movement” also reveals that China’s economy is sliding downwards at a fast pace.

The “White-Hair Movement” was triggered by the government’s attempt to salvage the national medical insurance program, restructuring the initiative by taking the company contribution portion out of each individual’s account and redistributing it among all insured persons. This redistribution was a reversal of the government’s longstanding policy that treated such funds as belonging to the individual. This led retirees and elderly folk to take to the streets. {1}

This healthcare funding crisis was an example problem caused by heavy COVID-related expenditure and government corruption. The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) “creative” solution is robbing Peter to pay Paul. The shortfall is not only in healthcare funding though – every level of the government, throughout China, is facing huge economic challenges.

I. The Money Problem

China’s “zero-COVID” policy and strict lockdowns over the past three years, especially in 2022 when other countries were resuming business as usual, significantly harmed China’s economy. According to the China’s Ministry of Finance, the government’s fiscal income in 2022 was 28.16 trillion yuan (US$ 4.08 trillion), down 6.3 percent from 2021, and fiscal expenditure in 2022 was 37.12 trillion yuan (US$ 5.37 trillion), up 3.1 percent from 2021, leading to a record-high deficit of 8.96 trillion yuan (US$ 1.29 trillion). {2}

Government income from land use rights concessions was 6.69 trillion yuan in 2022, down by 23.3 percent from 8.71 trillion yuan in 2021. {3} This drop was a significant blow: land concession fees are a major source of revenue for governments in China, amounting to 44 percent of national fiscal income and 84 percent of local government’s income in 2020. {4}

Bloomberg reported that China’s outstanding local government debt exceeded 35 trillion yuan ($5 trillion) by end of 2022, whereas the “hidden” debt – off-balance-sheet borrowing via local government financing vehicles – could total twice that figure, so total government debt may surpass 100 trillion yuan. As a result, a majority of China’s provincial-level governments – at least 17 out of 31 – have outstanding borrowing exceeding 120 percent of income in 2022. {5} Fitch Ratings also reported that nearly a third of China provinces face higher local debt default risks. {6}

Local governments have a common practice of setting up investment corporations, or Local Government Financing Vehicle (LGFV), that use land as collateral to secure loans from banks. The loans are then used to finance infrastructure projects or other government spending. Following the collapse of the Chinese real estate sector in recent years, many of these LGFVs are unable to secure new loans, and some have had difficulties in making payments on their existing debt.

Zunyi Road and Bridge, the largest city-owned LGFV in Zunyi City, Guizhou Province, announced a planned debt restructuring on December 30, 2022. Repayment of a 15.6 billion Yuan (US$2.24 billion) loan could not be completed on time, so Zunyi Road and Bridge negotiated an extend repayment over 20 years, with the first ten years paying only interest and the second ten years paying both principal and interest. {7} According to HuaAn Securities Co’s analysis, as of December 31, 2022, 31 city investment companies (or their subsidiaries) in 12 Chinese provinces either refinanced their debt or missed payments on loans from banks. {8}

Local governments have been missing other types of payments, too. For example, Qingdao City Investment Corporation, Shandong Province, didn’t pay the government’s portion of a bill for government-subsidized housing, rendering people attempting to buy the properties unable to settle. {9} Some cities in Heilongjiang, Guangdong, Hunan, and Henan Provinces struggled in funding their public transportation system, stopping or announced plans to stop their bus services. {10} {11}

Even villages have incurred big debts. China has about 700,000 villages. In 2019, they collectively owed 900 billion yuan in debt, averaging 1.3 million yuan per village. These debts were incurred while taking on government-mandated projects such as construction of centralized residences, “village beautification” (an initiative promoted by the governments), construction of senior homes, etc., where the county-level government didn’t deliver on subsidies that had earlier been promised. {12}

Liu Kun, China’s Minister of Finance, has acknowledged these financial woes on various occasions. On March 1, he admitted at a news briefing that the “government will live under a tight budget.” He further expressed that this “tight budget” would not be just a short-term measure, but rather a long-term policy. He said that his ministry will monitor how each central government agency controls their budget. {13}

Liu had even harsher words for local governments. In an interview with China Central Television (CCTV) in early January, he stated that the central government will not help out with the financial messes the local authorities created. He used a Chinese idiom: “he who has the child has to hold the child,” meaning “he who created the debt owes the debt.” {14}

During the pandemic, China’s economy was mainly fueled by exports. Beijing’s strict zero-COVID controls somehow contained the spread of the virus in China during 2020 and 2021, and thus China received massive export orders while other countries struggled with the disease. In 2022, after most other countries had reached herd immunity and resumed normal business, China’s continuous lockdown turned into a massive economic nightmare. Beijing’s support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine further alienated it from the world, with foreign orders and investments rapidly moving away from China.

