China is desperate to control COVID chaos
The China Letter: January 9, 2022
We’re back with stories to explain the current condition of China, including continued uncertainty surrounding the Beijing Olympics—now coalescing with two years of using COVID-19 as justification for the government to tighten control.
Driving new backlash
Criticism was personally directed at billionaire Elon Musk upon the opening of a Tesla automotive showroom in the city of Urumqi right after U.S. president Joe Biden signed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act into law. Forced labour from the Xinjiang region is also suspected as a factor in making Beijing Olympics merchandise.
Olympic realities looming
The speculation continues about whether the Beijing Olympics will go ahead as planned with participation from international athletes whose leaders announced a diplomatic boycott in December. But the International Olympic Committee says the Games will go ahead as planned notwithstanding more health anxieties.
Lockdowns control life
Disrupting the lives of 1.3 million residents of Xi’an was reportedly effective for its purpose of dropping coronavirus case counts in a move described as necessary to rid China of COVID-19 before the Olympic athletes arrive. Now, three confirmed cases in the central city of Yuzhou has led its 1.2 million residents to be forced to stay home. Food shortage stories are becoming increasingly common:
No pressing forward
The first days of 2022 marked the last days for Citizen News, the third Hong Kong outlet to recently close amongst a crackdown that also claimed the non-profit Stand News. Meanwhile, staff of the shuttered Apple Daily are facing new sedition charges along with already jailed owner Jimmy Lai, as Beijing keeps tightening its grip on Hong Kong.
Lousy new propaganda
A parody video produced by Chinese state media outlet Xinhua News Agency drew international attention for mocking the U.S. and U.K. crackdown on Huawei, which is still arguing for access into Canada’s fifth-generation cellular network. “James Pond” is the name of the male agent awkwardly trying to portray Americans as hypocritical:
The China Letter is produced by the Canadian Freedom Institute, a think tank based in Canada. We produce the China Letter every week to keep you informed and to press the ideas of free markets and free people not only in China but around the world. Please consider donating to keep this newsletter running!