Shanghai: The Pain, The Key, The War… and Victory

Some articles outlining the pain, followed by one article with the secret key to the story. Then, my own thoughts.

The Pain

Chinese auto industry officials have raised concerns that if the lockdown in Shanghai, China’s ‘economic capital’, continues, the operation of automobile manufacturing plants in China could be completely shut down from next month.

Wei Chengdong, CEO of Huawei’s Intelligent Vehicle Solutions and Consumer Division, posted on Chinese social media Weibo yesterday, saying, “If the Shanghai production facility does not resume operations, all supply chain operations in the science and technology and industrial sectors will be shut down after May.” I was concerned.

He added, “I am particularly concerned about the damage to the automobile industry.”

“If the lockdown in Shanghai continues, the entire Chinese auto plant will shut down next month,” concerns arise
From Archyde

For weeks, China’s most populous city, Shanghai, has been under strict lockdown orders in an effort to control a coronavirus outbreak. Its 25 million residents have been trapped at home, struggling to feed themselves or get medical help for sick family members. Others have been corralled into makeshift quarantine centers and temporary hospitals, unsure when they will be allowed to leave.

[…]

Talking over text and video calls with her boyfriend under lockdown elsewhere in the city, Li has spent hours debating whether such drastic measures are necessary, especially when the majority of Shanghai’s cases are patients without severe symptoms. Li’s boyfriend – who is from Wuhan, where covid was first detected and 11 million people experienced an unprecedented 76-day lockdown – argued in favor of the swift and harsh lockdowns.

[…]

Under government rules, the almost 300,000 residents who have tested positive for the coronavirus since early March and their close contacts must be sent to mass quarantine centers or to hospitals, depending on the severity of their symptoms. Many residents fear this more than getting the virus, unwilling to be confined in the quickly built temporary field hospitals, some of them repurposed schools or construction sites. They often do not have doctors and nurses on hand or private facilities for sleeping or bathing.

Videos have shown people fighting over stretched-thin supplies, trying to plug leaks, and in some cases attempting to escape centers. On Thursday, residents at an apartment complex in the Zhangjiang high-tech park in Pudong clashed with police after authorities said the compound would be converted into an isolation site. Footage posted online showed police dragging residents away as a woman begs them to stop and bystanders yell, “Why are you hitting old people? Let them go!”

Shanghai’s covid siege: Food shortages, talking robots, starving animals
BY LILY KUO, LYRIC LI, VIC CHIANG AND PEI-LIN WU • THE WASHINGTON POST •
Republished in the Stars and Stripes

For many of Shanghai’s 25 million residents, the city’s strict Covid lockdown has made procuring food and daily necessities a struggle money can’t resolve. They’re resorting instead to bartering, trading neighbours ice cream for vegetables or wine for cake.

The availability of many goods in Shanghai has been strained by clogged logistics into the city and the lack of couriers to deliver supplies to locals barred from leaving their homes. The city’s sweeping restrictions on movement, aimed at stymieing the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant, are now entering their third week.

[…]

One thing people will rarely accept for necessities, however, is cash. Indeed, many residents say they’d rather give goods to someone for free than take money, which is not very useful in their current circumstances.

“Money itself has somehow fallen in value,” said Stefanie Ge, who owns a small content creation company in Shanghai and says she’s traded everything from ham and beer to fruit and desserts. “Good relationships and contacts on the other hand are more important than ever.”

That was a sentiment shared by Sharon Cai, an accountant in her 40s living in Shanghai’s Pudong district. Cai said that bartering with other in her building – she recently traded homemade bread for carrots and garlic – had given her a sense of community.“Covid has brought so many ridiculous experiences,” she said, “but at least there’s been one happy thing. It’s made me feel like a neighbor.”

Locked-down Shanghai residents barter for what money can’t buy
From Bloomberg

The city of Shanghai went into a total lockdown March 28, in an attempt to combat surging cases of the BA.2 Omicron variant of COVID-19. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

Dozens of staff and vendors at NYU’s Shanghai campus have been “trapped” on campus for weeks, an administrator said.

“We have about 20 employees and 20 vendors who have been trapped on campus or in the dorm for weeks now unable to go home,” said Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman in an April 11 Zoom call to faculty obtained by The Post. “One of those employees is our driver. We have only one driver who is authorized to drive on the city streets right now … He is mostly delivering food and things like that, emergency supplies.”

NYU Shanghai students spend $76,783 per year in tuition and other fees.

“I’m assuming that a great many people associated with NYU and in Shanghai are experiencing food shortages,” said one frustrated faculty member. “People in my building are without food. And I live in a very upscale neighborhood. The whole distribution of food has been shut down.”

NYU Shanghai staff ‘trapped’ amid harsh COVID lockdown
From the nypost.com

The Key

Pay careful attention to the asymptomatic — ie, “no symptoms”, no sniffles or sneezes or coughs or anything — nature of the highly-contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19.

US orders all non-emergency government staff to leave Shanghai by Lee Brown

—<Quote begins>—

The US has pulled all “non-essential” consulate employees from Shanghai while warning Americans not to travel to the major Chinese city because of the brutal lockdown that could leave them separated from their kids.