According to China’s General Administration of Customs, China’s exports were down by 8.7 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively, in November 2022 and December 2022, as compared with the same period in 2021. {15} The trend has continued in 2023, with January and February seeing a 6.8 percent fall from a year earlier. {16}

This drop in exports has led to withering of China’s shipping industry. Transporting a container from China to Los Angeles cost $1,238 in March 2023, down from $15,600 in March 2022, according to the Freightos Baltic Index. Major seaports such as Shanghai and Shenzhen have accumulated huge piles of empty shipping containers. “There are 16,000 registered truck drivers here but only 3,000 are now working,” said a driver in Shenzhen. {17}

This year China’s Canton Fair, the country’s biggest Import and Export Fair, signed transactions totaling US$ 25.1 billion, down 15 percent from the 2019 total of US$ 29.3 billion. {18}

The domestic outlook for China’s economy is also far from ideal. Over the past few years, the authorities have launched several rounds of control and suppression targeting private industries including P2P online deposit and loan, real estate, the high-tech sector, on-line gaming, after-school tutoring, and entertainment. For their own safety, big companies such as Alibaba, Tencent, etc. have donated hefty sums of money, and many successful business tycoons either chose or were pushed to retire or give up their financial holdings. The miracle of China’s economic engine has become yesterday’s story.

China’s housing industry has gone south, too. According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, residential housing sales in 2022 totaled 13.3 trillion yuan, down 26.7 percent from a year earlier. {19} By March 8, of the 73 publicly traded real estate companies that had reported their 2022 financial data, 43 companies – nearly 60 percent – recorded losses, amounting to a total loss of 170 billion yuan. {20} Housing prices in China’s tier 3 and 4 cities {21} came down 20 to 50 percent from their high in 2019; several dozens of trillion yuan (ten trillion US dollars) have evaporated from the housing market following the country’s three years of COVID control. {22}

Consumer spending has also been shrinking. For example, there were 272 million cell phone purchases in 2022, down 22.6 percent from the year prior. {23}

As a result of these economic headwinds, employment has dropped. In 2022, China reported that 459 million people held urban jobs, down 8.4 million from 2021. This was the first drop in urban employment figures for more than 60 years. {24} Many migrant workers who went to their home villages for the 2023 Chinese New Year, found, upon later returning to the city, that their jobs had disappeared. Many ended up going back to their hometowns again. {25}

Young people have been disproportionally impacted by China’s rising unemployment: the unemployment rate for individuals between 16 and 24 has reached 20.4 percent in April 2023. A new term sprung up: “Full-Time Child (全职儿女)” describes a young person who stays at home to provide care to their parents and receives pay from their parents for doing so. {26}

As a result, large numbers of college graduates are competing for a limited number of job openings. One state-owned enterprise in Shandong Province received 10,000 applications for 2,000 opening positions in 2021, but in 2022 they received 100,000 applications for 1,000 open positions. {27} A university in Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province reported that it received over 2,000 resumes for two librarian positions, though the salary was only 2,280 yuan per month (just over $300 USD). {28} At a job fair at Henan University of Economics and Law, several restaurants and hotels advertised dishwasher and busboy positions, which some attendees considered insulting for college graduates. {29} Since there are not enough jobs in the city, the CCP even held a propaganda campaign encouraging college graduates to work in rural areas and villages.

Another issue of concern was the drying-up of capital in China’s pension system and health insurance funds. Zhou Xiaochuan, formerly China’s Central Banker, admitted that China’s pension system is lacking funding. He said that China’s pension fund reserve has only a few trillion yuan in it. The ratio between pension reserves and national GDP in many countries is in the range of 50 to 100 percent, but China’s ratio is less than 10 percent, and some even say it is only 2 or 3 percent. {30}

Data released by the Ministry of Finance on March 17 provided a good anecdote on the economic dismay:

  • Consumer spending is down: Domestic consumption tax revenue amounted to 356.8 billion yuan in January and February of 2023, an 18.4 percent decrease from the same period in 2022.
  • Income is down or unemployment is rising: Personal income tax totaled 388.1 billion yuan in January and February of 2023, a 4 percent decrease compared to the previous year.
  • Car sales experienced a tremendous hit: 2022 automobile purchase tax revenue totaled 39.7 billion yuan, a 32.8 percent decrease from 2021.
  • There was a huge drop in stock market activities: stamp tax on stock exchange was 28.2 billion yuan in 2022, a decrease of 61.7 percent from 2021. {31}

COVID-related spending played a role in these financial issues. In 2022, Guangdong Province spent 71.1 billion yuan on COVID control while spending only 4.7 billion yuan on improving hospitals and medical services. {32} Shandong Province made plans to spend a total of 23 billion yuan on “modular hospitals” with a total capacity of 200,000 beds to quarantine COVID patients. Following Beijing’s abrupt reversal of the zero-COVID policy, the province struggled in repurposing the partly-finished modular structures. It considered converting them into government-subsidized apartments or senior housing, but the tin plate buildings, which are cold in winter and hot in summer and lack kitchens and private bathroom, are just not suitable for residential use. Ultimately, the government decided to demolish them all. {33}

II. The Authorities’ Self-Rescuing Measures

To survive the current fiscal crisis, Chinese authorities are printing more money, reallocating funds, cutting down on spending, and inventing new ways to collect revenue.

A. Printing More Money

By end of 2022, China’s M2 money supply reached 266.43 trillion yuan (US$22 trillion), marking an increase of 28 trillion yuan, or 12 percent, from 2021. {34} Moreover, in the single month of January 2023, China pumped another 7 trillion yuan in to the M2 pool, bringing the total to 273.81 trillion yuan. {35}

The deluge of funds has not been effective in stimulating China’s economy. The CCP is known for faking numbers, but even using the official GDP figures published by the Chinese government, one can still see the economic problems looming. China reported a GDP of 121.0 trillion yuan in 2022 and 114.4 trillion yuan in 2021. This meant that the 28 billion yuan increase in the M2 money supply from 2021 to 2022 resulted in an increase of only 6.6 trillion yuan in GDP.

This gap between stimulus and GDP can be attributed to lack of demand: the super-rich spend only so much, while the middle-class and the poor are hesitant to spend. In China, the majority of people’s wealth is tied up in real estate, a sector whose aggregate value has been falling for the past few years. Some people have lost their jobs, and those who keep their jobs have seen pay cuts or worry about whether their health insurance and social security will be funded. For these reasons, people are opting to save money rather than spending, despite the fact that interest rates in China are low.

B. Stretching the Money Pool and Reallocating Funds

China’s various levels of government are trying multiple ways to reshuffle or stretch their spending.

Since the government must provide welfare subsidies to certain low-income individuals, Beijing has begun promoting a “work for food” program that requires people on welfare to perform labor in exchange for their benefits. This saves the government’s money by avoiding hiring professionals. The guidelines for the program state, “If manual labor can be used then do not use a machine; if work can be done by local people (on welfare) then do not use professional teams.” {36}

After the government tried to move money from individuals’ accounts into the public pool to save the medical insurance program, people started dropping out of the healthcare program. Loudi City, Hunan Province came up with a “creative” solution to this exodus from the insurance program: it demanded that schoolteachers get 100 percent of their students enrolled in the insurance program and ordered teachers to pay from their own pockets for any students who have not paid insurance dues. The teachers are then to collect the dues from the students later. {37}

China’s Banks have also gotten creative with their lending programs, issuing new types of loans:

  • The “One-Hundred-Year Loan”: Banks usually design the loan payback term to end when the borrower reaches the age of 80. This new loan arrangement allows the borrower to keep paying until the age of 100 (provided that the borrower’s children agree to cosign on the loan). {38}
  • The “Relay Loan”: This loan allows the borrower’s children, siblings, and other non-direct-relatives to be added as cosigners who guarantee repayment of the loan if the borrower becomes deceased or unable to pay. {39}
  • The “Heart Loan”: This loan allows unmarried couples to jointly sign for a loan and collectively take responsibility for repayment. Some have wondered what would happen to the loan in the event of a break-up. {40}

C. Cutting Down on Spending

In the past, Chinese people referred to government jobs as “iron bowl” jobs – a guaranteed position with a guaranteed pay. This description is no longer appropriate for those 40 million people on the government payroll, however, as they are facing pay cuts, delayed or missed payments, and even layoffs.

