Pro-Beijing Businessman Exposes Chinese Authorities’ COVID-19 Quarantine Extortion

September 17, 2020Updated: September 17, 2020

An online post warning Chinese travelers about extortion in the guise of COVID-19 testing and isolation when transiting through China’s Fujian Province went viral recently. The message was posted on Chinese social media on Sept. 5 by Wang Lizhi, a pro-Beijing businessman who currently resides in New York.

Wang said: “Relevant departments of Fujian Province make a fortune by deliberately giving false test results and transferring healthy people to Fuzhou Pulmonary Hospital for a comprehensive examination. Even when no disease is found and everything is normal, you must be isolated in the hospital for 14 days.”

The post also detailed the basic cost of a hospital bed as 350 yuan ($51), with a total daily cost of around 900 yuan ($132). The cost of a 14-day quarantine is over 10,000 yuan ($1,462).

“Calling the mayor’s hotline takes 10 days to get a response. Calling the CDC, you learn that it is a state regulation.” He continued, “I don’t believe the state would regulate like that. I’d rather believe that this is entirely the Fujian Provincial Government colluding with the corrupt hospital to entrap the citizens. Isn’t Fujian Province ruled by the Communist Party? Is this still a government under the Communist Party?”

Wang hopes that people who share the same views would forward the post to let more people know about the situation.

Ge Bidong, a U.S.-based Chinese economist, told The Epoch Times that the issues and doubts that Wang raised about the Chinese regime is a typical reaction among those who have benefited from being affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

While the United States is decoupling from China, Ge said, “These pro-Communists make choices based on their interests and needs. When they see the end of the CCP, it is possible they will distance themselves or even suddenly oppose communism. That’s not awakening, it’s another kind of speculation.”

Extortion in the Guise of Testing and Isolation

The Epoch Times spoke with a reporter who looked into Wang’s extortion claims. The reporter, who wished to remain anonymous, called the Fuzhou Municipal Health Commission, the pandemic prevention hotline, and the Fuzhou Pulmonary Hospital in Fujian. The answers he got from the staff were contradictory, especially regarding the fees involved, and some simply said that they didn’t know anything about the situation.

Staff at the Health Commission told the reporter that anyone with a positive nucleic acid test is sent to the Fuzhou Pulmonary Hospital for treatment. “As for the cost of the hospitalization, ask the pandemic prevention hotline. The health committee staff on duty will answer in detail.”

The reporter called the pandemic prevention hotline and was told that after returning from abroad, the nucleic acid test is done before a person can enter the border. “After the border check is completed, the nucleic acid test will be performed again (a second time). It takes six hours for two tests. After the second test, the traveler will go to a quarantine hotel for 14 days. This hotel charges about 400 yuan ($59) a day, so the cost for 14 days is about 5,000 yuan ($731). Those who test negative can proceed to their next destination but must be quarantined at home for seven days.”

“If one tests positive, one must go to Fuzhou Pulmonary Hospital for treatment—the designated hospital. The cost varies according to the treatment. If there are no symptoms, the medical assessment won’t cost much. For positive (testers), the initial stay costs about 10,000 yuan. The length of hospital stay depends on when the person tests negative, which can take 20 to 30 days. It’s possible.”

The cost of the hospital bed is the regular rate of “dozens of dollars (a day), the domestic bed fee is very low, ” the staff said. When the reporter said that the rate is 350 yuan, as stated in Wang’s online post, the staff responded, “For a patient in a negative pressure ward, which means that the air pressure in the ward is lower than the air pressure outside, it is possible to charge 350 yuan.” The reporter was told to ask the hospital about the fees.

The staff said that Fuzhou has had more than 30,000 returnees and not many tested positive, claiming that “70 or 80 were sent to the hospital.”

When the reporter called the medical department of Fuzhou Pulmonary Hospital, a staff member said that their hospital is designated for the treatment of COVID-19 in Fuzhou. In other words, those returning from abroad who test positive must go to that hospital for treatment.

Regarding bed charges, the staff said, “I’m not the person in charge, I’m not sure (of the cost). If you want to know more, then call the Health Commission. They know everything about it. We aren’t allowed to answer any other questions. We can only answer questions about staying in our hospital.”

Regarding medical insurance, she said, “For those returning from overseas, our policy is that if they have a medical insurance card; some people with asymptomatic infections will be reimbursed, and the reimbursement rate will be in accordance with local regulations. For those who test positive, we require information to verify the validity and coverage of the medical insurance. It involves a lot of details before the charges are finalized. Regardless, patients pay up front and then seek reimbursement.”

Another staffer said that the average cost for patients discharged within 14 days is about 20,000 yuan ($2,925). “This 20,000 yuan applies to those who have no other diseases, and pneumonia was the only disease dealt with.” She said that the average daily cost for people returning to the province is about 1,500 yuan ($219).

She said that they are a state funded hospital and must receive full payment of their services. “Otherwise, you will receive a lawyer’s letter, because the money owed to the hospital, the government, and the finance department will inevitably cause a bad credit rating, which bans people from travel by plane or train.”

Mr. Huang, a resident of Fujian, told The Epoch Times that people returning from abroad are a big piece of meat that the local government will prey on. “For example, the government designates the quarantine hotel, which is a resource (for them). The recently collapsed hotel in Quanzhou was occupied by many people from different provinces. It costs 1,200 yuan ($176) a day, they are all pieces of meat.”

Netizens and Merchants Can’t Escape From the CCP

There were many online comments about Wang Lizhi’s post for directly criticizing the CCP. One netizen wrote: “It seems that the communist sickle has cut its red expatriate. Sad.”

According to a report by Chinese media GCTV, Wang moved to the United States in 1998. His company occupies nearly 50,000 square feet of office and storage space. It has been said that for every 10 units of Chinese seasonings sold in major Chinese supermarkets in the United States, seven come from his company.

A native of Shandong Province, Wang is a representative of the Shandong Compatriots Organization and president of the American Shandong Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In China, Wang owns several large agricultural bases and food processing plants. He currently serves as the Executive Vice President of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the Shandong Provincial Government, the Executive Vice President of the Overseas Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Standing Committee of the Shandong Changyi City CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference), one of the CCP’s rubber-stamp legislature bodies.

An insider of the Shandong compatriots organization revealed that Wang returned to Shandong when the pandemic first broke out in the United States this year. He was expected to return to the United States in mid-August, but has not yet done so.

Mr. Wang, a resident from Fujian, said that almost all overseas Chinese Chambers of Commerce organizations are filled with businessmen who are affiliated with the regime. Their so-called success does not come from their own talents or strengths, but from the support of the CCP. “The role of the Chamber of Commerce in foreign countries is essentially for show. The same is true domestically. Every province has a Chamber of Commerce that is supported by the regime. The Chamber of Commerce is like a local underworld.”