How badly was China’s economy hurt by Covid-19?
The data suggest that the damage was quite severe. For example, in 2019, China’s GDP was 5.95 percent. But in 2020, GDP fell to 2.24 percent, a nearly 4 percent death-spiral entirely attributable to Covid-19. In 2021, China’s GDP rebounded to 8.45 percent, but then sharply declined in 2022 to a dismal 2.9 percent. Once again, the proximate cause of China’s shrinking GDP was Covid.
It’s worth noting, that China’s GDP has averaged over 9 percent since 1990. That’s 3 decades of meteoric growth that was suddenly derailed due to a relatively-mild viral infection. How does that happen?
It happened because the media, the pharmaceutical companies, the western governments and the public health experts greatly exaggerated the lethality of Covid which led to economy-wrecking restrictions. This was particularly true in the case of China which locked-down entire cities and tens of millions of people to fight a pathogen that killed less than .5 percent of the people it infected.
Editor Ron Unz believes that Covid-19 was a US-created bio-weapon that was used in an attack on China in late 2019. According to Unz, Covid does not derive from pangolins or bats, but is a lab-generated bio-weapon that was designed to sabotage the Chinese economy. We will explain how Unz arrived at his conclusions further along in the article, but for now, we are operating on the assumption that he is right and that the damage that was inflicted on China’s economy was a deliberate act of war. But, first, let’s look at a couple graphs that help to illustrate the magnitude of the damage. Here’s a chart that shows how the virus impacted consumer confidence:
This is what a catastrophe looks like in real time. As any economist will tell you, when consumer confidence weakens, people reduce their spending which causes a decline in economic activity which, in turn, results in slower growth. This is particularly true when the media engages in nonstop fearmongering in an effort to convince the masses that they’re all going to die from some fabricated plague that is spreading across the countryside. That’s precisely the type of propaganda that produces a chart like the one above. It’s an illustration of the psychological war that was waged on the Chinese people.
The same rule can be applied to industrial production and retail sales which also saw sharp declines due to Washington’s hybrid attack. Take a look:
Then there’s the real estate sector which also got clobbered during the pandemic. As you can see, prices and sales took a nosedive causing further cutbacks in consumer spending. When housing prices drop, homeowners feel less wealthy and reduce their spending. It’s the same everywhere. Naturally, all these developments are very bad for the economy.
Of course, other parts of the economy were impacted as well, but—keep in mind—the economic damage is just part of the story. Covid also caused vast psychological harm and political instability, both of which have been almost-entirely ignored by the western media. Take a look at this clip from an article at the Guardian:
As the government abandons ‘zero Covid’, it may take decades for ordinary Chinese people to recover – and many aren’t sure it was worth it… After China’s abrupt scaling back of its zero-Covid restrictions, many ordinary Chinese people are struggling to cope with the mental trauma from three years of frequent lockdowns and are demanding answers for the heavy price they have paid.
On Friday, one of the top shared posts on Sina Weibo – China’s Titter-like platform – was an article citing medical experts as saying depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by the population would probably take between 10 and 20 years to recover from.
Lu Lin, a fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said at a forum on Friday that as many as 20% of health workers, patients and members of the public may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and nearly one-third of those quarantined at home have displayed symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia. Other experts called for emergency services to support the community’s mental health.
“What is even more frightening than the coronavirus is the fear and mental anxiety,” said one Weibo comment….
Xiao Han, a liberal legal academic, tweeted: “For this, we supported all those crazy lockdowns, halting of production and business [that resulted in] bankruptcies, suicides and fires?… [They] ignore the humanitarian disasters, for this so-called sacrifice for the greater good. Can the victims now ask: ‘What for?’”…‘What was it for?’: the mental toll of China’s three years in Covid lockdowns, Guardian
Here’s more from a research paper at the NIH on the Psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Chinese population:
In summary, the COVID-19 epidemic has universally caused PTSD among the general Chinese population. Furthermore, the degree of psychological distress is associated with age, profession, and socio-economic status. Therefore, our results alert the regions struggling with the pandemic to pay attention to the psychological impact and call on the authorities to implement effective interventions to cope with these mental health problems. Psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Chinese population: An online survey, NIH
While the authors sound critical of the fanatical Covid restrictions, we should not forget that the WHO and luminaries from other elite organizations enthusiastically applauded China’s harsh response. Here’s a short clip of Bill Gates praising China’s quarantine “model” as a shining example of how to deal with a lab-generated flu.
