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Leadership: “Unwaveringly Adhere to the Zero-COVID Policy”

Xi Jinping hosted the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) Politburo Standing Committee meeting on May 5, 2022, to discuss the COVID strategy. People’s Daily reported that the meeting called for continuing Xi Jinping’s “Zero-COVID” strategy, unswervingly adhering to the general policy of “dynamically zeroing out” and resolutely fighting against words and deeds that distort, doubt, and deny our epidemic prevention policies.

The article said, “Practice has proved that our prevention and control policy is determined by the Party’s nature and purpose, our prevention and control policy has stood up in history, and our prevention and control measures are scientific and effective. We have won the Wuhan battle and we will definitely win the battle of Shanghai.” (Editor’s note: It might be a stretch to say that the COVID policy is determined by “the Party’s nature and purpose.” However, it indicates that whether to follow the “Zero-COVID” policy is whether to align oneself with the party. Thus the people who suggest to stop “Zero-COVID” and switch to coexisting with the virus are taking a wrong path from the Party.)

On May 7, The CCP Central Commission on Discipline Inspections supported this decision by publishing a commentary titled, “Deeply, Completely, and Comprehensively Understand the COVID Prevention and Control Policies Set by the Party Central Committee.”

The military also supported Xi’s position. On May 7, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Daily also published a commentary, titled “Unwaveringly adhere to the ‘dynamic zeroing out’ general policy.”

Related postings on Chinascope:

1. People’s Daily, May 6, 2022
2. CCP Central Commission on Discipline Inspection website, May 7, 2022
3. PLA Daily, May 7, 2022

Public Opinion: Law Profession Pointed Out: Two Government “Zero-COVID” Measures Violate the Law

Tong Zhiwei, a Professor of Constitutional Law, East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai, published on social media that two of the government’s “Zero-COVID” measures are illegal. He said that he had consulted over 20 professors from his university, Fudan University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, South China University of Technology, Wuhan University, Hubei University, and Peking University, before publishing the article.

The first government practice that he stated violated the law is to forcibly take residents to modular hospitals or other facilities for quarantine. That practice should be stopped right away. The authorities’ justification for the force-taking is the claim that Shanghai is in an emergency state. However, according to the Constitution, any organization or officials in Shanghai do not have the legal right to declare an emergency state for Shanghai.

The second illegal government practice is to force residents to hand in the keys to their homes so that the authorities can go inside to spray chemicals to kill the COVID virus. According to the law, citizen’s homes are inviolable. An illegal search or illegal intrusion into the homes of citizens is prohibited.

Source: Epoch Times, May 8, 2022

Zero-Covid Policy – No Sign of Changing Course

As more cities in China brace for a possible lockdown, the Chinese Communist leadership shows no sign of changing the course of its zero-COVID policy.

On May 6, the CCP in Shanghai held a mobilization meeting to, “Resolutely Win the Great Shanghai Defense War.” The CCP Shanghai Secretary Li Qiang asked “military orders to be issued at every level.” Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng requested that every building, street and door must be checked in Pudong New District, Xuhui District, and Minhang District so that not one household is missed. The Mayor of Pudong New Area ordered that “even if one is smashed, he must complete the task.” Experts believe that this move was driven by political considerations and has no bearing on public health.

On May 7, CCP Shanghai Secretary Li Qiang inspected Jiading District. He reiterated the rhetoric. “The top priority is to reduce new cases and prevent rebound.” He called on people to “grit their teeth, stick it out, and resolutely win the battle of Shanghai’s defense.”

On the same day, the Xuhui District issued an emergency notice. From May 1 through 15, all residents must stay at home except for going out to have COVID testing. The community will stop accepting group purchases and express delivery. If a resident has placed an order, he must cancel or postpone the delivery time until after May 15. In addition, the authorities will suspend food distribution for those who do not participate in the COVID testing of them. The neighborhood committee will no longer issue exit permits to anyone to leave the community.

Earlier, a neighborhood committee in Pudong District issued a notice stating that it had received an order from above that if one has tested positive, all the residents on the entire floor would become “positive contacts” and “all the residents above and below the floor where the positive case occurs will be transferred and quarantined.”

