Recently, some Chinese netizens have revealed that a Shanghai volunteer was showing off online that he had used a bag of vegetables and a box of fruits to persuade a woman who was short of food and lived alone to sleep with him. Another netizen with the account “Xingxiaoke” wrote: “In Shanghai, the wealthiest city in the country, many women who live alone actually sleep with volunteers or neighbors for food. It has been exposed dozens of times…”
Hunger and anger under COVID lockdown in Shanghai
Reuters reported that the COVID-19 lockdown misery has dragged on for over a month in China’s commercial capital. Most people are either shut in their homes or unable to leave their residential compounds. With shops and most other venues closed, even those who can go out have few places to go.
Over the weekend, Shanghai authorities sealed off entrances of public housing blocks and closed off the whole streets with two-meter-tall green wire mesh fences. In videos circulating online, residents can be seen protesting from their balconies.
CNN asserted that now, “with lockdown measures turning increasingly draconian, a once almost-unthinkable topic has struck a chord with residents in the city and beyond, more so than anything else: people going hungry in Shanghai in 2022.”
Some in locked-down areas of Shanghai have been struggling to acquire food and have been obliged to wait for government drop-offs of vegetables, meat, and eggs, BBC reported. Sometimes, these government food rations caused diarrhea and stomach pains, reports Bloomberg.
Massive Covid lockdowns have inverted supply chains and made it challenging to order groceries online. Bloomberg’s reporter Zheping Huang shared his own story: his cousin asked him to sign up on the Meituan Maicai grocery app to help her “scoop up whatever leafy greens were available”: at 8.30 am sharp when the platform refills its stock. Her one-year-old son needed to eat vegetables. Huang and his cousin refreshed the page repeatedly but in vain.
Shanghai’s strict lockdown measures have made procuring food and daily necessities a struggle money can’t resolve. Bloomberg revealed that many of Shanghai’s 25 million residents are resorting instead to bartering, trading with neighbors ice cream for vegetables or wine for cake.
By the authorities’ acknowledgment, the food shortage has been a man-made catastrophe due to a lack of planning and coordination. According to the Global Times, Shanghai Vice-Mayor Chen Tong admitted that food was not provided to the people due to a poorly implemented policy that did not consider that contagions reduced the delivery capacity. Because of chaotic food delivery supply chains, exacerbated by lockdown red tape, food piled up at places people can’t access while some folks stay hungry at home, said Bloomberg.
BBC, on April 24, revealed that Chinese internet authorities are trying to block a viral video highlighting the impact of Shanghai’s lockdown on its residents. The six-minute montage features audio of citizens complaining about their conditions, lack of food, and poor medical care.
“We haven’t eaten for days now,” one person pleads.
“This virus can’t kill us. Starvation can,” another man says.
Regardless of the censors’ brutal effort to wipe out all traces of bad news, heartbreaking stories keep being narrated and re-posted by social media users, in sharp contrast and fuelling distrust of highly choreographed state media images showing an orderly and effective lockdown, stated CNN.
Steven Jiang on CNN told his own family’s story:
“When I broke the good news in the online family group chat, however, uncles and aunts— all facing their own food shortage to various degrees —jumped in to express their shock that I willingly paid 398 yuan ($62) for five kilograms of vegetables and 60 eggs.
‘Highway robbery!’ cried one uncle, while an aunt stressed the price was more than four times what she would typically pay for the same amount of food in the market.
‘But these are boutique eggs,’ my dad deadpanned.
I was relieved that my father’s fridge was replenished in time, but hearing the relative’s comments, I felt a sense of ‘survivor’s guilt’: What about the countless residents who can’t afford price-gouged groceries?
“Among my friends and family, almost everyone has a personal story to share about the lockdown chaos and misery: from sneaking out in darkness to barter some food with a neighbor, to learning harrowing experiences of a friend dumped into to a hastily built isolation ward with leaking roofs and overflowing toilets, and hearing the wailing of an old woman next door whose children were unable to see their newly deceased father one last time,” said Jiang.
In reporting the story of his parents about to run out of food in Shanghai’s lookdown, Steven Jiang on CNN bitterly admitted that “Even during the darkest days in Mao’s China, my parents—Shanghai-born and bred — used to remind me that, unlike many in the countryside, they were fortunate enough not to fear the prospect of starvation.”
Jiang recalled the Great Famine and the stormy Cultural Revolution that killed millions during the first few decades of the Chinese Communist Party’s rule over China.
According to the CCP’s propaganda, the Great Famine (1959-1961) was caused by “natural disasters” and the Soviet Union’s forced debts. Those three years had favorable weather conditions without massive natural disasters such as flooding, drought, hurricane, tsunami, earthquake, frost, freeze, hail, or plague of locusts. The disaster was wholly man-made.
The book “Nine Commentaries On The Communist Party” revealed that:
“The Great Leap Forward campaign required everyone in China to become involved in steel-making, forcing farmers to leave their crops to rot in the field. Despite this, officials in every region escalated their claims of production yields.”
“In order to demonstrate that the CCP was correct in every circumstance, the crops were expropriated by the government as a form of taxation according to these exaggerated yields. Consequently, the grain rations, seeds, and staple foods of the peasants were all confiscated. When the demand still could not be met, the peasants were accused of hiding their crops.”
“The Party Committee of Xunle District, Huanjiang County, even issued an order to forbid cooking, preventing the peasants from eating the crops. Patrols were conducted by militiamen at night. If they saw light from a fire, they would proceed with a search and raid. Many peasants did not even dare to cook edible wild herbs or bark, and died of starvation.”
According to Historical Records of the People’s Republic of China (Red Flag Publishing House, 1994), three years of the Great Famine caused approximately 40 million unnatural deaths and reduced births.