Bill Gates speaks highly of China’s epidemic control measures
Here’s more from The People’s Voice:
Bill Gates has praised Communist China for their “great work” in handling the Coronavirus pandemic, including the extremely authoritarian restrictions imposed on ordinary citizens and harsh punishments issued to whistleblowers. Bill Gates Praises China for Their Authoritarian COVID Response: “You Guys Are Great!”, The People’s Voice
Isn’t it a bit suspicious that the globalist elites who applauded China’s hardline approach are the same “stakeholders” who stand to benefit the most from an economic crisis (or political instability) in China? Is that really just a coincidence?
Keep in mind, that the knock-on effects of Covid-19 were probably anticipated following the tabletop exercises that were conducted months before the attack took place. In any event, it wouldn’t take a genius to figure out that a large portion of the population was going to be seriously impacted by locking them in their homes for months-on-end while the media demagogues flooded the airwaves with tales of gloom and doom. In fact, that was undoubtedly the intention. What that suggests is that the perpetrators knew that the pandemic would not merely affect the Chinese economy but would also impact social cohesion and the collective psyche of the Chinese people. For this reason, we believe that Covid-19 represents the most successful hybrid attack on a sovereign nation of all time. Which is why we can expect more-of-the-same in the future. Here’s more from strategic market researcher, Shaun Rein:
Question—“How long were you locked down in Shanghai?
I was locked down for 3 full months in Shanghai. We had trouble getting access to food. We weren’t able to buy anything. But it wasn’t just one lockdown. 40% of my employees were locked down 3 times. …and it’s the lockdowns that caused alot of depression and anxiety. So right now, the government has estimated that about 50 percent of Shanghainese are suffering from depression. and that’s what’s hitting consumer confidence right now. If you look at April, retail sales went up 18,4% but they only went up 12% in May. Chinese consumers are cutting back on their spending. … Chinese households are sitting on $2 trillion in savings, so JP Morgan thought the economy would snap-back very fast, but it hasn’t. .. The reason the economy hasn’t snapped-back is because the Chinese faced alot of salary cuts and unpaid furloughs in 2022. But there are bigger geopolitical issues that are facing the Chinese consumer.—Chinese consumer confidence is the worst in 25 years. Demand for credit is weak.
The Chinese people feel the Biden administration is trying to contain China’s economic growth and destabilize the communist party. …There’s alot of backroom pressure by the Biden regime not to invest in China. ...The Chinese feel like they are going to go into a 10-to-20-year stagnation because of the United States. The big US companies that are heavily invested in China want to see if China is normal again. They want to know if there will be more lockdowns They are taking a wait-and-see approach. (Also) The only thing Democrats and Republicans can get-along about, is to ‘hate on China’. They are pushing de-risking from China or maybe decoupling. Many companies are nervous about China. They don’t want to be caught-up in the political attacks from Washington. (So, it looks like the ) business community is against what Biden is doing, but they don’t want to say anything.” Chinese revenge spending never happened. Consumer confidence at 25-year low, You Tube
Gradual Rebound in 2023
Rein sheds light on how much damage China’s lockdown policies did to the economy and to the mental health of the Chinese people. What he fails to mention, however, is how the “zero Covid” restrictions laid the groundwork for massive social unrest and political instability. After 3-rounds of lengthy lockdowns, protests broke out across the country which eventually forced the government to change its policy and lift the onerous restrictions that kept people prisoners in their own homes. This is from an article at NPR:
Infuriated by nearly three years of stringent COVID-19 policies, residents of nearly every major Chinese city held vigils commemorating the lives of the those who had died while trapped under lockdown conditions or because they were denied potentially life-saving care.