Source: Epoch Times, May 8, 2022

World Press Freedom Index: Where Countries Ranked

Major Taiwanese news group Eastern Media International recently reported that, not long ago, Reporters Without Borders released the rankings for the 2022 World Press Freedom Index. Taiwan rose from 43rd last year to 38th. It is now ahead of Japan, South Korea and the United States. Hong Kong fell all the way from 80th last year to 148th this year. China ranked 175th out of 180 countries. The Index showed that Nordic countries are still at the top, with Norway and Denmark taking the top two places Both have high ratings of over 90. The five countries sitting at the bottom are North Korea (180th), Eritrea (179th), Iran (178th), Myanmar (176th), and China (175th). The United States ranked 42. The Reporters Without Borders report pointed out that the authoritarian regimes, which strictly control the media, used their asymmetrical position to launch propaganda wars against democracy, intensifying the confrontations with the democratic nations. Every year, Reporters Without

Borders ranks 180 countries and territories on the degree of freedom for journalists.

The situation is classified as “very bad” in a record number of 28 countries in this year’s Index, while 12 countries, including Belarus (153rd) and Russia (155th), are on the Index’s red list (indicating “very bad” press freedom situations) on the map. The world’s 10 worst countries for press freedom include Myanmar (176th), where the February 2021 coup d’état set press freedom back by 10 years, as well as China, Turkmenistan (177th), Iran (178th), Eritrea (179th) and North Korea (180th).

Source: ETToday, May 3, 2022

City of Yiwu Launched a Level II Emergency Response to Covid-19

Well-known Chinese news site Sina (NASDAQ: SINA) recently reported that The Covid Prevention and Control Administration of Yiwu City, Zhejiang Province issued a notice declaring a Level II Emergency Response to the pandemic. Level II requires the close-down of all indoor businesses, such as movie theaters and bars. The city applied strict control at key highway entrances and exits. All residential communities in the city will be under close-down management, and 24-hour Covid test certificates are required for entry and exit. All of the city’s middle schools, primary schools and kindergartens are temporarily closed. Public areas, government buildings and company buildings also require 24-hour Covid test certificates. Known as the World’s Supermarket, Yiwu is the world’s largest wholesale market for small commodities. At present, the market has an operating area of more than 6.4 million square meters, with 75,000 booths, offering over 2.1 million kinds of small commodities. Products are sold to more than 210 countries and regions around the globe. In 2021, the volume of express delivery services in the City of Yiwu reached a total of 9.29 billion pieces. The government expected a certain level of impact on the performance of transportation and logistics.

Source: Sina, April 27, 2022

Government: Shanghai Volunteers Found Someone Took Their Identifies and their Compensation

Recently, when people in Shanghai tried to register themselves as volunteers, they found their names had already been registered. Someone had taken their identities, completed the registration process, and collected the compensation meant for volunteers.

For example, a woman found from the official volunteer website that she did 26 hours of volunteer work in 2017, but she was pregnant at that time and never did that work. An elementary student found she “was registered” in November 2019 when she was seven; a son found that his aging father did 16 hours of volunteer work in 2018 though his father had been sick and had mobility problems.

There were also many fake volunteer identities and fake incidents of participation in work during the COVID lockdown. A man reported to the authorities that he found out that he “was registered” as a volunteer in two groups. One was with the Huangpu District Yuyuan Street Neighborhood Volunteer Service Center, which pays each volunteer at least 50 Yuan (US $7.5) for each event. He had never received any money. Another man said volunteers in his neighborhood receive 120 Yuan each day and some other regions are even paid 400 Yuan.

On March 3, Xinhua reported that 5.2 million people in Shanghai, or over 21 percent of the permanent population there, had registered volunteer accounts.

Editor’s note: Obviously in Shanghai, someone has stolen people’s identities to register volunteer accounts and then collected money based on their fake registration. Since this involves repeated payment distributions from the government, it is unlikely that the authorities knew nothing about it.

1. Epoch Times, April 27, 2022
2. Xinhua, March 3, 2022

Government: Beijing Plans to Keep the “Zero-COVID” Policy Until the 20th Party Congress

Two sources indicate that Beijing plans to continue its “Zero-COVID” policy and not switch to the coexistence approach at least until after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) holds its 20th National Congress later this year. The “Zero-COVID” policy has created mounting humanitarian crises in China, especially during the ongoing Shanghai lockdown.

Joerg Wuttke, President of the E.U. Chamber of Commerce in China, said during an interview with the Swiss, German-language daily newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), “(I)n closed meetings – especially in ministries that deal with the economy and businesses – I meet very well-informed and open-minded top politicians. They know what Zero Covid means for the economy. It’s just that they can’t use this knowledge to bring about policy change at the moment. Until the 20th Party Congress, which will take place later this year, they will stick to the Zero Covid policy. President Xi wants to be confirmed for a third term, so he cannot change his narrative this close to the finish line. The president has maneuvered himself into two dead ends at once: He can’t change his Covid policy, and he can’t change anything about his friendship with Vladimir Putin.”

