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“He Who Created the Debt Owes the Debt” – China’s Finance Minister Told Local Governments

China’s local government debts have grown to an alarming high level. Liu Kun, China’s Minister of Finance expressed that local governments are responsible for resolving the issue and the central government will not help. During an interview with the China Central Television (CCTV), Liu said that “(we will) adhere to the principle of no bailout by the central government, and it should be ‘whose child it is who holds (the debt).” (In other words, he who created the debt owes the debt.)

Liu stressed the importance of regulating the local government’s financing platform companies. It has been a common practice for local governments to establish these companies to raise money to finance their spending. These companies usually use land (taken from the government) as collateral to get loans from banks, and later pay back the loans after the local governments sell the land. Now with the collapse of the real estate industry, local governments have a hard time selling land, and thus these companies are unable to pay back the bank loans.

Cheng Xiaonong, a Chinese economist living in the U.S. pointed out that all 31 provinces and municipalities in China had fiscal deficits in 2022. Now the central government is not willing to fill the hole. The result will be that banks will lose the money their customers deposited. In addition local governments must cut spending including salary reductions and layoffs.

According to Bloomberg, in the next five years, nearly 15 trillion yuan (US$2.2 trillion) of China’s local governments’ bonds will mature.

Last December, China’s Ministry of Finance issued 750 billion yuan (US$110 billion) in special national bonds for “economic reform, responding to major emergency events, and other expense items.”

Source: Radio Free Asia, January 9, 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

Chinese Are Protesting for Unpaid Wages

Thousands of workers at Zybio, a pharmaceutical company in Chongqing City, held a protest inside the factory and even clashed with the special police force which came to suppress them.

Zybio designs and manufactures medical diagnostic reagents and instruments. According to an interview with a Zybio employee, the company hired around seven thousand temporary workers in early December, promising to pay them 1,000 yuan (US$146) as a bonus on top of their hourly pay if they would work until January 21 and another 2,000 yuan bonus if they worked until February 15.

On January 6, the company announced it would lay off 8,000 people. Most of them were those temporary workers. The company said they lost orders. It used to produce COVID nucleic acid extraction testing kits, which were in high demand when Beijing carried out the “zero-COVID” policy. It switched to producing antigen testing kits after the government stopped that policy. However, workers suspected that Zybio had enough orders but used a lack of orders as an excuse to avoid paying a bonus to the workers.

A smaller group of people started protesting on the evening of January 6. Since the company executives hid themselves and only let the factory manager arrange the layoff, people got furious and started smashing things. Several thousand workers gathered at the company on the next day. A few more company executives were found and beaten.

Special police came to the factory. Some videos posted online showed the clashes between the workers and the police, including a video showing that a small group of policemen retreated while the workers were chasing and throwing things at them.

The protesters shouted one appeal: “We just want our salaries.”

Zybio proposed a resolution: It would pay every worker their December salary on January 7 and their January salary on January 8. In addition, it would pay 1,000 yuan to those who left as their severance pay, or to those who stayed as a bonus.

Since people got the money they demanded, they accepted the proposal. The protesters all left the company immediately.

Demanding unpaid wages has been a big issue when the Chinese New Year has approached. The government has demonstrated the habit of delaying payments to its contractors and companies. It has also had the habit of delaying payment to, or not paying in the end, its subcontractors or workers. Since migrant workers usually go home for Chinese New Year, they started a protest to demand their money before the Near Year.

This year has been even harder as some companies have struggled to survive due to the bad economy in China.

A netizen posted 40 videos about people at different places, including Beijing, Guangdong,  Shandong, Hebei, and other locations, demanding the payment of their wages on either January 4 or January 5.

The authorities somehow belittled the workers who tried to defend their own rights, as their actions interrupted society’s stability. Sometimes the government uses force to drive the workers away. Some officials came up with a term “malicious wage collection” to defame those workers who were actually victims.