Many attendees held up blank white sheets of paper to represent the lack of agency and freedom of expression they felt under the pandemic rules. Since then, the demonstrations have been dubbed “the A4 protests,” named after the A4 paper size used internationally.”…
The demonstrations were also a powerful rebuke of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who has become closely associated with a suite of regulations loosely termed “zero COVID” and meant to keep coronavirus infection numbers near zero.” China’s authorities are quietly rounding up people who protested against COVID rules, NPR
Apparently, the CCP believed that the western intel agencies were involved in the protests although there is not yet any evidence to back this up. There was an article, however, at the Council on Foreign Relations website that seemed unusually interested in the protests, particularly as they related to the vulnerabilities of the Chinese government. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
This wave of protests is special for its direct criticism of the central government’s zero-COVID policy. …The transnational mobilization of protests is also noteworthy. Chinese people in major cities around the world, such as New York, London, Berlin, and Paris, organized vigils and protests to raise awareness and show solidarity with protesters in China…….
The protests serve as evidence that despite harsh censorship and crackdowns, Chinese people can use creative tools to make their voices heard…. it is also possible that future protests in China will make broader demands for civil rights…. If people keep making these demands, the government’s usual strategy to distract and diffuse might eventually become insufficient to appease public unrest. Did China’s Street Protests End Harsh COVID Policies? Council On Foreign Relations
Projected Rebound 2023
In short, the CFR sees the reaction to the Covid restrictions as an opportunity for additional mischief in the future. (Are you surprised?) This suggests that the bio-weapon attack was merely one part of a larger strategy aimed at political destabilization. (and, perhaps, regime change.)
In any event, you can understand why I think that Washington’s bio-weapon strategy was a smashing success. It slashed China’s GDP by more than half, it undermined consumer confidence, it eroded trust in the government, it ignited political instability, and it inflicted massive post-traumatic stress on millions of Chinese who have been deeply scarred by the lockdowns. All of these have helped to rein in China’s explosive growth clearing the way for Phase 2 of Washington’s war on China which includes more tariffs, more sanctions, a more stringent technology blockade, more anti-China bashing in the media and more provocations in the Taiwan Strait. IMO, this latest round of hostilities provides compelling circumstantial evidence that Unz was correct in assuming that Covid-19 is an “anti-economy” bio-weapon that was released in Wuhan, China in late 2019.
Ron Unz Discovers The “Smoking Gun”
In 2020, ABC News reported that US intelligence officials knew about a Covid outbreak in Wuhan as early as November 2019 well-before the outbreak had taken place. The intelligence agency report basically proves that Covid is a bio-weapon that was aimed at China. (Note: The ABC report was later corroborated by an article in the Israeli media.) Check out this interview with Ron Unz and journalist Kevin Barrett which explains the significance of the original ABC report:
“ABC news is reporting tonight that American intelligence officials warned the Trump administration as far back as late November that the Coronavirus could be a ‘cataclysmic event’. That information ultimately ended up in the presidents daily briefing so ‘what did they know and when’ and what was being said publicly …ABC News has learned that US intelligence agencies were warning way back in November (2019) that an out-of-control disease was sweeping through China. . Dire warning were detailed in a report for the military’s National Center for medical Intelligence. …The November intelligence report determined the virus was changing patterns of life in China and posing a threat to US forces in Asia… Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event . …The Defense Intelligence Agency, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and White House were briefed multiple times….” (The Pentagon denied the existence of the report.)… COVID-19 Bio-Attack Smoking Gun!, You Tube; 5:11 minute mark
Ron Unz: “After COVID began spreading around the United States and producing a gigantic domestic disaster, our Intelligence agencies wanted to prove that they were not responsible but that they had provided the information to the top leadership, which was just ignored. In other words, they wanted to get-away from being blamed for the disaster. Therefore 4 separate intelligence sources confirmed to ABC News that the secret report had been provided to the White House and our top leadership in November describing a potential cataclysmic disease outbreak taking place in the city of Wuhan China. The problem they ran into was that when somebody checked the timeline they realized that in November—there was no cataclysmic disease outbreak in Wuhan. At that point according to all the available knowledge and retrospective evidence, probably a dozen or 20 people were starting to feel a little sick in a city of 11 million. There was no way for any outside observer to possibly be aware of the disease outbreak at that point. In fact, the Chinese government itself only became aware of the outbreak at the end of December 6 or 7 week later. So, naturally, the Pentagon immediately denied the existence of that report …They said it never existed. However, a week later, an Israeli newspaper confirmed the existence of the report saying the report had been sent to Israel, it had been sent to all the NATO allies in November and it had been produced in the second week of November. Again, the second week in November was long-before anyone in the world could have been possibly aware of the disease outbreak in Wuhan except for the people responsible. It’s fairly close to a smoking gun.” COVID-19 Bio-Attack Smoking Gun!, You Tube; 7:40 minute mark
Bottom line: The only people who could have known about a Covid outbreak in Wuhan were the people who actually released the pathogen into the population. Therefore, the ABC report proves that the US intelligence agencies were involved in the release of a bio-weapon.
