Doubts also about the economic data that Beijing flaunts: Chinese propaganda never sleeps (and here it always finds attentive ears)

The propaganda machine of the Chinese Communist Party never really stops and, unfortunately, in Italy it always finds attentive ears and information operators willing to act as a sounding board. In recent days we have been overwhelmed by a paean chorus in which critical voices are very few and play a marginal role.

We are therefore told that, while the rest of the world is prey to the second wave of the virus (of Chinese origin, by the way, let's not forget it), the People's Republic is restarting strongly because under the leadership of Xi Jinping the pandemic was definitely defeated.

The restart would be primarily economic. After GDP fell by 6.8 percent in the first quarter of the current year, it recorded spectacular growth of 4.9 percent in the third quarter (even though, before the pandemic, analysts predicted a + 5.2). However, in short, the citizens of the Dragon cannot really complain, especially if you think that Europeans are floundering.

In conclusion, in the first nine months of 2020, the Chinese economy would have grown by 0.7 percent. Not much, if you think of the spectacular data that the People's Republic had accustomed us to. A lot, however, thinking that in this way the negative trend was reversed, allowing us to put the "plus" sign back after the aforementioned collapse.

Obviously, all the data come from the Beijing National Institute of Statistics and, knowing the propaganda skill mentioned at the beginning, many Western observers have long expressed many doubts about the reliability of these numbers. However, this does not prevent an important Italic newspaper entitled "China leaps out of Covid" , with an iconic image that further accentuates our second-wave depression.

Another very interesting title: "Xi orders autarchy and China restarts" . In Italy the term "autarchy" evokes memories of Mussolini and Fascists, but for the Chinese the meaning is obviously different. Since the economy in Beijing is totally controlled by the party, the latter can afford to deploy huge investments and stimuli. They do not happen to have supranational bodies that impose rigid rules and ask to do "homework" to get help.

Therefore, the Chinese government has stimulated domestic consumption simply by putting more money in the hands of citizens, thus allowing them not to suffer too much from the decline in exports (which, however, was much less serious than expected). The People's Republic continues to be an exporting country, but the government is also trying to stimulate domestic consumption a lot.

The secret is that Beijing doesn't care at all about debt and budget balance. It completely controls its own economic and financial structure and does not allow anyone to get into it. After all, this is the cornerstone of the Party's stay in power since 1949. It promises security and welfare to citizens in exchange for their renunciation of any claim for political freedom.

It is also said that the Chinese do not care. They have a thousand-year-old civilization behind them in which political freedom never mattered. And here it is worth spending a few words in defense of the much-maligned colonialism. It happens, in fact, that the British colonialists have imported the rule of law, multi-partyism and free elections to Hong Kong, and that the Chinese of the former colony no longer want to give them up, thus forcing Beijing into the repression that we all know.

Furthermore, assuming that the data provided by the Chinese Statistical Institute are true, we would very much like to know how it was possible to definitively defeat the virus while leaving millions of citizens free to go on vacation and crowd gyms, swimming pools and so on. It does not appear that they have found a safe vaccine yet. Have they achieved so-called “herd immunity”?

It is another great mystery. In reality, the successes achieved so far are the result of a capillary militarization of society and treatment methods. The lockdowns are imposed without much compliments and without (at least in appearance) protests from citizens. Those who do not agree are sent to the so-called "re-education camps" where, just like in Mao's time, they are taught that the Party is always right and it is better to obey it in order to return to their occupations without damage.

Among the many pro-Chinese paeans I mentioned at the beginning, however, I also found some dissonant voices. On Il Foglio , for example, I read that the "Chinese model" is a scam. We already know why. This economic and socio-political model is typical of a country that is not only authoritarian but also tyrannical, where no alternative political choice is allowed, and where the Party decides everything, including the method of controlling the epidemic.

There is no doubt that, in Italy, there are many politicians and ordinary citizens who favor this model. From their point of view, it simplifies life by allowing, for example, to impose total and partial lockdowns without protests in the light of the sun. However, we must be careful, since with similar regimes fake news are always lurking, and it is difficult to believe that the virus in China behaves differently than the rest of the world.

The post Doubts also about the economic data that Beijing flaunts: Chinese propaganda never sleeps (and here it always finds attentive ears) appeared first on Atlantico Quotidiano .

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL on Sat, 24 Oct 2020 03:47:00 +0000.