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The Current Lockdowns In China Have Nothing to Do With the Wuhan Coronavirus

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/ Mark Schiefelbien

I spent much of the last 10+ years living in the People’s Republic of China, having just left a couple of months ago. Being a naive soul, I thought maybe I could help, in a small way, with the relations between the two countries. Besides, I couldn’t find a decent job in America in Obama’s economy. So I decided to travel the world a bit. I left China totally disgusted with the place. I will never go back, even if President DeSantis asks me to, especially if he wants me to work at the American Embassy in Beijing, which is full of sloths who won’t help any American whose name isn’t Gates or Biden. I know that from experience, too. I’d write a book about my time in China, but my publisher would surely think it was fiction. 


But having spent those 10 years in China, and being an historian who has deeply studied communism, I think I’ve learned a little about what is happening there now. The 20th Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party is slated to open on October 16.  Xi Jinping has been President (it used to be “Chairman”) and General Secretary of the CCP for 10 years now, or two five-year terms. The Chinese Constitution says that is all he is allowed to serve. He is supposed to step down this year.

But he doesn’t want to. He wants to be dictator for life, and he almost surely will be re-elected to the post next month.  

However, he does have enemies. In any political entity where power is paramount and lusted for (as in the Chinese Communist Party), there are always a multitude striving for the top.  Xi, who is a megalomaniac, is doing all he can to hold onto power, and that includes intimidating and punishing those who oppose him. This is what this year’s Wuhan virus lockdowns are all about, especially in Shanghai, where the largest nest of Xi’s opponents reside. Xi is, in effect, telling the whole Communist Party apparatus, “Mess with me, fellows, and this is what you get.” He is attempting, through the lockdowns, to browbeat and discourage the opposition and it will almost surely work. The “zero Covid policy” is a joke, a front for mass (and world) consumption. If lockdowns worked, they wouldn’t have to keep doing them. The lockdowns are about keeping Xi Jinping in power, not stopping the virus.  Xi couldn’t care less about the virus, or how many people die from it. He’s a communist and communists kill people. That’s what they do best.


A leader can either try to win his enemies over by making them his friends, or he can intimidate them into submission.  Even Mao Zedong occasionally had to smash opposition, and that is what Xi Jinping is currently doing.  It’s also what Joe Biden is trying to do in America. There is no effort to unite the country, he wants to threaten, browbeat, and silence his opponents into meek obedience. Biden follows the Chinese Communist Party playbook chapter and verse. He no doubt admires the CCP greatly, and why not, they have made his family rich. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, and all that.

Xi Jingping is a monster, a typical communist thug, nothing more, nothing less. Donald Trump, as President, said some nice things occasionally about Xi, for either diplomatic reasons (probably), or because he was a little starry-eyed and naive when it came to politicians; Mr. Trump made more than one erroneous political appointment. But Trump was still tough on China and his fair trade policies need to be kept in force, and even strengthened. I’m a great believer in free trade, but there is a difference between “free trade” and “fair trade”. If the other guy is making 2 bucks an hour, and you are making 10, “free trade” won’t be “fair trade” because he can make his goods at a far cheaper rate than you. China has been taking advantage of that for years, and it needs to stop. Biden hasn’t a clue what to do, except attempt to appease the CCP every chance he gets.  “The smartest man he knows” (his son, Hunter) probably told him that is what he should do.


Xi Jinping hates the West, though he loves our money. He is not interested in diversity, equity, transgenderism, or even Ukraine. He is determined, single-minded, to make China the greatest power in the world. And he thinks he is the one to do it. He has to destroy, or at least, quieten his opponents in China first by getting re-elected General Secretary of the Party next month (General Secretary and President have virtually become synonymous in China). That also makes him head of the military, and he no doubt agrees with his god, Mao, that “power comes out of the barrel of a gun.”  

The lockdowns might abate somewhat after the October meeting, or Xi might keep them going just to continue to cower his enemies. But, my guess is he will slow them down because they do seem to be affecting China’s economy. But we really don’t know that for sure because you can’t believe anything the Chinese Communist Party says.

Kinda like the Democratic Party in America.

Mark Lewis is a native Texan currently living in Thailand. He has a Master's degree in history and has taught history and English in America, South Korea, and China. His first book, Whitewater, a western novel, was recently published, and is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Eliva.com.  

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