“Economic Warfare” Directed against China? The Shanghai “Covid Zero Tolerance Mandate” Extends its Grip to Major Industrial Cities

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, November 29, 2022

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First published on July 12, 2022


Author’s Update

Undercover Economic Warfare? 

The following article published on July 12, 2022 focusses on the “Covid-19 Zero Tolerance” lockdown and its economic and social consequences. 

Starting in Shanghai in April 2022, the Covid-19 zero tolerance project has extended its grip to major urban areas across China.

Socially oppressive measures have been adopted against millions of people in large cities. People are confined to their apartments in high rise buildings. 

China’s zero tolerance model was been conducive to “confining the labour force” as well as “paralyzing the workplace”, not to mention transportation, the closing down of schools, universities, cultural activities, sports events, etc. 

The COVID-19 zero tolerance lockdown applied nationwide is based on “fake science”. 

It constitutes a de facto act of “economic warfare”. It is broadly based on the same concepts as the March 11, 2020 covid-19 pandemic “lockdown” applied in more than 190 members states of the UN under the auspices of the WHO. 

It has created social havoc.

It has created chaos in supply lines within the domestic economy as well as the destabilization of China’s buoyant commodity export economy.

The justification to close down major urban areas, put forth by China’s National Heath Commission  (on July 11, 2022) was based on the following data for Mainland China:  

  • A total of 352 new domestically transmitted COVID infections recorded on July 10,
  • 46 new symptomatic cases, 
  • 306 new asymptomatic cases.

46 new symptomatic cases out of a population of 1.45 billion people does not justify closing down China’s major urban areas. (July 10)

The most recent data of Covid positive cases using unreliable PCR and related tests is as follows. 

November 28, according to the WHO: 19,130 so-called confirmed cases out of a population of more than 1.4 billion people.

There is no scientific basis for implementing zero tolerance, which consists in applying socially repressive measures against millions of people. There is no public health concern behind these repressive measures.

The number of “confirmed cases” released by the WHO are low and SARS-Cov2 (confirmed by the WHO and the CDC) is not a “dangerous virus”.

The process of economic and social destabilization initiated in March (see article below) has extended its grip beyond Shanghai to several major industrial cities including the southern city of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, China’s major exporting hub to the World Market.

According to Nomura, more than 20% of China’s GDP is currently under lockdown.

The Shanghai stock market collapsed on November 24, 2022.

We are dealing with a very complex process of Worldwide economic and social destabilization. Who are the actors behind this process?

In view of China’s leading role as a major commodity producer (with sizeable exports to all major regions of the World), the crisis in China will inevitably have repercussions in Europe, North America, not to mention the Global South. What is unfolding is an engineered disruption of the global economy.

Michel Chossudovsky, August 23, 2022, November 29, 2022


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Starting in late March early April 2022, the Chinese government ordered a Covid zero tolerance lockdown mandate pertaining to Shanghai, a port city of 26 million people:

“The official story put out by the city of Shanghai, and not denied by the Chinese Communist Party, is so extreme as to invite ridicule.

A new “zero tolerance” policy for COVID-19, which is a bogus non-existent disease in the first place, was imposed on all Shanghai citizens, first on the East side of the Huangpu River from March 28 [2022], and then for the entire city from April 1st.

Supposedly all citizens will be tested for COVID-19. According to media reports, only 26,087 new cases of COVID-19 have been found, and of those, only 914 were symptomatic…  (Emanuel Pastreich)

The confinement of Shanghai’s labour force was carried out under a “Covid zero tolerance mandate”: “At least 38,000 medical workers from across China have been deployed to aid Shanghai … in the fight against the Omicron variant…” (Global Times)

Omicron is the Buzzword: Omicron and its BA.5 Sub-Variant

China’s Health authorities have confirmed that “Nucleic acid [namely the PCR ] tests are central to its strategy”. 

A Covid-19 Response Expert Panel headed by Dr. Liang Wannian was set up under the auspices of China’s National Health Commission. The Zero Tolerance Mandate consisted in “China beating the Omicron variant” using the defunct PCR test, which does not distinguish between Covid-19 and seasonal influenza. The PCR test was categorized by the US CDC as totally invalid, effective 31 December 2021.

