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Social Stability

Local Government: Confiscating Each Other’s Medical Supplies

The shortage of medical supplies has created tension between local governments as everyone works on control and prevention of the novel coronavirus. Several places have been reported for confiscating other locality’s medical supplies.

  • In early February, Dali City, Yunnan Province, confiscated hundreds of boxes of face masks belonging to several cities, including Huangshi City, Hubei Province, Chongqing City, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, and Cixi City, Zhejiang Province.
  • After customs in Shengyang City, Liaoning Province detained 100,000 face masks of Qingdao City, Shandong Province, Qingdao drafted an official notice that “following the reciprocal principle,” their customs will detain the face masks that Shenyang bought from Korea.
  • Mengzi City, Yunnan Province detained over 100,000 face masks that Liucheng County, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region had purchased.

The most recent case was that the Shanghai Armed Police went to Rizhao City, Shandong Province to escort 5,000 protective suits back to Shanghai. They drove over a thousand kilometer (over 600 miles) in 28 hours and successfully brought the suits back to Shanghai. Continue reading

Virus Origin: Who Was Patient “No. Zero”?

Many people, including medical experts, have been questioning the origin of the coronavirus. Many Chinese individually questioned whether it was created by the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, China’s first Biocontainment Level 4 (BL4) lab (Chinese call it a P4 lab) in Wuhan.

There have been widespread discussions among Chinese individuals on the Internet about a few “theories” to support this suspicion, though officially the media have remained silent:

  1. The virus was leaked to the public by selling experimental animals with the coronavirus.
  2. Huang Yanling (黄燕玲), a female graduate student who studied at the P4 lab in 2012, was the first coronavirus patient (Patient “No. Zero”).
  3. No one from the P4 lab has caught the coronavirus, so they may know a specific way to protect themselves.

On February 15, the government declared theory #2 to be a “rumor.” The Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, issued a statement that Huang Yanling didn’t work at Wuhan P4 lab after her graduation.

Beijing News interviewed Shi Zhengli, the lead technician at the P4 lab and Chen Quanjiao, a researcher at the lab. Both were not sure if the lab has someone called Huang Yanling, but Shi Zhengli flatly rejected the idea that patient “No. Zero” was from the lab. “How could that be? It is definitely fake news. I can guarantee that including graduate students, no one in our institute has been infected. Our institute has zero infections.”

Caixin also gave a detailed report on patient “No. Zero.” In addition to mentioning that it was a rumor, it explained the significance of identifying patient “No. Zero” and mentioned that the first reported infection case of coronavirus was on December 1, 2019 and the patient didn’t go to the seafood market, which China blamed as the starting point of the virus.

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Leadership: Xi Explains His Role in Containing Coronavirus since January 7

Qiushi Journal, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee’s flagship bimonthly periodical, released a speech that Xi Jinping, the CCP General Secretary, gave at the February 3 meeting of the Politburo Standing Committee.

Qiushi published the full text of Xi’s speech on Saturday, February 15. In the speech, Xi explained his role since January 7, 2020, in containing the novel coronavirus. After consolidating power, Xi has made it a rule that different organizations, including the National People’s Congress, State Council, each headed by a Politburo Standing Committee member, all report their work to him. This is the first time he had to explain to others what he has been doing.

China experts observed that Xi has been under mounting domestic and international pressure because of the outbreak, as well as the spread of the coronavirus. In order to “gain international understanding and support,” Xi offered guidance on “communicating with WHO, and with relevant countries and regions, to promote information sharing and policy coordination.” Meanwhile, Wilbur Ross, the US commerce secretary, revealed that the 15-member WHO delegation has no US experts in it.

Xi also wanted to “ensure societal control and security by stepping up law enforcement and mobilizing public security and the armed police in joint efforts.” Xi made no mention of the delayed or inaccurate reporting that the local leaders from Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus outbreak had voiced.

Xi gave orders to “strengthen control and management of Internet media; push for clear organizational and individual obligations, management obligations, and supervision obligations; and strike against and handle those who spread rumors and stir up trouble.”

On February 4, the day after Xi’s speech, Zhao Kezhi, minister of China’s ministry of public security, told police personnel across the country through a teleconference to maintain a secure and stable environment to fight the virus. He said the police needed to place “political security” above everything else, and to crack down on “domestic and international hostile forces.”

Xi also emphasized adherence to the economic goals set for this year, including achieving “moderate prosperity.”

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Resuming Production: Companies Discover Coronavirus Cases after Resuming Work – February 16

After Xi Jinping pushed for thawing the economic freeze due to the lockdown of cities in the face of the novel coronavirus, a few places in China mobilized businesses to resume work. However, several companies, after restarting work, immediately reported a patient of coronavirus at work and thus had to stop operations and instead quarantine all or part of the employees who came to work for another 14 days.

  • An office worker from Guangzhou was found to have caught the coronavirus. All employees from his company were stopped from working and put under quarantine.
  • A person returned to Beijing to resume his work after the Chinese New Year. After working for eight days, he was found to have the coronavirus. Several dozen people in his department were quarantined and a colleague who sat next to him at the cafeteria during lunch was infected.
  • A branch of Chongqing Titanium Industry Company, owned by the Panzhihua Iron and Steel Company, a State-owned enterprise and the largest steel maker in Western China, had 2 confirmed cases and 1 asymptomatic infection case, with 131 people having had close contact with the patients.
  • Lianyuan Conch Cement Factory in Loudi City, Hunan Province and an electricity power plant in Shanxi Province also reported cases. The companies either stopped operations or locked down the employees.
  • Gree Electric in Zhuhai City, Hubei Province reported that a driver of a shuttle bus to transport its employees to work had close contact with a confirmed coronavirus patient. Gree has several tens of thousands of employees in Zhuhai.

