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China Revised Down Its 2018 GDP Numbers to Show Growth in 2019

Recently Beijing “uniformly” arranged its work to review and revise its 2018 economic data fully, so that the GDP number in 2019 could still show growth.

On January 22, the Tianjin Statistics Department published Tianjin’s GDP in 2019 as 1.41 trillion yuan (US $200 billion). It also had a small footnote: “According to the National Statistics Bureau’s uniform arrangement, Tianjin’s GDP in 2018 is revised to 1.34 trillion yuan.” That was a dramatic cut of 29 percent from the previously claimed number of 1.88 trillion yuan. This revision gave Tianjin 5.5 percent GDP growth in 2019. (Editor’s note: However, the sharp drop in the 2018 number would mean Tianjin’s GDP growth from 2017 would be quite negative, unless the authorities revised down the 2017 number, and then as a chain reaction, revised down the 2016 number. … Anyhow, this showed that China’s GDP number and its impressive high growth could just be a mirage that the communist regime created.)

The Jilin Provincial Statistics Department reported a GDP of 1.17 trillion yuan in 2019. It cut its 2018 GDP number down by 25 percent to 1.13 trillion yuan, so that it could show a 4.2 percent increase in 2019.

Shandong Province revised down its 2018 number by 13 percent. The Liaoning Province reduction was 7 percent. Heilongjiang Province was down 21.5 percent.

Source: Epoch Times, January 23, 2020

Wuhan Epidemic Highlights Deficiency of China’s Political System

A World Journal editorial commented on the problem of China’s political system as reflected in the Wuhan epidemic.

“First, there is a huge problem in the top-down system: On the evening of the 20th, Xi Jinping delivered a speech on CCTV regarding the new coronavirus, requiring local governments to do a good job of prevention and control to maintain stability. After his speech, great changes took place in the entire Chinese officialdom. Wuhan and other parts of the country immediately released the information on new infections, and the figures kept jumping every day. It was in sharp contrast with the downplay and cover-up of the epidemic that was in place before Xi’s speech.”

“Xi Jinping spoke because the truth could no longer be covered up. Why was there such a huge change before and after the speech? It is because the central government exercises strict control and implements a top-down system. Any major event must be reported level by level. Lower-level officials have no decision-making power and must report to higher authorities in order to obtain approval. Wuhan’s municipal health bureau has no right to declare the epidemic situation and must report to the provincial government; the governor and the Party chief of the province then report to the central authorities and finally the report reaches Xi Jinping’s confidants. Xi’s confidants have to be well prepared before deciding how to inform Xi. Usually the lower-level officials choose to report what their superior like to hear. Such a top-down system and lengthy reporting process is the reason why Xi was briefed a month after the outbreak of the virus. This shows how the delays in the decision-making process have caused the epidemic to spread rapidly.”

“Second, the politicization of health care is an issue. In a free and equal society, physicians and nurses each have their own specialties and make their own judgments about conditions. However, under the Chinese Communist system, professional judgments on medical care must give way to politics. Officials should first consider whether the news will cause social unrest. Then they have to consider whether the news will cause their superiors to be dissatisfied. That would affect their careers. When the medical process is politicized, the facts of the situation are not the basis for decision making. Hence all decisions will go bad. This is the reason why the Wuhan municipal government downplayed and covered up the epidemic before Xi Jinping’s speech.”

Source: World Journal, January 26, 2020

Reuters Chinese: Global Commercial Aviation Industry on High Alert

Reuters Chinese Edition recently reported that the global airlines are all on high alert regarding the developing Wuhan Pneumonia situation. They are assessing the potential impact on the aviation business. According to the statistics that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) published, at the SARS peak time in April of 2003, Asian business declined by 45 percent. At that time, Cathay Pacific reduced their flights by 40 percent, and so did Singapore Airlines, JAL and ANA. The airline industry depends more on Chinese passengers now than it did in 2003. According to Moody’s, today in Australia, 15 percent of the country’s total international visitors are from China. The same number was 3 percent in 2003. Based on the data that the Civil Aviation Administration of China provided, there were 6.8 million Chinese who took international flights in 2003. The same number was 63.7 million in 2018. Since the local authorities closed down the city, multiple airlines have cancelled their flights out of Wuhan.

Source: Reuters Chinese, January 23, 2020

Survey Showed Republicans Won Top Ten Best Governors in U.S.

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, according to a U.S. poll that Morning Consult did, the top ten most popular governors in the United States are all Republicans. The re-elected Republican Governor Hogan of Maryland, Republican Governor Gordon of Wyoming, and Republican Governor of Massachusetts Baker are among the most eye-catching, due to the fact that they all obtained a 69 percent approval rating. Morning Consult surveys 5,000 registered voters every day and publishes aggregated data on a quarterly basis. The newly released data was for the fourth quarter of 2019. Among the top ten most unpopular governors, Democrats took six and four were republican. The ‘Worst” governor was Hawaiian Democratic David Ige. Among the top ten most unpopular governors, West Virginia Republican Governor Justice is the only one set for re-election in 2020. In the period from October to December, the survey received a total of 493,000 responses from registered voters.