An online video showed 20 China Postal Services employees at the Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province postal branch holding a banner to protest pay that had been reduced or in some cases stopped. Another video showed 30 employees at Zhenjiang Municipal Tax Bureau, Jiangsu Province, protesting after the tax bureau had failed to pay them. This is particularly alarming given that the tax bureau is one of the richest government entities. An online picture showed that Nanning Power Company, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (AR), had notified the AR’s Police Department that it would shut down its electricity on February 27 because the police department had been delinquent on its 484,000-yuan electricity bill since January. {41}

College professorship used to be a stable career choice, particularly as most of the colleges in China are state-owned. However, recent reports suggest that university staff and professors are experiencing salary cuts, too: In Lanzhou City, Ningxia Hui AR, salaries have been reduced by 15 percent for nearly two years; salaries in Shandong Province were cut by an average 40,000 yuan; and professors in Guizhou Province have been receiving only their “basic salary” of 2,000 yuan per month (basic salary is only one portion, sometimes even a minor portion, of the overall salary composition). {42}

Even banks couldn’t avoid pay cuts. Near 100 staff of Shanghai Pudong Development Bank gathered in front of the bank on May 4 to protest a salary reduction of 30 to 40 percent. Some insiders said the bank had cut staffs’ salaries twice and that managers were even worse off: their total income shrank every year since the COVID outbreak. {43}

These salary cuts have already been going on for several years, indicating that the government’s fiscal shortages have been ongoing. Radio Free Asia reported back in December 2021 that government employees in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, and Shanghai – among wealthiest provinces in China – received salary cuts of 15 to 25 percent. The CCP’s Central Commission on Disciplinary Inspection even recommended that public sector staff use their spare time to work second jobs such as food delivery or driving Didi (China’s equivalent of Uber). {44}

The cities of Yichun and Qiqihar in Heilongjiang province have begun converting some of their government facilities from “Street Offices” (街道办事处) into “Township Offices” (镇). While street offices cater to urban areas and have a higher status and more benefits in the areas of education, healthcare, and culture events, etc., township offices cater rural areas and have fewer benefits. This downgrade is unpopular but can save money. {45}

Some local governments have cut staff, which was unheard of in the past. Shanxi Province, for example, has initiated a “reform” targeting counties with the lowest population: six counties will be merged together so as to eliminate offices, with an estimated several thousand government employees losing their jobs. {46}

As government employees face tough times, one can imagine how the general public will fare. One illustrative example is a February 19 announcement from the Beijing government that it would hand out a 40 yuan (US$6) welfare payment to each of its 300,000 low-income people. Ni Yulan, a disabled woman in Beijing, complained that the funds are inadequate: “What can you buy with 40 yuan? Rent is over 3,000 yuan a month, and even just buying discounted items for meals costs over 3,000 yuan a month.” Netizens joked that even beggars can make more money in a day than what the Beijing government was offering. {47}

D. Stretching People Thin

The official retirement age in China is 60 for men and 50 or 55 for women depending on their job. However, for many peasants they have no choice but to continue working even after reaching retirement age – the government pays peasants a pension of only 188 yuan (US$27) per month, about 5 percent of what it pays city retirees. As a result, about 51 million “Young Elderly (低龄老年)” (men of age 60 to 69 and women of age 55 to 69) are still working. {48}

As result of the decades-long one-child policy, China is facing an aging population. Many state-owned media have suggested extending the retirement age to 65 for men and to 60 for women. For example, Worker’s Daily sugarcoated the idea as allowing China to reap “silver-hair dividends” (银发红利). {49}

A city in Jiangsu Province squeezed its government employees for money. It imposed a hefty fine (from 600,000 yuan to 1 million yuan) on each employee who had taken a part-time or secondary job. The city was able to collect 2.5 billion yuan (US$ 367 million) from this fine. {50}

Of course, regarding its existing streams of revenue, the government has made “diligent efforts” to sustain the financial inflows. One such stream comes from the expropriation of land in high-priced areas and subsequent resale to real estate developers. In January, the Xuhui District of Shanghai announced two property takeover plans and proclaimed that “if any resident does not move out [of the properties] on time, the [government) will request the court to enforce the action by force.” Some have called this an “Enclosure Movement.” {51}

