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China’s Ambassadors Failed to Raise Money from German Businesses for a Pro-China Portal

German national television recently reported that two of China’s Ambassadors to Germany asked German businesses for money to finance a portal supporting Beijing.

The idea of the portal, named “China reporter,” was from Wolfgang Hirn, editor of Manager magazine and Georg Blume, a free-lance writer for Times and Der Spiegel. Both are viewed as “experts on China” in the German media circle.

Shi Mingde, the previous Chinese Ambassador to Germany, had been trying to raise money for this project. On February 28, 2019, his last day as Ambassador, he even wrote fund-raising letters to large foundations and companies listed on Dax.

His successor Wu Ken sent his letter on December 4, 2019, a few days after the media exposed the Communist regime’s systematic arrests of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. “Since the German media did one-sided reporting (criticizing the CCP), it has become a more urgent need to spread a full and better image of China.”

According to the German media’s investigation, none of the foundations or companies that received the Ambassador’s letters provided funds. However, it is quite shocking that the CCP even asked German businesses for money for it to influence public opinion in Germany.

Source: Epoch Times, January 21, 2020
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/20/1/20/n11808274.htm

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
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/20/1/23/n11815506.htm

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
https://www.worldjournal.com/6753001/

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
https://hk.epochtimes.com/news/2020-01-26/7012343

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
http://www.rfi.fr/cn/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
https://www.voachinese.com/a/wuhan-coronavirus-party-newspaper-20200124/5259482.html

Does Wuhan Need Donations of Medical Supplies?

On January 23, 2020, Wuhan announced a “lockdown” of the city because of the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic. On the same day, eight major hospitals in Wuhan requested the public donation of face masks and other medical materials. The government also issued a donation request, but stated that it would not accept donations from overseas.

The government donation request was issued in the No. 4 Announcement of the recently established Wuhan Novel Coronavirus Prevention and Control Command Center. The announcement stated, “Temporarily do not accept materials not related to epidemic prevention and control, or donations from overseas.”

Sing Tao Daily reported that despite Wuhan’s refusal of overseas help, many Chinese lived overseas and were still donating money and materials and trying to find channels to ship the medical materials to Wuhan.

Radio Free Asia reported that a Chinese netizen commented on the Internet, “The group of doctors is usually the most obedient. Normally, if hospitals run out of materials, they go to the supervising government office or other hospitals for help. If they need to go to the public for donations, the government will handle the request and then distribute the received goods among the hospitals. This time Wuhan hospitals made the announcement on their own. That is, uniformly, a slap in the face for the Wuhan government. It showed that the medical community in Wuhan was totally sad, disappointed, and desperate (because of what the government did), and could no longer tolerate it.”

Radio Free Asia also commented on the Wuhan government’s not accepting overseas donations. It said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) did not want to lose face. Claiming itself to be “leading the world” and handing out tens of billions of dollars every time it visited Africa, Xi Jinping and the CCP do not want to make themselves look bad by asking for help from other countries.

Sources:
1. People’s Daily, January 23, 2020
http://hb.people.com.cn/n2/2020/0123/c194063-33742060.html
2. Sing Tao Daily, January 24, 2020
https://www.singtao.ca/4056092/2020-01-24/post-武漢告急 全球華人募集防護品/
3. Radio Free Asia, January 24, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/zhuanlan/yehuazhongnanhai/gx-01242020143338.html

The First Confucius Institute in the U.S. Will Close

The University of Maryland announced that it will close its Confucius Institute when the 2019-2020 school year is over. The university’s President Wallace Loh stated that this decision was due to a Federal law. The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requires that the Department of Defense stop funding the Chinese Flagship Program at U.S. colleges that have Confucius Institutes, unless they receive an exemption.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Maryland was established in 2004. It is the first one in the United States. Confucius Institutes have received many criticisms for spreading the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) ideology and political control throughout the hosting country.

The University of Missouri also announced that it will close its Confucius Institute in August.

Source: Epoch Times, January 18, 2020
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/20/1/18/n11803287.htm

Wuhan Police Silenced People Who Warned about the Wuhan Coronavirus

During the early stages of the spread of the coronavirus in Wuhan City of China, the police stopped people from mentioning it on the Internet.