Source: Sina, January 21, 2020

Controversies about Wuhan Virus Lab and the Former French Prime Minister Behind the Scenes

After the outbreak of the new coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, the National Biosafety Laboratory (NBL), Wuhan, which specializes in coronavirus, and is the only laboratory with the highest level of biosafety in China, inevitably received the public’s attention. The media recently revealed the political controversy surrounding the lab.

The Lab, the BSL-4 (Biosafety Level 4) facility, was built in 2015 and officially put into operation in 2018. The Biosafety Level 4 lab is also called the P4 (Pathogen Level 4) lab, which is the laboratory with the highest biosafety level in the world today. It aims to provide a platform for scientists to study the prevention and cure technologies that apply to the world’s most dangerous pathogens.

As France is a global leader in virus research and as former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin was a pro-China activist, he became the behind-the-scenes driver for the establishment of the Wuhan P4 Laboratory.

A recent article in the French Challenges magazine quoted from journalist Antoine Izambard in his book France-Chine: Les Liaisons Dangereuses (France-China: Dangerous Liaisons) that the Chinese Academy of Sciences requested France to assist in the establishment of a P4 laboratory in 2003 and that it caused great controversy. Some French virus experts worried that China would use the technology that France provided to develop chemical weapons. French intelligence agencies also issued a serious warning to the government.

At the same time, another French magazine, Valeurs Actuelles, published an article in 2018, mentioning that the close relationship between former French Prime Minister Raffarin and China invited the attention from the French General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI). The article mentioned that, through his influence, Raffarin had been developing cooperation between Europe and China. He also held important positions in Chinese companies, foundations, and universities, including the director of Plastic Omnium in China and he was a member of the France China Foundation.

In an earlier report in the British Daily Mail newspaper, Tim Trevan, an American biosafety consultant made a comment in the Nature Journal in 2017. Regarding the establishment of a P4 laboratory in China, he expressed his concern about a potential virus leakage. He believed that the Chinese system would make laboratories unsafe because free speech and open information are particularly important for scientific development.

Source: Radio Free Asia, January 28, 2020

People’s Daily: Chinese Customs Announced Official Plan to Control International Virus Spread

People’s Daily reported on January 25, the first day of the Chinese New Year, that Chinese Customs published an official announcement jointly with the Chinese National Health Council that the 2019-nCoV virus (the Wuhan Pneumonia) is now officially included in the scope of the Chinese Frontier Health and Quarantine Law, which requires all people crossing the Chinese border in either direction actively to declare to customs the nature of their related health status. They will be required to fill out an official form. The announcement also called for cooperation with customs on activities like measuring their temperature. Transportation vehicle owners are responsible for providing patients proper protection tools and for reporting to customs. Travelers are also advised to wash their hands often, to wear masks and to avoid contact with patients. Travelers with symptoms are required to seek medical treatment immediately and to provide their travel history. Customs may adjust rules over time. This new regulation takes effect on January 24th and will be in effect for three months.

Source: People’s Daily, January 25, 2020

China Is Chasing Wuhan “Fugitives” across the Country

A few million people from Wuhan, which was the epicenter of the new coronavirus, had left the city before the lockdown on January 23. As a result, recently, many cities in China have started a wave of searching for people from Wuhan to quarantine them, regardless of whether they have symptoms. The fear is that the virus can have an incubation period of up to 14 days and the host can be contagious during that period.

In the eyes of the people in other cities, all people from Wuhan are criminals. They can only prove their innocence and regain their freedom after going through a 14-day quarantine that the destination government forcibly imposes on them.

Epoch Times collected several videos and pictures from the Internet showing how the local governments, throughout the nation, have been capturing the Wuhan “fugitives.”

  • One video showed that police and medical staff members were putting people from Wuhan into a car. A man jumped out of the car and shouted that he was just fine. The police then locked his neck from the back in order to control him.
  • Another video showed that a man from Wuhan stayed at a hotel. Despite the fact that he had been very cooperative with the authorities in taking many tests, the owner accused him of “lacking public morality” because his staying there scared other guests. The man was furious, “How can you say all people from Wuhan have no public morality?”
  • A photo showed an emergency notice posted at a gas station. It stated, “According to the city government’s notice, each gas station must implement the following protection and control measures: 1. Any car with a Wuhan license plate is not allowed to fill up with gas.”

Source: Epoch Times, January 26, 2019

A Young man in Wuhan Created a Video Appealing for International Help

A  young man from Wuhan, who was locked down in the city which has suffered from the outbreak of the new coronavirus, posted a video on YouTube. He said that it took quite an effort for him to get beyond China’s Internet blockade in order to post it, but he could no longer be silent and had to speak out.

The following are some highlights of his talking points in the video:

“Gas stations are closed to cars and public transportation has stopped. If your family member has high blood pressure or has a heart attack and needs to go to the hospital, how can he get there? Calls to the emergency number 120 (equivalent to 114 or 911 in the U.S.) do not go through at all.”