To force continued participation in the government’s medical insurance program, Xinhua County, Hunan Province announced that it would reject uninsured persons who apply for business licenses, agricultural machine subsidies, marriage certificates, social welfare, or other government licenses and services. {52}

To prevent social security funds from going bankrupt, some local governments have extended the mandatory contribution period for individuals from 15 years to 25 or 30 years. There was also a proposal to delay retirement to age of 65. People started to question whether this has become a financial scheme: With the current monthly individual contribution of 1,492 yuan and the eventual benefit payout of 2,000 yuan each month, each person will pay the government 448,000 yuan (spread over a total of 25 years) and get back only 312,000 yuan, starting from age 65 until age 77, the life expectancy in China. {53}

E. Creating New Revenue Opportunities

Bad economic conditions have forced the government to “invent” new employment opportunities (to avoid protests over unemployment) and new sources of income to finance government spending.

To mitigate unemployment, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Kunming, and Lanzhou recently allowed street vendor stalls inside their cities. This would represent a policy reversal, as a few years ago government executives in Beijing and Shanghai sternly opposed street vendors in their cities when the incumbent Premier Li Keqiang brought up the idea of a “street vendor economy (地摊经济)” in 2020. {54}

With exports and infrastructure investment showing signs of stagnation, the government has recognized that its best chance of reviving the economy now lies in boosting consumer spending. At the Central Economic Work Conference, the government emphasized the need to prioritize consumer spending, with real estate and car consumption as the drivers. {55}

In 2022, residential savings increased by 17.84 billion yuan following an increase of 9.90 billion yuan in 2021. Scholars supportive of the CCP have discussed how to get people to spend their savings, going so far as to create a new term with negative connotations, “Extra Savings (超额储蓄),” referring to additional savings beyond the previous years’ level. {56}

Professors from Sichuan Agricultural University and Wuhan University of Technology proposed a similar “solution” to encourage spending: tax people on their bank deposits, effectively forcing them to spend their cash. One suggestion was to tax the portion above 500,000 yuan (US$74,000), and another was to tax the portion exceeding 1 million yuan. {57}

Another potential source of income is the long-discussed real estate property tax, which China has not yet enacted. China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development announced on February 15 that, after spending 3 years and mobilizing some 5 million people, it had identified all buildings in cities and villages throughout China – nearly 600 million of them – and had issued a digital ID to each one of them. Many people speculated it as the first step towards imposing such a real estate tax. {58}

The “landlord tax” came out even faster than the property tax. Three provinces including Hebei, Hunan, and Yunnan piloted the tax last year. The government will collect a 10 percent tax on rent if an individual rents out part of his own residence and 20 percent tax on rent from a non-residence. {59}


In May of 2022, when Li Keqiang was China’s Premier, he held a conference with 100,000-officials from county-level and above, telling them that China’s economic situation was dire. He warned that “China, as such a large economy, once [its economy) slips out of a reasonable range, it will require significant effort and a long time to bring it back.” {60}

As we have discussed, much evidence suggests that Li Keqiang’s warning has become a reality, and that the CCP’s claimed 3 percent GDP growth in 2022 is most likely a fabrication.

China’s three-year-long zero-COVID policy and its lavish spending on stringent lockdowns was a significant factor contributing to the country’s current economic woes. But it was not the only cause.

The communist ruling philosophy – to keep the CCP in control at any cost – has created a tremendous waste in the form of “stability maintenance” spending.

Another culprit is the theft of public wealth by officials, which ultimately stems from deterioration of moral standards under communist rule. One widely-circulated Internet post highlighted that, based on export data, China had a US$1.89 trillion trade surplus between 2020 and 2022, but this money did not show up in any of China’s official accounts. Where did the money go? {61}

Corruption is rampant in China. Even officials at lower levels are taking in unbelievable amount of money. Recently, a former Party Secretary in Hegang City, Heilongjiang Province, was accused of taking bribes amounting to 73 million yuan, which is approximately 0.2 percent of the city’s 2022 GDP (40 billion yuan). In another case, a former Party Secretary of Teng County, Guangxi Zhuang AR, was kidnapped, and his family paid a ransom of 10 million yuan. This prompted questions about how his family could acquire such a large sum of money. {62}

Another factor contributing to China’s economic woes is the disproportionate allocation of public resources to those in power. In 2022, China’s Central Healthcare Committee served the CCP top comrades – fewer than 1,000 top central or provincial officials – with a budget of 16.5 billion yuan. Meanwhile, the Hubei Provincial Health Commission had only a budget of 5.2 billion yuan to serve the general public – 60 million people in the province. {63}