Recently an online posting showed a banner hanging at a company, saying, “Fiercely crack down on malicious wage collection actions; defend the company’s illegal action of not paying wages.”

It is yet to be seen how the salary demand protest will continue its development in China.

1. Epoch Times, January 7, 2023
2. Radio Free Asia, January 5, 2023

COVID Death Revealed CCP Officials Transplant Organs so They Can Live Longer

Gao Zhanxiang, a former Deputy Party Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, died of COVID on December 9, 2022.

Zhu Yongxin, a Standing Committee member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the China Association for Promoting Democracy (a decorative party that the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] has allowed to exist in China to show it has “democracy”), wrote an article to pay tribute to Gao.

The last paragraph said, “Over the years, Gao Zhanxiang had been tenaciously fighting diseases. He had replaced many organs and jokingly said that many parts in his body were not his anymore. However, before the COVID epidemic, he was still hale and hearty, quick-thinking and loud, not like a patient at all. I didn’t expect that he would leave us so soon.”

This is a revelation that the CCP officials transplant other people’s organs into their own bodies in order to live longer.

The article has been removed. But a screenshot is still existing and has been spread around.

Source: Epoch Times, January 4, 2023

A “Firecracker Revolution” Took Place in China

After the blank-sheet paper protest, also called the “A4 Revolution” where A4 refers to the paper size, Chinese people started a new protest on the rights to set off firecrackers – some people called it the “Firecracker Revolution.”

Setting off firecrackers is a Chinese tradition to celebrate the new year. It had been a must-have activity for many years. However, in the past decade, the authorities banned it in the cities due to the risk of causing fires.

On Near Year’s eve, people in Xuchang City, Henan Province gathered at a central square. Some set off firecrackers. Police tried to arrest the “offenders,” but were blocked by other people. More and more people set off firecrackers at different spots on the square. In the end, the police gave up and let people enjoy their celebration.

A similar firecracker “offense” took place in Luyi County, Zhoukou City of the same province in central China on the next night. Police came and started arresting people. According to an  online video, a large group of people surrounded the police car, demanding the release of those who had been arrested. People and police officers pushed each other. Some young people smashed the police car, breaking its front windshield. Eventually people flipped the police car upside down. Special police came and arrested six people.

The “Firecracker Revolution” also happened in several cities and provinces including Henan, Shandong, Hebei, Jiangsu, Guangxi, and Chongqing.

Some cities loosened their restrictions on firecrackers. Dalian City, Liaoning Province announced certain districts that could set off firecrackers on Chinese Near Year’s Eve (January 21 this year). Dongying city and Binzhou City in Shandong Province also announced firecrackers were allowed in certain regions and at certain times.

Some commentators felt that from the A4 revolution to the firecracker revolution, the Chinese people showed that they are no longer so afraid of the authorities. They have started to demand their rights.

1. Epoch Times, January 4, 2023
2. New Talk, January 5, 2023

China’s COVID Infection Count

At present, three years after the Wuhan outbreak of COVID, China is suffering a nationwide outbreak. However, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) hides the actual infection numbers to pretend the pandemic is still under control.

A leakage occurred about a social media chat among officials at Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province. Wuxi city held an internal meeting to inform its officials that the provincial leaders criticized the city for being “too slow to get people into positive (people are not infected fast enough).” The province wants “the majority of the people (of Wuxi) to catch (COVID)” by March, 2023, so that its economy “can resume to a normal rate of operation” afterward.

Another leakage revealed that a social media chat (among officials at Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province) showed that Wuxi city held an internal meeting to inform its officials that the provincial leaders criticized Wuxi for being “too slow to report positive results (having fewer people infected).” The province wants “a majority of the people (of Wuxi) to catch (COVID) once” by March, 2023, so that its economy “can resume to a normal rate of operation.”

