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Economy: Chinese Researcher – People Should Work Throughout Their Entire Life

China’s aging problem has become severe. Dang Junwu, Deputy Director of the China Research Center on Aging, offered a solution that people should just keep working forever. According to Baidu, the China Research Center on Aging is the only national-level research institute specializing in the science of aging.

Dang said the following in a video: “We have entered an aging society. Once we are 60, we still have on average 27 years to live. How do we spend these 27 years? We should have the idea of ‘working throughout our entire life.’ (He who keeps working) does not want to simply enjoy a comfortable retirement; he actually takes pleasure in (working continuously ).”

Source: Aboluo Website, January 22, 2023

Economy: China’s Three-Tiered Social Security Structure

On January 13, Yingtan City, Jiangxi Province, posted on social media that the county has finished the delivery of social security payments for January. 75,500 retirees of companies received 178.85 million yuan; 13,600 government retirees received 69.09 million yuan; and 137,800 other retirees (residents not working for the government or established companies) received 28.54 million yuan.

People were thus able to calculate the three-time payment structures: 5,080 yuan (US$749) per month for government employees, 2,368 yuan (US$349) per month for company retirees, and 207 yuan (US$31) per month for normal residents. This created a hot discussion on the Internet about the unfair social security treatment based on people’s classes.

Source: Epoch Times, January 16, 2023

Economy: Banks in China Try to Stop Early Payoff of Mortgage Loans

The Caijing website published an article discussing the phenomenon that banks are creating hurdles to prevent people from paying off their mortgage principle earlier than is stated in their schedule.

The online App of a large state-owned bank told its users that early repayment cannot be handled online and that they need to make an appointment for an office visit. However, this type of appointment has a long waiting time. A customer called on January 3 and got an appointment on June 13. Some other banks also have people wait 3 months for an appointment.

Banks prefer customers to follow the mortgage payment schedule so that they can have the interest create a steady cash flow.

People, on the other hand, prefer to pay off their mortgage earlier because, nowadays, the normal financial investment options in China, such as bank’s saving accounts, mutual funds, hedge funds, etc. have a volatile and lower return than the mortgage interest rate. Thus people would rather pay off their mortgage principle.

Source: Caijing, January 19, 2023

Economy: How Will China’s Local Governments Manage Their Debts?

The high level of China’s local government debts has grown to a point of being alarming. Liu Kun, China’s Minister of Finance asked local governments to be responsible for their own debts and that the central government will not help, as “whose child do they hold?”

A Taiwanese media Up Media republished an article by Yan Cungou, a former Wen Wei Po editor, commenting on this policy:

Why was Liu Kun so cold-hearted? It is because the central government has depleted its money. It does not have the ability to cover local governments any more. It is just giving a warning up front.

In China, the local governments have accumulated 65 trillion yuan (US$9.6 trillion)in debt. Where can local governments find the money to pay off these debts? One possibility is to exploit private companies. This can result in the massive death of private companies. A second way is to exploit the people. However, people do not have much left after the three years of “zero-COVID” control and over-exploitation can lead to escalated conflicts between people and the authorities. The third option is to cut spending and lay off government staff members. However, the officials might be so hurt that they would stop working hard for the communist regime. In the end, the local government will run out of money and won’t even be able to pay for stability control efforts. Then there would be more social turmoil.

There might be several consequences for the central government’s “not holding local governments’ children.” First is that the central government will lose its authority over the local governments. Second is that local governments will focus on own interests and depart from the central government. Third is that the infighting among local governments (for resources) would intensify. Fourth is that people would protest and add to the pressure on the authorities.

Source: Up Media, January 17, 2023

Pandemic: One Doctor Serves Nine Villages

China Newsweek reported, “A doctor who graduated from a secondary vocational school is responsible for the medical care for nine villages and a total of 1,400 people. When the COVID epidemic wave hit there, he had only a few boxes of fever reduction medicine and 30 antigen test kits.” In the past three years, his villages didn’t treat any patient who had a fever or store any medicine, nor would COVID medicine be shipped there since they were in remote mountains. This doctor spent 3,000 yuan (US$440), of his own money to buy an oxygen machine for his patients.

Normally China’s village hospitals do not have enough medical staff members, medical beds, ventilators, or extra-corporeal life support devices. However, many elderly people in villages do not have regular medical checkups and they often had some different illnesses already before COVID hit. Thus such villages face a much tougher fight against the COVID infection wave.

Even the county level hospitals are short of ventilators: only half of the beds have them.

Source: China News Agency, January 16, 2023

Pandemic: Chinese Doctors Found Zero Severe Illness Cases for Young People Catching Omicron

On June 18, China CDC Weekly published a research paper by Zhang Wenhong, the leading medical expert from the Shanghai COVID control and prevention group. This research looked at 33,816 omicron infected patients who, between March 22 and May 3, started with light COVID symptoms. A total of 22 patients, all in the high-risk group, had developed a serious illness. That represents 0.065 percent of the total population, or 0.238 percent of the high-risk population. No person, or zero percent, in the low-risk group had a serious illness. The high-risk group is defined as people who were over 60 or had underlying diseases such as a cardiovascular disease (including hypertension), chronic lung disease, diabetes, chronic liver disease, kidney disease, a tumor, or immune deficiency.

With the data showing a low health impact from the Omicron virus, people might question the validity of the governments’ “Zero-COVID” and lockdown policy.

Source: Sina, June 19, 2022

Pandemic: WHO Director-General Privately Said COVID Virus Was Leaked from China’s Lab

The British media The Daily Mail reported that Director-general Tedros Adhanom of the World Health Organization (WHO) had recently confided to a senior European politician that the most likely explanation for the origin of the COVID virus was a catastrophic accident at a laboratory in Wuhan, from which the infections first spread during late 2019. Officially, Dr. Tedros said that, “We do not yet have the answers as to where it came from or how it entered the human population.”

Some of the Western intelligence services questioned that the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been doing research with the virus and leaked it.

Source: Daily Mail, June 18, 2022

Government: Authorities Used the Health Code against People Defending Their Rights

Chinascope pointed out in its analysis, “China’s Zero-COVID Strategy: Part II,” that the communist regime in China has abused the Health Code App, a tool it developed to track people’s COVID-related health condition, so it could control people’s movement. The authorities can use its backdoor access to the app to freeze political dissidents or anyone they don’t like, anywhere and anytime.

A recent incident shows exactly how this abuse has been used.

A few days ago, a few local private banks in Henan Province were reported for massively stealing their customers’ money. They offered high interest rates to attract over 400,000 customers who are now facing the potential loss of a total of 40 billion yuan (US $6 billion). The government that was supposed to oversee the banks claimed that it was not responsible for the loss.

Some people then went to Henan to try to get their money back. To their surprise, they found that their Health Code apps had all been turned Red (in the COVID procedure, it means the phone holder is either a COVID patient or has close exposure to a COVID patient and needs to be quarantined). Henan officials visited those who arrived there and offered them two options: either stay in Henan for quarantine (their code will remain Red and they cannot go out to talk to anyone about their bank account problem) or return home.

Those bank customers who did not go to Henan also found their code had turned Red, which then completely prevented them from travelling, or even going out of their homes., the website managed by the State Council’s China Internet Information Center, alleged that it was Henan Province that manipulated the health code of those bank customers even though they were not in Henan.

Related postings on Chinascope:

1. BBC, June 14, 2022
2. (owned by China Internet Information Center of the State Council), June 15, 2022