Unz basic thesis fits seamlessly with our own belief that members of the foreign policy establishment had been frantically looking for ways to preserve Washington’s hegemony in the face of China’s surging growth and regional expansion. We think they arrived at the same conclusion as John Mearsheimer who presented his views on ‘weakening China’ in an article in the Buenos Aires Times. Here’s what he said:
The US basically has to form a balancing coalition to contain China, very similar to what it did in the Cold War to contain the Soviet Union. It needs a military alliance in Asia similar to NATO to contain China’s rise. The Donald Trump administration has done a terrible job in dealing with our allies in Asia.The second thing the US has to do, and here Trump is trying, is to decelerate China’s growth and assure that it does not transform itself into the country dominating the world with the most sophisticated technologies. The Chinese have left it very clear that they intend not only to challenge but also to beat the US in artificial intelligence, 5G, etc. We have to contain China with a balanced coalition and defeat it on the economic and technological fronts. A War between China and the US is Possible: Mearsheimer, Buenos Aires Times
Repeat: “We have to contain China with a balanced coalition and defeat it on the economic and technological fronts.”
This is the blueprint upon which the Biden administration’s China policy is based with one glaring exception; it does not include prohibited biological agents that pulverize the economy while traumatizing a large portion of the population. This component was added to the mix simply to improve Washington’s chances of suppressing China’s soaring development which threatens to topple the existing global order. Here’s more from the interview with Unz:
“Over the decades, America has spent over $100 billion developing its biowarfare technology. The Trump administration brought in Robert Kadlec, America’s leading biowarfare expert, in 2017. And, in 2018 , there was suddenly a mysterious viral epidemic that devastated China’s poultry industry. In 2019, China’s pig herds were annihilated. And, then in late 2019, suddenly the Covid epidemic broke out which really raises all kinds of dark suspicions of what really happened.” COVID-19 Bio-Attack Smoking Gun!, You Tube; 10:15 minute mark
- In 2017, Trump brings in Robert Kadlec, America’s leading biowarfare expert
- In 2018, there was suddenly a mysterious viral epidemic that devastated China’s poultry industry.
- In 2019, China’s pig herds were annihilated.
- In late 2019, Covid breaks out.
This is the same Robert Kadlec who wrote in a Pentagon strategy paper in 1998 the following:
Using biological weapons under the cover of an endemic or natural disease occurrence provides an attacker the potential for plausible denial. Biological warfare’s potential to create significant economic loss and subsequent political instability, coupled with plausible denial, exceeds the possibilities of any other human weapon.
So, why would the Trump administration hire “America’s leading biowarfare expert” if they did not plan to use him?
They wouldn’t, would they?
So, what does it all mean?
It means that Washington is so desperate to maintain its grip on global power, it is prepared to employ whatever means are necessary (including bio-weapons) to sabotage China’s rise.
Author: Mike Whitney