The wise sage, Xi Jinping, follower of the wiser sage Confucius, has his ideas in a straight line, linked with cause and effect. A leads to B and B leads to C. Confucius was not an emperor and hence he gave only advice. Emperors, even sage-emperors, do not have this luxury; they give commands and then have to ensure that there is no contrary command and the emperor’s is obeyed. A few do not obey and there has to be royal justice for them. Xi Jinping gave a command in 2020 that the Covid virus shall infect the rest of the world but Chinese shall have Zero-Covid. Those who did not obey this command were given the punishment called quarantine. Their accomplices were sentenced to “Lockdown” that was earlier called house arrest. Prison doors have locks but Lockdowns have welded doors. Merely committing a crime bears no comparison in terms of gravity to the violation of a royal decree.
Every emperor is benevolent to his people, a father figure. Western “experts” are writing tomes about the deleterious effect of Lockdowns on the Chinese economy. They could not be more wrong. While in the West, the market for masks, PPEs and Corona testing equipment has tanked after a short boom, the Chinese market for these useful products is continuously booming. The Western experts say these are useless products; they should ask the Chinese. The factories making these products are so resilient that they increased their production during lockdown through a “closed loop.” As some of the workers, who sleep and eat together on the factory premises, get infected, they are quarantined and for the rest there is a lockdown, which is another name for a closed loop. More workers are hired, promising them a higher pay but they also get infected. They too are quarantined and locked down. By then the previous batch has recovered and get on the job. This closed loop ensures that two or more people work on the job of one though some unsympathetic economists call it under-employment. It is better than the earlier “996” over-employment (9 am to 9 pm, six days a week) because it gives workers long breaks for indulging in tang ping, which is lying flat and doing nothing, like a well-fed cat.
The respectable magazine, the Economist, on November 28, 2022 in the article “Ending China’s zero-covid policy could unleash chaos”, has quantified the benefits of Covid and its lockdowns. It cites the example of Andon Health, a company whose net profits have increased by an unheard of 32,000 per cent, in the third quarter compared to last year. You guessed it; the company makes covid test kits. 35 such companies made profits of $21 billion in the first six months of 2022. To put this bonanza in perspective, total committed (not actually given) EU aid to Ukraine is only $9 billion. If EU was in the business of making masks and test kits, they could have given a lot more by now. Their failure to lockdown their people and test them everyday, sometimes twice a day as China does, has resulted in EU falling behind China in 2021 GDP.
We are further informed that lockdowns have reduced domestic fights by 45%. This has substantially improved China’s carbon emission record. The fall in profits of these airlines should not be of concern to fair-minded people as poor people do not own planes and it is good if the fat cats who own these airlines loose some lard. Same is for the owners of large transport companies who dump containers on the ships for export and deprive poor countries of their meagre foreign exchange. If the lockdowns continue during 2023 also, there will be no exports from china and countries like Sri Lanka will revive their foreign reserves. 58 per cent of China’s cinemas were closed, thus saving lot of money for the ordinary Chinese and this was used for buying candles, megaphones and banners during the recent protests. This shows that lockdowns serve the cause of democracy too.
These substantial benefits have accrued when only one-fourth of the Chinese were locked down. We can imagine the bonanza that will befall China and the rest of the world if whole of China was locked down. In fact, during the few days of riots, the rest of China too was effectively locked down as people were glued to their phones at all times of the day and night fascinated by the spectacle of bullies in white hazmat suits being chased by the young Chinese. These dà bái or the Big Whites, derived from the name of the white robot in Disney’s Big Hero 6, who had been a fixture of the lockdown, seamlessly transitioned to being the most entertaining fixture during the protests. It is rumoured that even Xi Jinping was rendered immobile by his mobile as his unbelieving eyes were transfixed on the drama unfolding on the streets.
Some enemies of China have been spreading rumours that Chinese people live without any hope for the future. Lockdown is a lid on society and all lids are lifted someday; this gives hope to all the Chinese. They know that Xi has been sitting on the lid that is being pushed from inside by the Chinese. When finally the lid is thrown away, it does not take much imagination to visualise the fate of the supreme leader ensconced on that lid. Tumbling Xi, whenever that happens, will be an even better spectacle than the hazmat-wearing dà bái clumsily trying to run away from the students.
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