Dozens of CCP-Linked Officials, Prominent Figures Die During Recent COVID-19 Outbreak

By Sophia Lam
Sophia Lam
Sophia Lam
Sophia Lam joined The Epoch Times in 2021 and covers China-related topics.
December 22, 2022Updated: December 22, 2022

China, its capital in particular, has been hit hard by the recent wave of COVID-19 that is sweeping the country.

After dozens of professors and teachers from top Chinese universities passed away during the past 30 days, four more prominent Chinese figures have been reported to have died in the three days Sunday to Monday, respectively. They were aged from 39 to 89.

According to Shanghai-based news portal The Paper, Tsinghua University professor Wu Guanying, China Film Art Research Center’s former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) secretary Chen Jingliang, former member of the editorial board of Xinhua News Agency Fang Xuehui, and celebrated Peking Opera performer Chu Lanlan all died within the three days.

The Paper wrote that they died of illness after medical treatment failed to help them. The report didn’t specify which illness caused their deaths.

Biographies of 4 Scholars and Celebrities

Professor Wu Guanying, who died on Dec. 20 at the age of 67, was a professor of the Department of Information Art & Design at the Academy of Arts and Design of Tsinghua University. He was best known as one of the designers of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics mascots. He also participated in the design of many sets of stamps and gold and silver coins of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals, and was the designer of the New Year greeting series stamps.

Chen Jingliang, born in April 1946, joined the CCP in 1979, according to The Paper. He started as a translator at China Film Group Corporation in 1970 and was the former CCP secretary of the China Film Art Research Center from 1994 to 2006 when Chen retired. He was a member of China’s Film Censorship Committee, which is overseen by China’s National Radio and Television Administration. Chen died on Dec. 19 at the age of 76.

Fang Xuehui was born in December 1933 in Indonesia. He worked for the CCP’s mouthpiece Xinhua News Agency’s Jakarta regional office in the 1950s and settled down in China in 1966. He was an editor with Cankaoxiaoxi (“Reference News”), published by Xinhua News Agency, which translates and re-publishes articles by foreign news agencies. It was once only available to the CCP’s cadres and their families.

Chu Lanlan was born in 1983 and passed away on Dec. 18 at the age of 39. She worked with the CCP’s military performing arts troupe to create Peking Opera singing and dancing pieces. She performed in various performances hosted by the CCP’s Central TV and Beijing TV.

Over 30 Deaths Reported in One Month at 2 Top Chinese Universities

From Nov. 10 to Dec. 10, a total of 19 retired professors and teachers of China’s prestigious Tsinghua University reportedly died amid the most recent wave of the pandemic outbreak, as reported by China’s news portal Sina.

China Reports Two Covid Deaths, But Numbers Dont Stack Up
Workers in protective gear handle a coffin and coffin case at Dongjiao Funeral Parlor, reportedly designated to handle Covid fatalities, in Beijing, China, on Dec. 19, 2022. (Bloomberg)

Huang Kezhi, a professor of Tsinghua University’s Department of Engineering Mechanics and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, died on Dec. 6 at the age of 95. Huang, a CCP member, was one of the founders of the Department of Engineering Mechanics, according to The Paper.

Tsinghua University is home to some of the most prominent alumni, including the current CCP top leader Xi Jinping, his predecessor Hu Jintao, and former Chinese premier Zhu Rongji.

On Dec. 11, an article titled “Taking the Protection of the Life and Health of Old Comrades as the Top Priority of the Current Epidemic Prevention and Control” was published on the official website of Tsinghua University, which says three working teams have been set up to guarantee the pandemic control and medical treatment of retired teachers and professors of the university. The article is reposted by Sina, a Chinese digital news portal.

Netizens checked the obituaries published by Peking University from Nov. 6 to Dec. 5 and found that 15 scholars of the university passed away during the period. Among them, 89-year-old Yang Gen, CCP member and professor of the School of Archaeology and Museology at Peking University, died on Nov. 30.

China’s New COVID Death Criterion

Though deaths have been reported by media and social media platforms in China, the communist regime’s official COVID death tally has not included the many deaths seen in the media reports that are from unknown causes.

Wang Guiqiang, an infectious disease expert from Peking University, said at the press conference of the CCP’s State Council on Dec. 20 that the National Health and Medical Commission has recently clarified how the government is classifying deaths.

According to Wang, only COVID deaths from “respiratory failures” will be included in the official death toll.

China’s National Health Commission (NHI) reported 100 new COVID cases and no deaths on Dec. 21. The NHI reported on Dec. 20 only five deaths across the entire country.

Cheng Jing contributed to this report.