Despite having Vice Premier Sun Chunlan overseeing the process of eliminating COVID from Shanghai, the situation has not been going as smoothly as Beijing would have expected.
With a population of 26 million people, Shanghai is now going into its fifth straight week of city-wide lockdown in accordance with Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s “Dynamic zero-COVID” policy, an extreme and aggressive form of lockdown aimed to eliminate coronavirus transmission.
However, with rising levels of public outrage and wide-scale tragedies caused by such extreme measures, some officials claim that the perplexing situation in Shanghai stems from its political significance to Xi.
The Epoch Times recently interviewed an anonymous official of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) who expressed the following views on the current situation in Shanghai, based on his knowledge of some inside information.
First, the extreme measures are to test people’s stress tolerance levels.
“Beijing is preparing for an isolationist foreign policy, potential implementation of martial law, and epidemic concentration camps. The situation in Shanghai is to test the people’s reactions and the effectiveness of its policies in maintaining stability in China,” the official said.
Second, "Lying flat” officials (those who do nothing) could collapse the regime.
"A declining economy causes less damage to the regime than CCP officials refusing to work more than the bare minimum required, which is what we’re seeing in Shanghai right now. Officials either refused to fully comply with Beijing, or they went far beyond what Beijing wanted."
Thirdly, Omicron cannot be eliminated, the official said.
“Obviously, Omicron cannot be eliminated, just like how we never eliminated influenza. It’s impossible, and everyone knows it won’t happen. However, if we take the approach of coexisting with the virus, then it means Xi’s 'Dynamic zero-COVID' policy was a failure. That’s the biggest problem.”
Fourth, Li Qiang, a member of the CCP's Politburo and current Party Committee Secretary of Shanghai, will have to bear the consequence.
“The Shanghai municipal government did call the CCP State Council to set up an ‘Epidemic Special Zone’ for the Shanghai outbreak. As the current Party Committee Secretary of Shanghai, Li would have to take the blame for all the extreme COVID-19 policies’ side effects, so he is trying to set up a special zone to enact a somewhat more flexible COVID-19 approach,” the official said.