This systemic corruption and ensuing wealth erosion will likely lead to the communist regime’s demise – it cannot maintain prosperity forever with such a shaky foundation. The communist rule is like a ship with many unfixable holes – it is destined to sink. Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, the biggest foreign hedge fund in China, stated on LinkedIn on April 26: China is now “more dictatorial-autocratic” “with Marxist influences” and “with tolerable amounts of capitalism sprinkled in.” “It is an anti-elitist and pro-proletariat environment… Some have said ‘the good times are over.’ Many Chinese are leaving or thinking about how to have an alternative location.” {64}

The former Soviet Union serves as an example of what the future may hold: it ran into economic (and other) problems and in 1991 its life came to an end.

A similar situation happened once in China: In the late 1970’s, the CCP teetered on the brink of economic collapse following the Cultural Revolution. Deng Xiaoping was able to save the CCP by “opening up” to get a “blood transfusion” from the West. Will the CCP survive this time around?


{1} Epoch Times, “Yuan Bin: Medical Insurance Reform Gave Chinese People a Vivid Lesson,” February 23, 2023.
{2} Yicai, “2022 Fiscal Accounts Interpretation: The Nine Trillion Yuan Gap Between Income and Expense,” February 2, 2023.
{3} Yicai, “2022 Fiscal Accounts Interpretation: The Nine Trillion Yuan Gap Between Income and Expense,” February 2, 2023.
{4} Radio Free Asia, “China’s Fiscal Budget Totally Depended on Land Sales,” June 15, 2021.
{5} Bloomberg, “China Debt Blowout Rings Alarm Bells as Leadership Meets,” February 27, 2023.
{6} Bloomberg, “Nearly a Third of China Provinces Face Higher Local Debt Worries, Fitch Says,” February 27, 2023.
{7} Sina, “Questions on Zunyi Road and Bridge’s 15.6 Billion Debt Restructure,” January 16, 2023.
{8} Sina, “Besides, Zunyi, Which City Investment Companies Also Extended Their Debt Payments?” January 3, 2023.
{9} Chinascope, “Economy: City Investment Corporations Cannot Pay Their Obligations,” February 14, 2023.
{10} Guancha, “Will Mohe Public Transition Stop Operation Due to Financial Loss?” February 13, 2023.
{11} Sina, “Shangqiu City Residents Almost Lost Public Transit,” February 23, 2023.
{12} Yicai, “Village Debt Reached 900 Billion Yuan,” March 8, 2023.
{13} Sina, “Ministry of Finance: The government’s Tightening on Spending Is Not a Short-Term Measure Bur a Rather Long-Term Policy,” March 1, 2023.
{14} Chinascope, ““He Who Created the Debt Owes the Debt” – China’s Finance Minister Told Local Governments,” January 20, 2023.
{15} Jiemian News, “December Trade Numbers Were Better Than Expected,” January 13, 2023.
{16} Wall Street Journal, “U.S. Imports, Exports Grew in January, Adding to Signs of Solid Global Economy,” March 8, 2023.
{17} The Wall Street Journal, “Idled Ships, Empty Containers. Ocean Shipping Faces Its Biggest Slump in Years,” March 2, 2023.
{18} Chinascope, “Transaction Amount at Canton Fair Down 15 Percent from Pre-COVID Level,” May 8, 2023.
{19} National Bureau of Statistics website, “The Whole Country’s Real Estate Development Investment Is Down by 10 Percent,” January 7, 2023.
{20} Sina, “Sixty Percent Public-Traded Real Estate Companies Reported Loss in 2022,” March 13, 2023.
{21}, “Chinese Cities Ranking.” (Note: Cities in China are ranked based on their economic size: There are 19 tier 1 cities, 30 tier 2 cities, 70 tier 3 cities, and 90 tier 4 cities.)
{22} Radio Free Asia, “Can China’s Economy Recovery Rely on Real Estate Market?” May 5, 2023.
{23} Epoch Times, “Cell Phone Shipments in China Fell by More than 22% Last Year,” February 18, 2023.
{24} B&D Media Tech, “China’s Urban Employment Drops by 8.42 Million, Setting Another record,” March 1, 2023.