The Role of  Dr. George Gao Fu

Visibly, China’s Health authorities have endorsed the Fauci-Gates “fake science” lockdown consensus without batting an eyelid.

China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) is headed by Dr. George Gao Fu, a colleague of Anthony Fauci et al.

Dr. Gao was a participant in the Scenario 201 October 2019 Table Top Simulation of a Corona Virus Pandemic, less than three months prior to the outbreak of the “Real Life” novel 2019 corona virus epidemic in Wuhan in December 2019.

From the outset, Dr. Gao Fu played a central role in overseeing Covid-19 in China, acting in close liaison with the US CDC, Fauci’s NIAID, the Gates Foundation, the WHO, John Hopkins et al.

George Gao Fu is an Oxford graduate. For several years, he was fellow of the Wellcome Trust which is linked to Big Pharma.  Gao Fu is a professional colleague and “longtime friend” of Anthony Fauci:

“George F. Gao, head of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, received the email from Anthony Fauci on March 28, 2020. [a few days after the lockdown in the US]. 

As Fauci faced criticism for his handling of the pandemic, Gao reached out again.

“I saw some news (hope it is fake) that [you] are being attacked by some people. Hope you are well under such a irrational situation,” Gao wrote April 8, 2020.

Three days later, Fauci replied and thanked his longtime friend for his “kind note.”

“All is well despite some crazy people in this world,” Fauci wrote, the newspaper reported.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci is a “Double Speak”

From the outset, Fauci has persistently warned of the imminent dangers of the SARS-CoV-2 (including its variants and sub-variants), while acknowledging in his peer reviewed article in the New England Journal of Medicine that:

“The overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968)…” (See Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted, NEJM)

Careful timing: the article was published by the NEJM on March 26, 2020 two weeks following the March 11, 2020 Global Covid-19 pandemic “Lockdown” imposed on 193 member states of the United Nations.

Dr. Fauci’s NEJM peer reviewed analysis (which is barely mentioned by the media) is in sharp contrast with his frenzied statements on network TV.

On March 28, 2020 (2 days following the publication of his peer reviewed article) he stated that “Covid Could Kill as many as 200,000 Americans”

Is this Relevant to China?

Anthony Fauci is Dr. Gao Fu’s Mentor. The same policy framework is being applied.

China’s  Zero Tolerance Covid Mandate is a “copy and paste” of the March 11, 2020 lockdown (based on “fake science”) sponsored by Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates et al under the auspices of the WHO (in close consultation with the World Economic Forum).

China’s Zero Tolerance Covid mandate is predicated on a fear campaign.

The Devastating Economic Impacts of the Shanghai Lockdown

On July 10, 2022, China’s Health authorities announced that several major urban areas have been instructed to implement the Zero Tolerance COVID-19 mandate as a means to combating  the “highly-transmissible Omicron BA.5 subvariant”  

The labour force has been confined in a large number of industrial cities thereby leading to economic and social chaos as well as a dramatic decline in economic activity. According to Reuters:

The BA.5 [subvariant] lineage, spreading fast in many other countries, has been detected in cities such as Xian in the province of Shaanxi and Dalian in Liaoning province, … It was first found in China on May 13 in a patient who had flown to Shanghai from Uganda, the China Center for Disease Prevention and Control said, with no local infections linked to the case that month.

Did that “patient” from Uganda take the PCR test upon his return to China? Variants and sub-variants cannot under any circumstances be detected by the PCR test. (The original SARS-CoV-2 virus cannot be detected by the PCR test).

The study by China’s CCDC  focussing on the detection of genetic sequences based on a PCR nasopharyngeal swab is misleading.

A large number of urban areas have literally been closed down. There is absolutely no scientific or public health justification for these measures: 

“In the central province of Henan, the town of Qinyang has almost completely locked down its nearly 700,000 residents from Sunday, with one person in each household allowed a trip every two days for groceries.

Authorities in Wugang, another town in Henan, have told its 290,000 residents not to leave home in the next three days, except for COVID tests.

Four major districts in the northwestern city of Lanzhou, in the province of Gansu, and the southern cities of Danzhou and Haikou in Hainan province, are under temporary curbs for several days, with a total of 6 million people affected.

