Licking Blood From The Blade

China was a very different China before 2013. Sadly, many people didn’t really take notice of news behind the Great Wall until China Daily, CGTN and TikTok started making waves. This means that these folks do not have the benefit of hindsight.

Yes, as the video reveals, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has even talked about democratic reforms. Someone who once stood behind Zhao Ziyang could become Prime Minister. Not anymore. Things too a drastic turn after the “emperor” took over. The focus of this video is a character who is still active on YouTube after being virtually killed off on Chinese platforms.

A historian, Yuan Tengfei was initially an opportunist who managed to make it big while pandering to the anti-communist and anti-Mao intellectuals about 10 years ago. Years of economic and educational reforms have bred a middle class capable of critical thinking. Nothing happened to Yuan even when conservatives accused him of maligning martyrs and national heroes.

While most foreign websites and international platforms were already shut down after the Beijing Olympics in 2008, self criticisms were still generally tolerated. Under the leadership of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, Yuan had a field day and so did publications like 炎黄春秋 edited by Xinhua Agency’s top journalist Yang Jingsheng. China at that point in time, was indeed on the path towards political reforms and even democracy.

When a docile seat-warmer suddenly turned dictator, events took a drastic turn. Yuan Tengfei crossed the line when his fans celebrated Mao’s death. He was fired from his job and his social media accounts were all deactivated. One of his biggest fans, property tycoon and senior communist party member Ren Zhiqiang was sentenced to 18 years’ jail for making fun of the “emperor” during the pandemic.

The very popular and thought-provoking topics that these intellectuals touched on merely 10 years ago have now become totally unthinkable taboos. Yes, China has taken great strides forward both economically and intellectually since 1976, but it’s equally obvious that the reverse gear has been engaged in recent years. It’s quite perplexing to note that so many people are still living in the past, thinking that the country is still moving in the right direction.


“We are now at a critical juncture in reforming China. Without reforms in the political system, it would be impossible to realise the full potential of our economic reforms. The gains we have made in the past could be lost. The tragedy of the Cultural Revolution may happen again.”

Wen Jiabao

Starving People In Shanghai

There are several additional steps in the food/groceries distribution chain in Shanghai due to the current Covid restrictions. Even after the items (whether they are complimentary items from the government or goods bought online) have been delivered to the building, they have to be left at a holding area.

Wang Ge Zhang 网格长 is a member of the residential committee in charge of bringing the delivered items to the various households. From the voice messages, these community leaders were obviously not doing their jobs. Comrade Li Lansi who uploaded the video commented on how compliant Chinese people are. Even when their children are starving, they dared not step out of their homes to collect their food supplies without approval from the authorities. Are Chinese people that difficult to govern? Certainly not.

As for the 网格长, they could be volunteers expecting something in return for the favours they were doing, or some could just be trying to enjoy the wicked pleasure of having the power to make others plead.

However, it should also be noted that not all the Big Whites know how to exploit the system. Some of them end up buying their own protective gear.

Objection To Zero Covid

As friends from Shanghai shared in their photos of food items which were delivered to their homes during the lockdown, 連花清瘟 capsules were always in the package even though food items were often insufficient. What were the authorities expecting them to do? Eat 連花清瘟 to satiate their hunger?

About a couple of months ago, some friend of a friend argued with me when I pointed out that 連花清瘟 is actually a scam. He swore by Zhong Nanshan’s reputation and accused me of being prejudiced against TCM. I hope he isn’t living in Shanghai like he claimed. Otherwise, I’m not sure what he would do with all the 連花清瘟.

From his latest article, Zhong Nan Shan seemed to have made a U-turn. Not only is he no longer endorsing 連花清瘟, he even pointed out that zero-Covid is not feasible. He even supported the use of mRNA vaccine as a booster and anti-viral drugs made by Pfizer and Merck.

Then, the “crown prince” of Dalian Wanda Group, Wang Sicong posted a message on Weibo, dispelling the rumour that the WHO endorsed 連花清瘟. The shares for Yi Ling, the company manufacturing 連花清瘟 plunged after that. Wang later posted another message saying that daily testing for Covid has nothing to do with seeing whether you’re positive or negative but whether you’re obedient slave. He was instantly banned.

An influencer doctor joined in the fray, saying that 連花清瘟 is ineffective and healthy people certainly should not take it to prevent infection. Taxpayers’ money have been spent on the product, lining Yi Ling’s pockets while many people go hungry.

Like Xu Xiaodong who had vested interests in beating down fake kungfu masters to promote MMA while operating a MMA gym, Wang Sicong, the influencer doctor and even Zhong Nanshan may have vested interests in antivirals too. Just like Xu Xiaodong, they have been accused of working for foreign powers and disrespecting Chinese traditions. As pragmatists, we should be more interested in what works.

Threatening Suicide

From many leaked videos, we know that conditions at these temporary shelters housing people who have tested positive are dismal. Of course, not everyone is so unfortunate. Some shelters do provide adequate food.

The video below shows one of the not so adequate shelters. An inmate here had climbed up to the ventilation shaft of the building and threatened to jump off.

The person recording the video has been blocked/stopped by the attendants. They seemed more interested in stopping her than rescuing the person who was threatening suicide.

Will Shanghai Rebel?

There is a common Chinese saying 天下未乱蜀先乱,天下已治蜀后治 or 天下未乱蜀先乱,天下已平蜀未平. It means that when all is peaceful, rebellion starts in the region of Shu (Sichuan) and when all is appeased, Shu is yet to be appeased.

The Chinese government’s recent inhumane, draconian and counter productive measures in containing Covid infections in Shanghai have caused an uproar in the wealthiest and most cosmopolitan city in China. Will it be Shanghai that starts the rebellion this time?

How Did China Become Like This?

People could be enjoying the good life so much that they forget that they are being governed by a communist party. Will those who survive these inhumane and draconian measures remember what’s been done to them? Judging from history, unlikely.