The US Department of State pulled the staffers Monday, a day before the quarantine appeared to be easing, with some of Shangai’s 25 million residents allowed to leave home Tuesday for the first time in two weeks.

The State Department had also updated its travel advisory Monday, suggesting Americans “reconsider” going to China because of “arbitrary enforcement of local laws and COVID-19-related restrictions.”

It gave a stronger “Do not travel” advisory for Hong Kong and Shanghai “due to COVID-19-related restrictions, including the risk of parents and children being separated.”

Travelers will have to “quarantine at a government-designated location for a minimum of 14 days,” during which they will get daily tests and be locked in rooms, the department warned.

[…]

Shanghai abruptly closed businesses and ordered people to stay home on March 28 amid the biggest outbreak since the coronavirus was discovered in late 2019 in the central city of Wuhan.

Yet the vast majority have been completely asymptomatic, with just 998 of the 23,346 new cases — about 4% — listed in Shanghai by Monday night reporting any symptoms.

And of the 200,000 cases from the latest wave there, there has not been a single reported death.

Still, hazmat suit-wearing officials completely locked down China’s richest city, leaving desperate locals complaining about brutal conditions, including the lack of food and medicine.

—<Quote ends>—

The War

As I mentioned before: it isn’t about health. It’s about power.

The disruption and destruction of Chinese lives and Chinese businesses can only be justified, not for the protection of China — from an asymptomatic disease, however contagious? — but to teach all to Fear and Obey the Centre.

It reminds me of the one-child policy, that was not only unnecessary (and brutal, and cruel, and completely unlawful in the eyes of Christ) from the get-go, but was tightly upheld long after even the most fanatic overpopulation Progressive in the West forgot about it.

The future of China is over.

Now, it’s time for the Chinese Centre to smash the Chinese economy, so there is only One True Safe Way to stability and comfort in China: obedience to the Party and the Leader, who alone provides access to the iron rice bowls of jobs in the Government bureaucracies and State industries.

Odd, though… for the last 30 years, the Party had been bragging about how it brought prosperity and full bellies to China.

(By loosening it’s grip and controls, but let’s pass over that for now.)

Well, I guess that China doesn’t care about any of that capitalist nonsense anymore.

Expect lots and lots of frantic, xenophobic shouting about the Coming War Against America, the need for a stronger military (by destroying external trade?), and lots of fear-generating talk about the Evil Outside.

Like the Russians, the Chinese get the leadership it deserves.

Victory

We Christians must choose more wisely than they have.

We – unlike them – must choose

  • Less war, more peace.
  • Less conflict, more peacemaking.
  • Less pride, more humility.
  • Less focus on ourselves, more focus on our children, our neighbours, our poor and our widows.
  • Compassion and peace between the races.
    • And God-defined Justice for All!

The Russians and the Chinese have chosen to fear the outer world – including the United States Government – and reacted by putting their trust in more war, more oppression, more poverty.

Christians would be wise to expect an ever-less-friendly Ruling Class, even after the Great Default2. But our focus is not to be on hating our enemies, but on loving our enemies: treating them with respect, with fairness, as protected by the very Law of God.

(And anyways… the Progressives are as deluded, as fearful, and as sterile as any Russian or Chinese. Nationality is not the key: faithfulness and obedience to God is!)

As for what to do?

  • Repent of our own sins and blindness, and give a hand to the weaker and poorer members of our society.
  • Learn what small-scale initiatives can be used to roll back the opioid curse.
  • Train our children to succeed as employees and (even better) as entrepreneurs, starting jobs for our communities.
    • And it’s long time we all took all of our children out of the EXPLICITLY anti-Christian public school systems! Certainly, this may well involve helping single mothers raise up their kids, if asked — and we should certainly do so if the mother asks for help!
  • Understand what we should do to provide healing to our neighbourhood, when the Free Stuff – including Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid – shrivels up and dies.
  • Drop the focus on political power,1 excepting when we can actually do some good: from dogcatcher to mayor or county administrator. Leave the (rather corrupt) State Governor and (hopelessly corrupt) Presidential politics business aside for a few decades, or a few generations.
  • I remain impressed with Mark R. Rushdoony‘s article Christian Reconstruction and Our Small Part in a Big Idea
  • Quite useful for the big-picture goals of a reborn Christendom remains Stephen Perks’ book Disciple the Nations (you can also download the PDF for free)

We serve a King that is not of this world. Unlike the Russians and the Chinese.

We have a higher goal, a worthy hope, and a future to build.

The future will not be build with fear and violence and oppression, but with love and justice and liberty.

Let’s get to it.


1It’s not that political power is worthless: to the contrary, God expects the civil magistrate to uphold His laws. It’s that there are more important matters to attend to, in our assemblies (including but not limited to church), our families — especially our children! — our souls, our neighbours, our workplaces, our towns.

We need to actually obey God, more and more consistently, individually and as a group, publicly and privately, before God elevates us to a position of lawful authority.

As North would say, “Politics fourth.”

2The Great Default is shorthand for the financially inevitable default of Western governments on their welfare-state promises of Free Stuff, including health care, pensions, and unemployment cheques.

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