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After months of on-and-off COVID-19 lockdowns, which have crippled business across the country and put the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) top leadership on edge, China’s economic future is bleak.
In this key political year, local authorities have been urged to revive the now-shrinking economy, as CCP leader Xi Jinping seeks a third term at the 20th National Congress this autumn. However, given the terrible underlying economic conditions, analysts believe that such an order would be difficult to carry out, and that the regime’s strict “zero-COVID” policy, which has Xi’s blessing, is unlikely to be loosened.
Premier Li Keqiang, China’s second-in-command, took the extraordinary step on May 25 of holding a virtual conference with 100,000 officials from province, municipal, and county-level agencies to offer harsh economic warnings.
According to a truncated version of Li’s speech broadcast by China’s official media, “the hardships are much bigger in certain respects and to a certain degree than they were in 2020 when the pandemic hit hard.”
The warning came as economists, international business organizations, and even the general public grew more frustrated with the CCP’s dedication to its zero-COVID policy. Many people feel that maintaining economic growth while adhering to Xi’s zero-tolerance stance on the virus is difficult.
As the regime tries to contain the fast-spreading Omicron variant, dozens of cities have been put under lockdown since late last year, significantly affecting life and commerce in the world’s second-largest economy.
As of May 23, analysts at the Japanese bank Nomura believe that 26 Chinese cities were adopting full or partial lockdowns or other COVID measures, affecting 208 million people and accounting for 20.5 percent of China’s GDP.
Li’s departure prompted suspicions of a rift in the CCP’s senior leadership, or political infighting. He didn’t even mention Xi’s zero-COVID plan at the conference, according to several witnesses.
“Because Xi and Li’s instructions are contradictory, local authorities are now perplexed,” said Li Hengqing, a China analyst at the Washington Institute for Information and Strategy.
Officials are now “waiting to see which way the wind blows” before deciding whether economic development or COVID-19 control measures should take precedence, he added.
According to Li of the Washington Institute, CCP officials are unlikely to signal a “transition to growing the economy” at the expense of zero-COVID. To back up his point of view, he quoted an official media opinion.
Just hours after the video conference, the Economic Daily, a publication linked with Premier Li’s cabinet-like State Council, issued a lengthy article casting a good light on the country’s economy. The piece urged reasonable evaluation of China’s economy and emphasized its “long-term growth fundamentals,” but made no mention of the premier’s statements.
On May 26, the commentary’s complete content was extensively reproduced by CCP mouthpieces.
Hundreds of cities have come to a standstill as a result of Xi’s zero-COVID crusade, with industries and businesses shuttered, adding to the country’s already-shaky economy.
According to the Shanghai Automobile Sales Trade Association, the financial hub of Shanghai, which was shut down for more than two months starting in March, had zero automobile sales in April.
Following the publication of official economic statistics in April, investment banks cut their forecasts for China’s economic growth. Even the most optimistic forecasts fall short of the CCP’s declared growth objective of “approximately 5.5 percent.”
China’s GDP is predicted to grow by 4.2 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively, according to Citigroup and S&P Global. The gross domestic product (GDP) prediction for this year has been lowered to 3% by UBS. The most pessimistic forecast comes from Bloomberg experts, who foresee barely 2% growth this year. According to Bloomberg Economics, the United States’ economic growth may outperform China’s for the first time since 1976, the chaotic Cultural Revolution’s last year.
Even if the regime misses its growth objective, many predict that the CCP would exaggerate its released figures to meet the target on paper—especially considering how crucial this is to Xi as he seeks re-election at a key party conclave this autumn.
“If he were in control [when official data is revealed], he would surely modify the figure,” Li Hengqing remarked of Xi. “If Xi was not the Party’s leader or in direct charge, the genuine data would be released.”
Despite doubts about the accuracy of the data, official numbers from April show a significant slowdown.
Retail sales plummeted for the second month in a row in April, reaching their lowest level since the outbreak began in 2020, according to government data, as tens of millions of people were kept at home. Despite the fact that certain workers were permitted to work and reside on plant grounds, industrial production declined by 2.9 percent in April compared to the same month the previous year.
Factory activity continued to suffer in May, according to the latest data released by China’s statistics agency on May 31, but at a reduced rate of shrinkage. The official purchasing managers index for manufacturing dropped to 49.6, up from 47.4 in April. The result stayed below the 50-point line, indicating that the economy is contracting.
On May 31, China’s State Council released details of a 33-point plan to strengthen the economy, which included fiscal, banking, investment, and industrial policies.
Analysts, on the other hand, are pessimistic, claiming that Xi’s measures have harmed corporate confidence.
“Xi’s control style is like returning to Mao Zedong’s era,” said Hsieh Chin-ho, a Taiwanese economic professor, referring to the CCP’s first leader who sought to build a socialist planned economy.
Under Xi’s “common prosperity” drive, authorities started a broad regulatory crackdown last year, wiping billions of dollars from China’s indigenous IT giants and resulting in tens of thousands of layoffs.
The country’s job markets were further hampered by the current COVID-19 shutdown. In April, China’s jobless rate reached a two-year high after regulators shut down firms in major cities like Shanghai. The unemployment rate among urban youngsters aged 16 to 24 was 18.2%.