The city of Nanchang in southern Jiangxi province, with 6.3 million residents, shut some entertainment venues on Saturday, although the duration of the curbs was not specified.

In the northwestern province of Qinghai, the city of Xining kicked off a mass testing campaign on Monday after one person tested positive on Sunday.

Mass tests also began on Monday in several major districts of the southern metropolis of Guangzhou.

On July 11, 2022 China’s National Heath Commission confirmed the following data for Mainland China:  

  • A total of 352 new domestically transmitted COVID infections recorded on July 10
  • 46 new symptomatic cases, 
  • 306 new asymptomatic cases

46 new symptomatic cases out of a population of 1.45 billion people does not justify closing down China’s major urban areas.

  • This decision borders on ridicule.
  • It has no scientific basis.
  • Is there a hidden agenda?
  • The Chinese Communist Party has acquiesced?
  • Are there divisions within China’s leadership? 

Both the Western and Chinese media are totally silent on the matter.

The impacts of these measures put forth by China’s National Health Commission and China’s CCDC have precipitated China’s supply chains into jeopardy.

“Covid Tolerance Zero” has contributed to destabilizing Shanghai’s financial sector as well as its buoyant export economy. It has also contributed to undermining domestic transport and commodity supply lines.

China’s QR code

The Covid Zero Tolerance Mandate has created social havoc and hardship for millions of people, requiring the imposition of PCR tests on a regular basis using QR green, yellow  and red color codes as a means of social control. 

The  Washington based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) applauds:

“One area of real success, and that may have application in other countries, is the rapid development of an online “health code” system (健康码).

This innovative app tracks an individual’s travel, contact history, and biometric data (for example, body temperature) directly through one’s smartphone.” (emphasis added)


Impacts on the Global Economy

Since mid April 2022 (coinciding with the lockdown of Shanghai), the Yuan (CNY) declined abruptly against the US dollar (USD). 

The volume of commodity trade in and out of the Port of Shanghai (and other major port cities) has subsided, which inevitably has a bearing on the availability of “Made in China” commodities Worldwide. 

“Made in China” is the backbone of retail trade which indelibly sustains household consumption in virtually all major commodity categories from clothing, footwear, to hardware, electronics, toys, jewelries, household fixtures, food, TV sets, mobile phones, etc. Ask the American consumer: The list is long.  

Importing from China is a lucrative multi-trillion dollar operation. It is the source of tremendous profit and wealth in the US, because consumer  commodities imported from China’s low wage economy are often sold at the retail level more than ten times their factory price.

Global commodity trade at wholesale and retail levels is in crisis. The potential impacts in all major regions of the World are devastating. World-wide scarcities of essential consumer goods are coupled with inflationary pressures. 

These developments also affect China’s sovereignty as a nation state with a weakened economy, not to mention its Belt and Road initiative. 

In the context of the current crisis, including Washington’s “Pivot to Asia”, there are serious geopolitical implications which have a direct bearing on the confrontation between China and the US. 

China is a Capitalist Country

Most analysts and historians fail to understand that starting in the early 1980s, China has become a full fledged capitalist country. There are powerful US business interests including Big Pharma, major hi-tech companies, banking institutions which are firmly entrenched inside China. 

The United States has faithful allies within China’s business establishment as well as among academics, scientists, medical doctors who tend to be “pro-American”.

China’s Academy of Sciences (中国科学院), China’s business schools (e.g. Beijing, Dalian, Guangzhou) going back to the early 1980s have ties with Ivy League institutions. Many of them have joint MBA programs, e.g. Shanghai’s  Fudan University School of Management with MIT. Stanford has a campus in China as well an agreement with Beijing University, etc.  

Another example is Tsinghua University’s School of Journalism’s graduate program which is funded by Bloomberg together with several Wall Street banking institutions.

The interests of powerful Chinese business interests (specifically within the pharmaceutical industry) including China’s billionaires (Forbes List 2022, Forbes New Billionaires) are represented at the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership. 

Needless to say there are profound divisions within China’s CCP leadership. 


Featured image is from OffGuardian

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