Ji’nan Times reported that, on December 23, Bo Tao, Director of the Health Commission of Qingdao City, Shandong Province, stated that each day, there were 490 to 530 thousand people in the 10-million-population of the city who got infected. He predicted the number would increase by 10 percent each day starting on December 24 and 25 and said “the peak is yet to come.”

On the other hand, the CCP’s official count is unbelievably low. It reported 4,103 total infection cases throughout the whole nation on December 23, with only 31 new cases in Shangdong Province.

An Internet posting showed a notice posted at the reception desk of one funeral home. The notice requires people to write and sign a  statement saying: “I confirm that the deceased (insert name) did not pass away due to COVID. I take full responsibility for hiding any information.”

1. Epoch Times, December 22, 2022
2. Epoch Times, December 25, 2022
3. Radio Free Asia, December 27, 2022

China’s Funeral Homes Are Running at Full Capacity

The rampage of COVID in China has taken many people’s lives. As a result, China’s funeral homes are running all day long to cremate bodies.

A Shanghai funeral home appealed for the public to fill openings in three areas: staff members to pick up corpses, people to assist the staff members who are picking up corpses, and workers handling the corpse pickup service on China’s social media WeChat.

A Hangzhou funeral home also posted that it had six positions to fill.

A Beijing citizen posted on Microblog (another Chinese social media) that in an emergency room in a hospital on December 26, he had witnessed over ten COVID deaths in 12 hours.

In Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, people lined up at 4:30 am for cremation appointments at the Yinheyuan Funeral Home (the facility gave out a limited number of tickets each day). Some people said that they came for 3 days but were still not able to get a number. The Guangzhou Funeral Service Center announced that, due to the high volume, it would not handle memorial services inquiries until January 10. It would still offer cremation services.

Anshan City, Liaoning Province turned an underground parking area into a morgue. Many coffins lined up in that area.

Some online videos showed a long line of cars waiting in front of a funeral home in Tianjin City. People packed a Wuhan funeral home. Also due to continuous use, a cremation furnace exploded in Tangshan City, Hebei Province.

In Beijing, the Tongzhou Funeral Home that cremated 40 bodies at the beginning of December quadrupled the number to around 160 bodies on December 19. An Internet video showed another funeral home – The Dongjiao Funeral Home – relied on police to direct traffic to the facility and some cars stayed in line for 12 hours but still hadn’t entered the facility. The funeral home also issued an emergency notice to its employees, prohibiting them from taking any media interviews or discussing or disclosing any numbers at the funeral home.

Source: Epoch Times, December 28, 2022

COVID Is on a Rampage in China

China recently loosened its COVID control policy after people took to the streets to protest the extreme, inhumane lockdown measures. As a result, COVID has  spread widely throughout the country.

On December 13, the authorities reported only 7,451 infection cases for the entire nation, which the public just did not accept as a number they could trust.

A video posted by a Beijing resident showed that an entire subway station, which used to be fully packed, had only three people in it, including the recorder himself.

Many doctors, nurses, and other medical staff are infected. They are asked to continue work if they can. Work units informed their employees to stay at home and not go to hospitals as hospitals had already “run beyond their full capacity.”

Radio Free Asia quoted an Internet posting that the author called 911 but was told that there were already 4,000 people ahead of him in the queue. Its reporter called Beijing’s hotline 120. The operator told him there were already 40 people waiting for an ambulance, and suggested the caller go to the hospital himself, so he would not be putting a wrong hope on an ambulance.

Funeral homes worked at full speed to cremate bodies. A Beijing resident posted on social media that after his father passed away, he could not find a funeral home to take in his father’s body. A doctor posted on social media that there was a five to seven day wait for cremation and his hospital did not have an empty morgue any longer. Radio Free Asia reported that four elderly people died in the Emergence Room of the Beijing University Hospital. Other patients stayed and waited with the corpse in the same room.

In addition to the present danger to the elderly, this COVID is also claiming young lives. Three children, at the ages of 13, 8, and 2, respectively, died after they had a high temperature.

Source: Epoch Times, December 13, 2022