A news commentator from Epoch Times stated that he had received the meeting minutes of an official COVID information meeting on April 25. The keynote speaker was Jiang Rongmeng, a member of the National Health Commission’s COVID Expert Group and Vice President of Beijing Ditan Hospital. Jiang is a real medical expert in the CCP inner cycle: he went to Wuhan during the lockdown, is an expert in the Beijing Emergency Management Bureau, and is one of the main authors of the “COVID Treatment Plan.”

Jiang listed five pre-conditions for China to change its Zero-COVID policy:

  1. Medicines need to be available, which won’t be ready within six months.
  2. 80 percent of the elderly are vaccinated, which is possible to achieve in six months.
  3. There are enough isolation beds, which is easy to do.
  4. There is enough ICU capacity [throughout China], which is unlikely to happen. China lags far behind the United States and Europe on this and it is impossible to catch up in a short term. It is easy to buy equipment but it takes 5 years to train an ICU doctor.
  5. Public opinion needs to be reset. Now people are scared of COVID and many will go to the hospital even if they have a low temperature when switching to the coexistence policy, which will deplete the hospital’s capacity.

These conditions indicates that Jiang does not think China is ready to change its COVID policy in the next six months due to its own situation.

Related postings on Chinascope:

1. NZZ, April 30, 2022
2. Epoch Times, April 27, 2022

Shanghai’s Infectious Disease Expert Calls on Authorities to Stop “Zero-COVID” Policy

On April 27, Epoch Times reported that Miao Xiaohui, a leading infectious disease expert in Shanghai, issued a post on April 23 calling on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities to stop its “zero-COVID ” policy, so as to reduce the secondary disasters that the approach has caused.

Miao was the vice president of Changzheng Hospital, which is affiliated with the Second Military Medical University of China. Concurrently he was the director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the University. He made it clear that the “zero-COVID ” approach was ineffective and lacked any scientific basis. He said that a number of neighborhoods in Shanghai had been locked down and controlled for nearly one month, that that period exceeds the three longest incubation periods for the Omicron virus and is “completely inconsistent with the basic laws of infectious disease epidemics.”

The “zero-COVID ” approach has triggered a large number of secondary disasters. One example is that many people’s deaths should not have occurred. “Let’s stop it!” He appealed.

As early as April 8, Miao even publicly pointed out that, under the strict lockdown, the “zero-COVID ” policy will lead to a run-on medical resources. He called for concern about the additional deaths and for settling the situation as soon as possible. He believed that, during the Shanghai lock-down period, because of the run-on medical resources, a number of chronic non-infectious diseases, infectious diseases, and acute diseases, plus a 66 percent increase in the suicide rate due to psychological stress, will result in a severe number of additional deaths that should not be ignored.

(Since the lockdown of Shanghai, many hospitals have been closed. This has led citizens to lose access to basic medical services and, as a result, many have lost their lives due to the lack of timely treatment. Some people spontaneously counted the list of dead persons in Shanghai who “died not from the COVID-19, but because of it.” By April 27, the number of deaths reached 176. For example, Yu Hongsan, a senior notary at the Shanghai Oriental Justice Office, suffered an asthma attack and passed away on March 19 because an ambulance could not get to him in time. By April 28, The total death toll from COVID-19 in Shanghai was 337 .)

The need for and the cost of the “zero-COVID ” approach and the lockdown of the city should be considered carefully, Miao stated. In order to reduce the crowding for the use medical resources, he suggested that asymptomatic infected people may be isolated at home; re-checked as to whether the universal nucleic acid testing is absolutely necessary; and hospitals should not be closed completely. It should be noted especially that nucleic acid testing can increase the problem of cross-infection.

On April 24, Ding Xian, former Party Secretary of the Jing’an Branch of the Shanghai Huashan Hospital, also pointed out the shortcomings of the “zero-COVID” strategy:  “Repeated nucleic acid testing, overwhelming burdening of staff, and a most serious cross-infection pattern, where science has been thrown in the trash.”

Yin Youkuan, the former deputy director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Huashan Hospital of Shanghai indicated in an April 22 post that the number of positive cases will increase by 3 to 4 percent for every full staff nucleic acid test done. He took a community in Shanghai as an example where originally there were no positive cases. However, after a few days of nucleic acid testing, 83 positive cases emerged. He pointed out,”That’s what the staff brought in.”

At present, Shanghai has implemented a so-called “Hard Quarantine” in a closed and controlled area. This means that the doors in the whole building are locked from the outside and residents can only move around inside their own apartments.

Source: Epoch Times, April 27, 2022.