The Wuhan Police official Micro Blog account published a notice on January 1, 2020:

“Recently, some medical institutes in our city have received several pneumonia cases. The municipal National Health and Family Planning Commission issued a public statement. However, some netizens, without verifying the information, posted and forwarded false information on the Internet and caused an adverse social impact. The police organization, after investigation, has summoned eight persons who violated the law (in posting the information) and dealt with them according to the law.

“The police reminded (everyone), that the Internet is not a territory free from the law. Those who post information and discussion on the Internet must obey the relevant laws and regulations. The police will investigate and punish, with no tolerance, any illegal actions of fabricating and spreading rumors and disturbing the social order. We hope that all netizens obey the relevant laws and regulations; do not create rumors, believe in rumors, or spread rumors; and build a harmonious, clean cyberspace.”

{Editor’s Note: It is a norm in China for the Communist regime to silence voices that do not echo the party’s “main melody” or voices exposing information that the party does not want people to know.}

The first coronavirus case was reported in Wuhan on December 8, 2019. However, China made the issue “low key” until January 20, 2020, when it started to spread to several other countries, including Thailand, Japan, Korea, and the U.S.

Source: Phoenix Media, January 1, 2020
https://news.ifeng.com/c/7sstzV13dEx

Wuhan Hospitals Are Full; Patients Are Told to Stay at Home for “Self-Quarantine”

In the past, the Chinese Communist regime had been reporting unbelievably low numbers on the Wuhan Coronavirus cases. On January 22, 2020, it admitted the existence of the outbreak in China and reported 547 cases nationwide, with 444 cases in Wuhan.

However, several people told the Epoch Times that the situation in Wuhan is much worse than what was reported.

Some netizens reported that groups of people who had a temperature had lined up at hospitals waiting to be inspected. Many were told, after getting a shot, to go home and quarantine themselves. After being diagnosed with pneumonia, some were not even accepted for hospitalization.

Dr. Wei, a doctor at a local community clinic, said that many doctors were infected because the government hid the information during the early stages of the spread. “For nearly two months, we worked (with the patients) without any protection. Five people in my organization were infected. That’s about 10 percent of the total employees.”

A nurse from the Wuhan Union Hospital, the best hospital in Wuhan, said that some her colleagues have been infected and went home for self-quarantine. “Now the hospital does not allow us to resign and won’t allow us to leave Wuhan. Many medical staff members have been infected, but the hospital will not confirm that they have the virus. The problem is that, once confirmed, they will receive free treatment and their cases will be added into the national count.” “There is no effective treatment; it’s all up to one’s own ability to resist. … I’m at work every day. I could receive a notice any day telling me stay in the hospital (to be quarantined).”

Another citizen posted on the Internet that she heard from the medical staff that the infected medical staff members amount not just to 15 cases as the authorities reported; it was more than 150. The second floor of the Wuhan Union Hospital is packed with the infected medical staff members.

A woman reported to Epoch Times that her brother’s treatment was delayed and he died on January 7. “My brother had the ‘unknown pneumonia’ and died in ten days. He was not included in the official count of the Wuhan Coronavirus deaths.”

Five other family members of hers are also likely to have contracted the infection from her brother. Her sister was hospitalized on January 4. Her brother’s daughter and son-in-law also got pneumonia. The hospitals said that they didn’t have beds to keep them there, so it told them to quarantine themselves at home. Every day, they needed to come to the hospital and stand in line for up to four hours to get a shot. The son-in-law is now too weak to walk that much. Her brother’s sister-in-law and her husband were also infected; the husband was quarantined at a hospital and the sister-in-law wanted to be checked, too.

“We have no other request,” said her brother’s daughter. “We just want a hospital bed. We want to live. We are also the infection source. (Keeping us out of the hospital) will infect other people.”

Sources:
1. Epoch Times, January 22, 2020
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/20/1/22/n11814163.htm
2. Epoch Times, January 22, 2020
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/20/1/22/n11812966.htm