This is exactly the kind of crisis that can make even a powerful Totalitarian Communist leader like Xi nervous about the tide of public opinion.
Now that entire cities have shut down due to the virus, Chinese citizens have begun wising up to the obvious failures of their own government.
This winter, it was the starting point for an outbreak of a new coronavirus – which causes the disease now officially known as Covid-19 – that has rapidly spread across the country and beyond, claiming the lives of more than 1,300 people and infecting over 59,000 so far.
The crisis has been referred to as “China’s Chernobyl” – the 1986 nuclear accident in the former Soviet Union that was worsened by an opaque system and incompetent crisis management – and is the worst the ruling Communist Party has seen since 1989. It is certainly the worst under strongman leader President Xi Jinping.
…“Many Chinese sympathised with the government on the trade war, but the mainstream public opinion now is almost one-sided against the government,” said Zhao, who has written several books on Beijing’s control of information and public opinion. “This is something I haven’t seen since 1989.”
…“China’s political system under Xi – with its high concentration of power, its opaqueness, the overemphasis on ideology and Leninist discipline – has almost fully removed society’s capacity to handle such crisis,” he said.
Since Xi became the party chief in 2012, decision-making powers have been further concentrated at the top of the party, and sometimes with Xi alone. It has also been relentless in silencing dissenting voices within the party and across the country, clamping down more than ever on people expressing views online, and on civil society.
…In January, as public discontent grew over the handling of the outbreak, many questioned why updates on the situation had not been released earlier – forcing Wuhan mayor Zhou Xianwang to reveal that he needed approval from more senior officials to release the information.
Anyone who either remembers the original Chernobyl disaster or has seen the miniseries cataloging some of the catastrophic failures that came as a direct result of Soviet pencil-pushers who would sooner let people die than anger his superiors in the Party. — South China Morning Post
Now compare that to some of the frighteningly heavy-handed videos that have been leaking out from China… not the mere ghost town footage of major cities, that’s creepy enough but understandable.
But what about welding shut the doors and windows of private residences with people inside?
Chinese authorities close the apartments, welding the doors, with people inside to enforce the #coronavirus quarantine …
The Berlin Wall fell … and now the #Wuhan #China Wall and other cities are built?????? pic.twitter.com/uyn2V15Lu0
— Mula (@Mula01184907) February 10, 2020
Please Share these videos, people are literally putting their lives in serious danger to warn us.
This is definitely disturbing? pic.twitter.com/eo5XQMLgLQ
— Terrence Daniels (Captain Planet) (@Terrence_STR) February 9, 2020
‘What about the dense mystery fog being pumped into residential streets by workers in hazmat suits?
— CoronaVirusIntel (@CoronaVirusInt) February 5, 2020
And with a totalitarian police state that killed some 10,000 in the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, are even the outrageous claims being alleged in this clip so easily dismissed?
We have seen multiple videos claiming that police are shooting the sick. Here’s one example.
Everyone needs to watch the real face of China with police shooting corona-virus infected Chinese people on the street. This is what China really is and it must be made known everywhere… pic.twitter.com/saYiFsiBXp
— Dr. Steven Clark Bradley (@scbradley2) February 12, 2020
What the HELL are we to make of that?