Furthermore, about ten million new college students will graduate this summer. The surge in job searchers comes as the possibility of more lockdowns has slashed corporate profits and lowered morale.
On May 30, a small-business owner in Beijing told The Epoch Times, “Many small-and medium-sized firms have gone bankrupt.” “We’ve clearly lost faith in ourselves.”
Business confidence has sunk as a result of the authorities’ uncertainty, and citizens are saving instead of spending, according to Li.
“How can you expect China’s economy to make a significant turnaround?” The Chinese economy has no remedy.”
There is no cure for an economy impacted by martial law, and why is nobody calling this martial law? We’ve been brainwashed to refer to the events occurring in China as “lockdowns”. When in reality you have people who are starving in “quarantine”. Some are terrified of persecution so they latch onto the tyrannical regime who then orders them to persecute others. The Chinese economy will continue to crash until they either clean up their act, or start a war. Surely you can guess which of those outcomes is more likely in our day and age.
There’s no reason to be afraid however, God put you here so you can see all the things he planned for you to see. We’re capable of anything with faith in Christ. Psalm 27:1 says: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” We’re only here once; don’t be afraid, be observant. We were born to withstand the storm to come; The best we can do is pray and brace for impact. Stay inquisitive in the word of God, and the world around you.
On May 16, a group of teachers and parents protested outside the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) offices in Los Angeles when some unvaccinated online class teachers heard that unless they become completely vaccinated against COVID-19 by June 10, they might lose their jobs.
At the demonstration organized by Los Angeles Educators and Parents United—a group of “diverse LAUSD Educators & Parents united for freedom of choice,” according to its Instagram page—dozens of individuals held signs reading “Stop Discrimination,” “Medical Freedom,” and “LAUSD Stop Firing Teachers.”
According to the group, the district has shifted over 600 unvaccinated instructors from brick-and-mortar classrooms to City of Angels, the district’s online school, since the rule began in November.
An email issued by the district last week to an unknown number of unvaccinated online teachers sparked the outrage.
Due to low enrolment in the district’s online academies, the email told the recipients that they would not be permitted to teach remotely next school year.
According to the memo, those educators have three options: get vaccinated and return to campus, take a leave of absence, quit, or retire by the end of June.
Remaining teachers must obtain the first dose of vaccination by May 20 and the second dose by June 10. Those who are leaving their jobs, either temporarily or permanently, must tell the district by May 20. Failure to comply with any of these requirements might result in “possible separation” from the district.
A LAUSD representative refused to say how many instructors received the email or how the district chose which teachers to send it to.
However, when more students chose to return to campus in the autumn, the amount of accessible online teaching assignments declined, according to the spokesman.
The spokeswoman informed The Epoch Times in an email that “reasonable accommodation permission for placement into the virtual school has always been subject on availability and not a promised assignment.”
When she got the email, Francis Moreno, a LAUSD teacher and co-founder of Los Angeles Educators and Parents United, said she felt “angry and abandoned.”
“We teachers have given the district decades of our life, and now we feel like the forgotten stepchild,” she added.
The email, according to Moreno, arrived just weeks after her religious vaccination exemption was authorized. She claims that the majority of the distant instructors have already secured religious or medical exemptions from the district.
“The district is treating teachers unfairly because of our religious views,” Moreno said. “We went to our union for help, but they don’t seem to be advocating for us either.” “No one is on our side.”
Moreno claimed she just conducted a poll among her friends. The district allowed religious exemptions for 90% of the 164 participants, and 67 percent got the email.
She also mentioned that 88 percent of the attendees are members of the local teachers’ union, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA).
The Los Angeles Educators and Parents United have spent the last few months attempting to meet with both LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and the vice president of UTLA, but have been ignored by both.
“UTLA purports to be a democratic union, but it is more concerned with problems of social justice than with being a labor organization and serving its members,” she added.
After the superintendent revealed a plan to fill 400 vacant teaching jobs with administrators and other district personnel, Moreno and other educators and parents organized a demonstration last month to petition the administration to bring unvaccinated instructors back to in-person education.
On April 27, Carvalho reported that 98 percent of teaching vacancies had been temporarily replaced by certified non-teaching personnel who had previously had teaching roles, and that those staff members would return to their normal posts after the current school year ended. It is presently unknown how the district intends to permanently replace the openings next school year.
California Educators for Medical Freedom, another educator advocacy organization, is suing the district over its staff vaccination demand. In March 2023, the case will be heard.
While countless cities in various countries including the U.S repeal their tyrannical COVID-19 legislature, Los Angeles seemingly won’t back down from their idiotic political purge of essential workers. These tyrannical governments are doing nothing but flexing their muscles, and showing what kind of power they hold over society. Which just goes to show the lack of intellect these globalists carry; Because now we know exactly what kind of power they shouldn’t have. Nobody asked these democrats to jump in the spotlight and start making a fool of themselves and our country.
No one man can make sense of this elaborate illusion cast over the common man of society, but collectively we can point out each limitation forced upon us and bring it forward as an injustice to the public. In Matthew 10:34 Jesus says: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” We’re meant to go down preaching the gospel and guiding others to salvation. This could be considered the bravest task a man or woman of faith could undertake, but make no mistake it will bear fruit in the kingdom of heaven. Stay inquisitive in the word of God, and the world around you.
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