Residents in #Shanghai screaming from high rise apartments after 7 straight days of the city lockdown. The narrator worries that there will be major problems. (in Shanghainese dialect—he predicts people can’t hold out much longer—he implies tragedy).
2) “yao ming le” & “yao si” — both expressions meaning “life and death” but they also more literally means “asking for death”. Narrator eventually implies shit is gonna hit the fan soon if this continues.
[The lockdowns are real, the cries are real. But overall, I suspect this is CCP “performance art” similar to what we saw coming from Wuhan in early 2020. It is a kind of “naturally occurring” propaganda designed to frighten and influence the West in the way the Wuhan videos of violent lockdowns and people collapsing in the street did two years ago. China surely knows that zero covid is not possible, Even if the whole world locked down for two months, covid would not be eradicated. Other reasons for them to be doing this are it affords China a plausible excuse to further disrupt Western supply lines while also providing a kind of lurid “proof” that the CCP did not deliberately release the original Wuhan variant that poisoned the world. Moreover, it never hurts to discipline your own people and send a message to the Shanghai faction of the CCP. ABN]
3) The video has been verified by @patrickmadrid’s family. It has also been verified by my sources as commonplace. Also, Shanghainese is a local dialect (not really propaganda useful)—only 14 million out of 1.3 billion Chinese even speak. I only speak it because I was born there.
4) China honestly might be hitting a breaking point with #Ba2. Either it keeps going with tragedies growing or it changes direction. See🧵 below. Hunger is growing fast.
5) The narrator sounds familiar—
Shanghai resident: “I’m breaking through the blockade now—you quickly arrest me, do you have any food to eat in prison?”
Police: “We will arrest you and sent you back. We don’t even know where we can buy food outside.”
6) More remarkable in this telephone conversation is how philosophical of a chat the resident and police officer got toward the end. Censors blocked the subtitles—but in Shanghainese the caller gets the cop to think about repercussions for violent rebellion if hunger continues.👇
7) Of course, Chinese govt doesn’t condone balcony singing or & protesting. And of course, a govt drone appears: “Please comply with COVID rules. **Control your soul’s desire for freedom**. Do not open window to sing.” ➡️yes the drone actually said that.
8) Are people going hungry in Shanghai? Yes. Many people down to one meal a day. You can see here people rationing their vegetables into meal chunks. Dialogue is in Shanghainese, so it’s legit—checks out. https://t.co/rhu7hsnLl8
9) There are indeed widespread reports of hunger and food distribution issues. Let’s just suppose it only affects 10% of Shanghai’s 26 million people —that’s still 2.6 million starving. Even if it’s 5% having hunger crisis—that’s still 1.3 million people!
10) Some asked—how can the Chinese government allow millions to go hungry? Well, most Westerners never learned about the horrific **GREAT CHINESE FAMINE** of 1959-1961… in which **up to 55,000,000** (15-55 mil) Chinese starved to death. It’s history.
11) The Great Famine “is widely regarded as the deadliest famine & one of the greatest man-made disasters in human history”— death toll of 15-55 million.
📍The % dead in provinces: Anhui (18% dead), Chongqing (15%), Sichuan (13%), Guizhou (11%) and Hunan (8%).
12) There is a big rich-poor divide in food access. richer neighborhoods have plenty. Food delivery used to cost 30 RMB, but delivery fee now 200-300 RMB! So you can get food—but only you are resourceful enough to find delivery and can afford it even if you do. I’m worried.
13) I think there is definitely a food shortage. Just like we are sure COVID #Ba2 is run amuck in China. The trickier thing is to know how much critical food insecurity / hunger prevalence there is. My family in SH can’t agree—because some life in wealthier parts than others.
14) meanwhile, Police in Shanghai recently started wearing thermal-imaging view screen helmets designed to detect people on the streets with fevers, before lockdown. China is not letting a good crisis goto waste as chance for their surveillance measures.
15) FOOD PRICE GOUGING—in normal times, these veggies would cost 20-30 RMBs. This guy charges 100 RMBs plus 200 RMB delivery fee—300 RMBs—so a ~10x cost increase for food, assuming you can even get delivery. That’s not sustainable for 26 million people.
16) last week, I warned about how Shanghai was at a tipping point. As world financial capital city, Shanghai’s government is desperately trying to stop it before it gets further out of control. But I feared it might be already too late.
17) Let this sink in— The U.S. Consulate in Shanghai had to beg for food for US Marines using WeChat. “Marines have depleted their food and can no longer get delivery—if you can spare a meal’s worth or two for 7 extra mouths, they’d be very appreciative” 😳
18) What is a long term effect of the Great Chinese Famine—assuming one didn’t die among 15-55 million? Well, my Harvard epidemiology friends did a study—it found fetuses exposed to the famine, later in adulthood, sadly had 4x higher glucose/diabetes risk!
19) Isn’t China good with logistics? Yes, except Chinese daily diet is mostly reliant on unfrozen and unprocessed foods with almost no shelf life. That’s how Chinese diet & food system has been. But that is harder with COVID to deliver than more processed Western diets (ironic?)
20) Chinese society’s deepest fight is against the humiliation of poverty & hunger. The modern core social contract of CCP is to provide food and prevent mass hunger. If CCP fails to deliver on food to its citizens—that is actually the greatest social failure in Chinese eyes!
21) Every Chinese-born person knows this—food is the main way to show both love and hospitality. Even trying to show off there is too much food. Many parents/grandparents who survived the Great Famine (see above) knows that is the hard line that society can never cross again.
22) As @RodZeidan points out in his thread on the food situation in wealthier parts of Pudong, food deliveries are certainly possible — it just take extremely diligent monitoring of food/grocery delivery apps—closing and reopening frequently. Not everyone is that savvy/wealthy.
23) But elsewhere in the city, there are scenes of looting / mob attacking food shipments too. There are many other small protest videos too— but you get the idea. It’s not everywhere, but it is happening often I’m told.
24) Leaving off with this photoshop of Hunger Games Shanghai. Overall, is the food crisis apocalyptic? No. Are deliveries great? No. Are folks v frustrated? Yes. Even 1-5% of 26 mil is = MANY hungry. But if China loses control—millions may die.
25) damn, now they are sealing the doors of anyone with a positive case (presumably because the FangCang isolation centers are full).
And this hit home – XuHui District was my grandmother & mom’s childhood home—and one of the key districts of PuXi (west of the river Shanghai).
26) But there are reports Shanghai govt is maybe relaxing the “seal you in” approach after pushback. So much is in flux — it’s utter madhouse trying to keep up with the Shanghai govt changes. Follow to keep updated.