“If you suspect that you caught pneumonia and want to go to hospital for a test, how can you get there? The hospitals are fully packed. Doctors will just tell you to wait in line, but no one will come to take care of you even if you stay in line for several hours. Maybe you were fine before you got there, but waiting in line there might get you infected.”

“On January 22, I saw many people were on the street the day before the city was locked down, and most of them weren’t wearing a mask (because the government didn’t advise people to do so). What are the Mayor and the Party Secretary doing? Didn’t they know the information already? Why didn’t they require everyone to wear a mask to protect themselves?”

“The medical system is in chaos. My friends at the hospitals told me that the treatment for patients was just to give them some anti-inflammatory or hormone injection and then let them wait for death. Many patients who had the suspected infection were told to go home, since the hospital did not have a test-kit to test them. Isn’t this government or medical institution asking the infectious source to go out into the community to infect others?”

“Wuhan is like hell now.”

“We, the people in our 20’s and 30’s, understand very clearly about China (and the communist party), but we don’t have the capability (to change it). We don’t have a channel to voice our opinions. We are just flesh and we cannot fight steel, bullets, and tanks.”

“Not everyone in China has been brainwashed. We want to live our lives under democracy and freedom. We want to access YouTube and Twitter directly, without using an anti-blockade software, but we just don’t have that. What can we do?”

“At this moment, we, the Wuhan people urgently need help from the international society.  We ourselves are helpless…”

Source: Radio France International, January 26, 2020中国/20200126-视频武汉青年冒死求救-痛骂中共领导人青海作秀

CCP’s Mouthpiece Media Cared More about Party Event Than Wuhan Epidemic

Voice of America reported that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) main media covered quite a lot about the party event on celebrating the Chinese New Year, while it paid very little attention to the Wuhan lockdown and the coronavirus epidemic. On January 24, the first day that the Chinese media took the time to report on the Wuhan lockdown, the front page of People’s Daily didn’t mention Wuhan or the epidemic at all. Instead it covered the CCP Central Committee’s celebration of the Chinese New Year and Xi Jinping’s speech at the celebration. Xi didn’t mention Wuhan in his speech either. Neither did the second and third pages mention Wuhan.

The fourth page had an article about the epidemic on the lower part of the page. The main point was, “From the CCP Central to the local area, from the medical staff to the general public, with the common goal of conquering the epidemic, people have formed a strong force to prevent and control it.” It also said that there are plenty of supplies, food, and medical materials for Wuhan. It didn’t mention the number of infected cases, the latest developments in the epidemic, or what measures the government plans to take to control the epidemic.

Guangming Daily, another party mouthpiece, Economic Daily (under the State Council) and PLA Daily all had a similar focus in their reporting. Wuhan was only mentioned on a not-so-important page.

Unlike the communist media, the Western media have maintained a main focus on the Wuhan lockdown and on the epidemic. On January 23, the Wall Street Journal had a Wuhan epidemic image in the center of its front page, with the title, “China Locks Down City of 11 Million Where the Virus Originated.” The New York Times had, “China Closes off City at the Center of Virus Outbreak” on its front page. Financial Times also gave the news a significant focus. On January 24, Financial Times, the Washington Post, and the New York Times put the epidemic on their front pages.

Hu Ping, a Chinese political commentator said this shows that the media outside of China truly cares about Wuhan and its people.

Xi Jinping gave an important direction on January 20 regarding the epidemic: “(We) must strengthen the guidance of public opinion, strengthen the spreading and explanation of relevant policies and measures, and resolutely maintain the stability of society to ensure people remain calm and peaceful during the Chinese New Year holidays.”

Source: Voice of America, January 25, 2020

Chinese Public Hurls Anger at Hubei Officials

Hubei Province, the province where the epidemic is most severe, held a press conference on January 26. Governor Wang Xiaodong, the Wuhan city mayor Zhou Xianwang, and other officials spoke at the conference. A series of mistakes they made at the press conference angered many Chinese netizens.

Governor Wang Xiaodong didn’t wear a mask at the press conference. This was a violation of Wuhan’s regulation that wearing a mask in a public area was compulsory. Netizens also pointed out that the Wuhan mayor, Zhou Xianwang, wore his mask incorrectly. It was inside out. People were critical of the mayor. If the mayor does not know how to wear a mask, “how could ordinary people know?” Some even called these officials “incompetent and irresponsible politicians.”

In China, criticisms of politicians are often quickly removed from cyberspace, but this time the speed of angry comments from the people even exceeded the speed of the online censorship. One online post criticizing the press conference received more than 680 million views on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform.

Netizens also focused on the inaccuracies in governor Wang’s speech. When referring to the annual output of masks in Hubei Province, he repeatedly revised the data first from 10.8 billion to 1.8 billion and then he reduced it to 1.08 million. One netizen was puzzled, “As the governor, how can you not know how many masks Hubei produces?”

Hubei Province is the epicenter of the outbreak. Wuhan pneumonia has reportedly killed at least 81 people and infected more than 2,700 people worldwide, including in the United States, Australia and Taiwan.

Source: Central News Agency, January 28, 2020