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Infection Count: Official Numbers Do Not Include Asymptomatic Infections

At a news conference on February 14, Zeng Yixin, Deputy Director of National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that Beijing will not include an asymptomatic coronavirus infection in its infection count.

An asymptomatic coronavirus infection refers to people who are carriers of a the disease or infection, but experience no symptoms of being infected with the novel coronavirus. That is, although they have no symptoms, they are likely to be found to be infected in a pro-active test.

He stated that in accordance with the relevant regulations about the epidemic, only suspected and confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus will be reported to the public. An asymptomatic infection is not considered to be a case that needs to be reported. If a patient with an asymptomatic infection develops symptoms during the period of quarantine, then the government can report it as a confirmed case.

 

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China’s Banks Will Disinfect Money Bills

Fan Yifei, Deputy Chairman of the People’s Bank, China’s Central Bank, announced on February 15, that commercial banks, after receiving money bills from customers, must disinfect the bills before re-circulating them and giving them back to customers. In regions that have severe novel coronavirus infections, bills must go through ultraviolet ray or high temperature treatment. Then they must be stored for 14 days before re-circulating them back to market. In regions with light infections, bills need to be disinfected and then stored for a week.

Guangzhou has gone one step further. It destroys bills received from hospitals, farmer’s markets, and the public transit system. Continue reading

Locust Plague, the Next Disaster to Hit China?

The desert locust (scientific name “Schistocerca gregaria”), the type of locust that is most destructive to human beings, has been spreading in Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has warned about a possible food crises in countries that they have invaded.

Two of China’s neighboring countries, Pakistan and India, are suffering from its attacks. Pakistan has entered a state of emergency; its government expressed that the country will end up with no harvest at all this year if it doesn’t get the pest under control. Some Indian scholars predicted the locust plague will cause a 30 to 50 percent reduction in India’s food growth this year.

Kang Le, an Ecologist and Entomologist, and an Academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told China Science News, during his interview with the newspaper, that the desert locusts will not impact China.

Kang said, “The current Locust plague is caused by the Schistocerca gregaria type. Its distribution region does not include China. Some scientists reported that the Schistocerca gregaria type was discovered in Yunnan Province in the early 1900’s but that claim was not confirmed. Therefore, Schistocerca gregaria will not create a severe threat to China.”

Kang also said that China has had a good experience in treating types of migratory locusts in China. However, that experience cannot easily be applied to the desert locust. “Since the desert locust has different characteristics and lives in a different environment from China’s types of locusts, it is not practical to apply China’s experience to the desert locust directly.”

On the other hand, Twitter has posted that the desert locusts have already arrived in Xinjiang.

Sources:
1. 163.com, February 15, 2020
https://news.163.com/20/0215/16/F5EJFM1M0001899O.html
2. Twitter

On February 13, a Few Cities in Hubei Issued “Wartime Control Orders”

At midnight on February 13, 2020, Zhangwan District in Shiyan City, Hubei Province implemented the first “Wartime Control Order” (战时管制令) . Dawu County of Xiaogan City, Hubei Province also implemented a “Wartime Control Order” later on the same day.

The order by the Zhangwan District, Shiyan City required that every building in the district must be locked down. Any resident or other person, if not medical staff, epidemic control staff, public utility staff, telecom staff, or food supplier staff, is prohibited from entering or leaving the building. All residential communities must strictly follow “wartime control.” The government organs, including the township, street, or neighborhood community (a government controlled organization to manage a community) will provide food of certain fixed kinds at a fixed time. They will also buy urgently needed medicine for the people who are locked in.

Anyone who breaks the rule will be detained for at least 14 days. Continue reading

On February 13, Beijing CDC Issued a “Wartime Status Order”

On February 13, 2020, the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Party Committee issued a “Wartime Status Order” (战时状态令). Any mid-level party cadres and Party Branch managers whose actions have a big impact and a bad influence will be put on suspension or removed from the job immediately.

The order asked all Party members and cadres to understand fully the urgency and importance of the current “emergency,” “critical moment,” and “crisis point,” establish an “unusual mentality” and enter into a “wartime status.”

Everyone should unconditionally obey the “wartime status” Party Committee’s decision and serve the current epidemic control work.

Everyone should also strengthen their political security, ideology security, Internet information security, secret information security, laboratory animal security, and food security. Resolutely prevent any information leaks or any confidential security incident. Continue reading

Stability Control: Four Internet Police Officers Had to Work around the Clock for Seven Days

The website of Dongying City, Shandong Province, reported a story on January 28, 2020, on how dedicated the Internet police officers were to their work.

Guo Qiqi, an Internet police officer told the news reporter, “Since January 22, (the Dongying government) has been using the emergency response plan. Four female Internet police officers have been stationed to work around the clock for 7 days. When they got really tired, they would go take a nap. They kept their mobile phones with them at all times.”

“One WeChat message can impact a few hundred people in that group. If it is reposted to other groups, it can reach thousands or tens of thousands of people very quickly.” Guo said that the public opinion control plan requires them to resolve (remove) “untruthful” information from identifying it, to verifying it, to declaring it is a rumor, all in 30 minutes.

The four Internet police officers’ achievement was that, “They monitored over 3,000 public opinion messages, filtered and deleted nearly 100 poisonous messages, declared and clarified 10 rumors, and provided positive guidance to the senders of 38 messages.”

Guo said, “Rumors will mislead the public. Please go to the official media to get information.” In addition, she expressed that the Internet is also governed under the law and, according to the law, the “police will go after, ” anyone who creates rumors or spreads rumors on the Internet.

Many people were shocked after reading the article, as it gave a live example of the Communist regime’s Internet censorship.

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