Months after the novel coronavirus first appeared and spread like wildfire across the People’s Republic of China, the communist nation has seemingly made a miraculous recovery.
A herculean effort that saw mass mobilization, rapid hospital construction, and downright draconian enforced quarantines soon resulted in a drastic decline of reported COVID-19 cases, giving hope to the rest of the world — at least from official reports.
According to one Chinese news outlet, however, the country is more of a paper tiger than a resilient dragon.
Beijing-based Caixin made the claim earlier this month that China is far from recovered — and that “local governments are faking coronavirus recovery.”
The paper cites business insiders across the country that claim to be unable to fill quotas set by the government, thanks to workers who being unable to return to work.
The quotas don’t seem to be set on production, but rather consumption, of electricity that is.
In order to appear to be up and running, according to Caixin, local managers are making sure they’re using power on a regular basis, even if they’re not actually in operation.
The headline on the March 4 article said it all: “Lights Are On but No One’s Working: How Local Governments Are Faking Coronavirus Recovery.”
The article explained:
“Leaving lights and air conditioners on all day long in empty offices, turning on manufacturing equipment, faking staff rosters and even coaching factory workers to lie to inspectors are just some of the ways they helped manufacture flashy statistics on the resumption of business for local governments to report up the chain.”
A factory burning through electricity must be producing something, the thinking of Chinese officials appears to be.
Of course, another explanation is it’s easier to simply compare power consumption pre-virus and post-virus from a cushy central party office in Beijing.
So instead of failing their communist overlords, the managers simply fix the numbers.
Power consumption is ramped up to simulate a fully-functioning factory, often by leaving lights and air conditioning running all day long. Industrial equipment is left on, producing nothing of value besides an upward trend on a Beijing-bound spreadsheet as it idles.
While Caixin’s bombshell claims don’t seem to be that much of a danger to report, it comes at a time when China cannot afford to lose face in the international community.
Battling a movement spearheaded by President Donald Trump to lay blame for the coronavirus pandemic on the communist nation’s mismanagement and lies, China has sought allies to push the narrative that the virus originated in America.
Already, longtime adversaries of the United States like Iran and Russia have begun parroting this disinformation.
China punished whistleblowers in the early days of the country’s own outbreak, leading to a throttle on information that allowed the viral pathogen to spread like wildfire.
One of the silenced voices belonged to a Chinese doctor, one of the first to recognize the new SARS-like coronavirus for the danger that it was. He later died of COVID-19.
Working under a government with an attitude like that, it’s clear that Caixin and the people behind its bombshell story are risking their careers and possibly their freedom to expose the truth.
While heroic Chinese journalists are working to break through the lies of their communist government, many of our own mainstream media groups are busy pushing the foreign country’s narrative.
It can never be forgotten that the virus originated in China, and was allowed to escape containment thanks to the Chinese government.
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