The Guardians once published an article presenting the book “Tomestone” revealing the ugly truths behind the Great Famine. This book was penned by Yang Jisheng, who had worked for China’s state news agency – Xinhua, for decades but later had independent thinking and told the truth.
Having devoted 15 years to painstakingly documenting the catastrophe, Yang had little idea of what he would find when he started work: “I didn’t think it would be so serious and so brutal and so bloody. I didn’t know that there were thousands of cases of cannibalism. I didn’t know about farmers who were beaten to death.”
“People died in the family and they didn’t bury the person because they could still collect their food rations; they kept the bodies in bed and covered them up and the corpses were eaten by mice. People ate corpses and fought for the bodies. In Gansu they killed outsiders; people told me strangers passed through and they killed and ate them. And they ate their own children. Terrible. Too terrible.”
The former Xinhua news agency reporter also revealed that during the “three years of hardship,” the grass-roots canteens have become a base for CCP cadres to eat more and occupy more, with enough grain, pie, meat, and fish. Powerful men seduced women with food as bait, and at that time, many captains coerced women to sleep with them in exchange for food.
Man-made disasters under CCP’s rule
This tragedy brings us back to the 2022 “famine” created by the COVID lockdown, with the story of Shanghai girls sleeping with volunteers in exchange for food mentioned at the beginning of this article.
Some may think that story is made-up. How could such a thing happen today? Judging from the current grim situation in Shanghai exposed on the Internet and looking back at CCP’s history of tyranny, there is a high possibility that it happened and continues.
Today, the Great Famine in the twentieth century and Shanghai’s tragedy share a common feature. They are all man-made disasters. While “Great Leap Forward” was the principal cause of the Great Famine, the extreme lockdown policy in Shanghai has brought about more problems rather than solved them.
Recently on Weibo, Larry Hsien Ping Lang wrote that his 98-year-old mother needed treatment for a failing kidney, but a negative COVID-19 test was required to enter the hospital. Her fate, he wrote, was avoidable: She died while awaiting her test result outside.
The Los Angeles Times also reported that on March 23, Zhou Shengni, a nurse at Shanghai East Hospital, died because of an asthma attack. She was brought to the hospital, but it was closed for disinfection as the city went into lockdown.
The history of the Chinese Communist Party is filled with extreme policies stemming from an extreme ideology and nurtured by a highly draconian enforcing system. Communism pictures heaven on earth with an unlimited supply of goods that satisfies the endless desires of people, and the pathway to that so-called heaven is Communism. Along the way, the people are thrown into class struggle and bloody terror, with no freedom of expression and freedom of belief. Yet, the Chinese Communist Party consistently portrays itself as the people’s savior.
The male “volunteers” who boasted about their “victories” on the Internet above are typical victims of the Chinese communist regime, which brainwashed people with atheism and materialism. After continuous decades of massive propaganda and suppression, many Chinese today have lost their belief in the karmic retribution and the divine origin of human beings. Those who commit crimes do not think they are doing evil and will be punished by Heaven’s Law, and they may even be proud of their power and capacity.
Evil will be punished
Many ancient stories in China tell people how good actions are blessed and evil is punished. The problem is, either modern Chinese has little access to these traditional teachings due to “socialist” education, or a materialistic mindset prevents them from believing these stories.
In ancient times, there was a man named He Cheng who was proficient in medicine. Sun Mou in the county was ill for a long time and could not be cured, so their family sought He Cheng for diagnosis and treatment. Sun Mou’s wife was young and beautiful, and she secretly said to He Cheng that all valuable things in the house were sold as pawns, and she only had her body to pay him. He Cheng replied sternly: “How can Madam say such a foolish thing? Your family is so poor, how could I take advantage of others’ danger? I will carefully treat your husband without taking any money. Please be more self-respecting, don’t sully my personality and belittle yourself.” Sun Mou’s wife was very ashamed and grateful.
That night, He Cheng dreamed that a man took him to an official mansion, and the official in the hall said: “You have merit in practicing medicine, especially when you don’t take advantage of people’s danger to defile women’s chastity, your spirit is commendable, you move the gods. Therefore, the Jade Emperor will give you a position as an official, and a reward of 50,000 yuan.”
When he woke up, he felt ridiculous. How could a country herbal doctor have a job in the palm of his hand? Half a year later, the crown prince fell ill, and the imperial doctor’s treatment was ineffective. Hearing that He Cheng’s medical skills were excellent, the Emperor ordered him to enter the palace. Unsurprisingly, the crown prince was cured. So the emperor gave him a medical officer position, and the reward was exactly 50,000 yuan. At this time, He Cheng was stunned by what happened in the dream and was convinced that the gods truly exist.
On the contrary, Zhang Mou from Huating County once set a trap to lure women into rape when he was young. After marriage, he sired two sons, but both died prematurely due to stunted growth. He also contracted tuberculosis, which did not improve after many years of treatment. Later, he felt regretful and knew that his misfortune was the evil retribution of licentiousness. So he vowed in front of the gods and Buddhas to abstain from sexual misconduct forever, and he paid for the printing of many good books on cultivating morality, such as “Jade Calendar Treasures” and so on. A year later, he was cured and soon had three sons in a row.
Coming back to Shanghai in 2022, “for once, millions of people in Shanghai—young and old, rich and poor, liberal and conservative— seem united by their rising anger,” reports CNN. Would that anger, together with accumulated miseries throughout the last century of bloody oppression, help wake them up from the deceitful propaganda of the Chinese Communist Party? Would today’s tragedy pave the way for tomorrow’s rebirth of traditional moral values?