{25}, “The Mass Return of Migrant Workers to Their Hometowns Presents a Great Danger as It May First Lead to the CCP’s Grassroot-Level Control’s Collapse,” February 26, 2023.
{26} Epoch Times, “New Profession ‘Full-time Child’ Becomes Popular in China,” March 18, 2023.
{27} Sound of Hope, “100,000 Applicants for 1,000 Job Positions,” February 20, 2023.
{28} Radio Free Asia, “Over 2,000 People Applied for Two Librarian Positions at a Nanjing University, for Low Salary of 1,800 Yuan a Month,” March 1, 2023.
{29} World Journal, “Hiring Dishwasher and Busboy at College Job Fairs,” March 7, 2023.
{30} Sina, February 25, 2023.
{31} China government site, “January-February 2023 Financial Revenues and Expenditures,” March 17, 2023.
{32} Epoch Times, “Guangdong Exposed a huge ‘Zero-COVID’ Cost,” February 18, 2023.
{33} Zhihu, “Shanghai Plans to Spent 23 Billion Yuan to Build Modular Hospitals for COVID but Now Ends up Demolishing Them.”
{34} China government website, “2022 Financial Data Report,” January 11, 2023.
{35} 21 Jingji, “273 Trillion Yuan! What Does the Sky-High M2 Amount Mean,” February 13, 2023.
{36} Chinascope, “China Plans to Carry out Many “Work for Food” Programs,” February 8, 2023.
{37) Net Ease, “Please Leave the Teacher Alone,” March 1, 2023.
{38} China News Agency, “Why There Are So Much Controversial About the 100-Year Loan?” February 17, 2023.
{39} Sina, “Relay Loan Came Back!” August 23, 2022.
{40} Sina, “Love Loan Reflects the Bank’s Worry,” February 23, 2023.
{41} Epoch Times, “Hot Video: China’s Postal Service and Tax Department Employees Asked for Unpaid Salary,” March 1, 2023.
{42} VCT News, “Many Universities Reduced Professor’s Salary,” February 27, 2023.
{43} Radio Free Asia, “Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Staff Protest Salary Cut,” May 12, 2023.
{44} Radio Free Asia, “Several Provinces Cut Government Employees’ Salaries and Encourage Them to Take on Second Jobs,” December 9, 2021.
{45} Source: Chinascope, “Local Governments Consolidate Offices to Save Money,” February 24, 2023.
{46} Epoch Times, “Shanxi Province Plans to Slim Government Apparatus,” February 21, 2023.
{47} Radio Free Asia, “Each Person 40 Yuan,” February 20, 2023.
{48} Sina, “One Third of Chinese Young Elderly (of Age 60-69) Are Still Working,” March 17, 2023.
(49) Sina, “Workers’ Daily: Get the Benefit of the “Silver-Hair Dividends,’” February 20, 2023.
{50} Sound of Hope, “Jiangsu Government Employees Fined for Several Hundred Thousand Yuan,” February 8, 2023.
{51} NTDTV, “New Enclosure Movement? Shanghai Xuhui District Government Issued a Series of Notices to Expropriate Housing,” February 21, 2023.
{52}, “Hunan Official Document: Not Paying for Health Insurance, Not Allowed to Get married,” March 1, 2023.
{53} website, February 21, 2023.
{54} Epoch Times, “Shanghai and Beijing Allow Vendor Stalls in the City,” February 28, 2023.
{55} China National Radio, “’Excess savings’ Starts Discussion,” February 1, 2023.
{56} Ibid.
{57} Chinascope, “Economy: Professors Suggested Taxing People’s Savings to Force Consumers to Spend,” January 29, 2023.
{58} Epoch Times, February 24, 2023.
{59} Chinascope, “Massive Price Reduction on Pre-Owned Houses Is Expected,” May 19, 2023.
{60}, “Transcript of National Teleconference on Stabilize the Economy,” May 25, 2022.
{61} Epoch Times, “Where Did China’s Two Trillion Dollar Trade Surplus Go?” February 14, 2023.
{62} Chinascope, “Public Opinion: How Can a County Executive’s Family Pay a 10M Yuan Ransom?” February 24, 2023.
{63} Epoch Times, “What Does It Mean to Spend More Than 16.4 billion Yuan a Year on Healthcare for Just 1,000 Senior Communist Party Officials?” February 17, 2023.
{64} LinkedIn, “What I Think Is Going On 1) with China-US Relations, 2) with Their Relations with Other Countries, and 3) in China,” April 26, 2023.