News & Politics

Shanghai Despair: Starving Lockdown Victims Jumping From Highrises

Shanghai Despair: Starving Lockdown Victims Jumping From Highrises
AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

Shanghai under Beijing’s harsh COVID-19 lockdown looks like a scene out of a horror movie.

Which horror movie? Take your pick: zombie apocalypse, forced famine, or one of those exploitation flicks where the mystery virus drives people so crazy that they kill themselves.

On Friday I wrote that Communist China’s strict “zero COVID” regime had uniformed soldiers converging on one of the country’s biggest commercial, shipping, and finance hubs.

Record numbers of Shanghai residents have tested positive for COVID in recent weeks. To be clear, they’ve been forcibly tested by strongman Xi Jinping’s regime.

Virtually all of those testing positive are asymptomatic.

People outside China’s high-risk groups aren’t dying. They don’t even feel sick.

Nevertheless, the lockdown grinds on as Xi attempts the impossible with his zero COVID fever.

Some residents, broke and increasingly hungry, are making the last desperate act of defiance.

They’re throwing themselves out of their high-rise apartments.

Other protests have taken more tragic forms. As they did in Wuhan two years ago, people are once again jumping off the balconies of high-rise apartment buildings. One video circulating in China shows a couple falling to their deaths. The husband was said to be distraught because the lockdown had cost him his business.

Here’s just one of the videos. You might not want to watch it; I’m sorry I did.

There’s a montage of them here — which I believe combined videos from Shanghai this week, Wuhan in 2020, and perhaps other places — but I won’t post it directly.

Worse than COVID is the CCP’s plague of despair.

There are reports — including photos and videos that I won’t even link — of Communist thugs killing housepets. The thugs are known as “Big Whites” for their white protective suits, although it could also be because they seem to have been given carte blanche in doling out the beatings.

The “Big Whites” mostly seem to be wearing regular surgical or cloth masks, which provide little or no protection against catching or spreading any of the COVID variants.

Beijing’s thuggery against Shanghai isn’t limited to protesting grownups.

Just last week, China had to defend — and thus admit — its cruel policy of separating COVID-positive kids, even babies and toddlers, from their parents.

Under China’s unbending virus controls, anyone found positive — even if they are asymptomatic or have a mild infection — must be isolated from non-infected people. That includes children who test positive but whose family members do not, health officials confirmed on Monday, defending a policy which has spread anxiety and outrage across the city.

“If the child is younger than seven years old, those children will receive treatment in a public health center,” Wu Qianyu, an official from the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, said Monday. “For older children or teenagers… we are mainly isolating them in centralized [quarantine] places.”

Freelance journalist Chu Yang last week circulated a “suspected leaked document [that] shows that the lockdown in Shanghai will last until May.”

Beatings, pet killings, state-sanctioned kidnapping, hunger, and local economic collapse … no wonder the people of Shanghai are angry, despairing, or both.

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The CCP’s bargain with the Chinese people was that the Party would provide steady and stable economic growth and the people wouldn’t question the Party’s power. It’s a modern take on the old Imperial Chinese notion of the Mandate of Heaven. When things were going well for the country, it was assumed that the Emperor enjoyed a heavenly mandate. If things were not going well, if Heaven had turned its back on the Emperor … well, anything could happen and often did.

The CCP has played a fine balancing act since Deng Xiaoping first started opening up the country’s economy 40 years ago. They’ve delivered on economic prosperity while enforcing a usually “tolerable” amount of political repression.

But in places like Shanghai, the repression is intolerable and the economy isn’t even functioning, much less growing.

It’s enough to make you wonder if the next Chinese to get defenestrated will be Xi himself.