A few days after the “White Paper Movement” broke out, many places in China have one by one lifted large-scale nucleic acid testing and mandatory centralized quarantine measures. Two articles went viral on China’s social platforms a few days ago, pointing to the local financial situation—There is no way to withdraw money. It’s all debt notes; it’s all shortage. Related articles have attracted public attention and have also been deleted by the network administrator.

According to China Digital Times, on December 6, an article titled “An official in Guangzhou reveals the truth. The finances have been exhausted, there are debt notes everywhere” was published on NetEase, and the article “Finding Proof: The finances have been exhausted, everywhere is debt?” on Zhihu has attracted the attention of public opinion. Those posts have now been deleted.

The article pointed out that the author’s former classmate is an official in Zhuhai District, Guangzhou City, and knows best why the local authority suddenly eased the lockdown order. According to the official, “there is really no way to get money.” The article also gave an example “For example, at concentrated quarantine points, each locality is full, even the hotel has started to kick people out, because the previous expenses have not been paid, the hotel can not keep providing free accommodation and meals. Reluctantly, the authorities can only requisition schools as quarantine points, resulting in many complaints from parents.”

This person said that the local authorities couldn’t even find volunteers due to the lack of funds. So they had to mobilize teachers to do pandemic prevention work, leading to a shortage of teachers in schools. Students were forced to learn online, so the teaching efficiency will naturally decrease, but why should teachers be mobilized?” It is because the education department can still pay their salary, and teachers can be mobilized.

The source added: “Because there is no money, in the end, nucleic acid testing agencies no longer want to work. Without the money, not only can the pandemic prevention and control work not continue, but from an overall economic perspective, the GDP growth rate of Guangzhou city this year will only be 2%. If this continues, it is feared that there will be a recession, even a crisis. Guangzhou’s private economy is being hit hard. If a large number of businesses close, there will be a large number of unemployed people, “Until then, not to mention the problem of borrowing money to buy a house, buy a car, even maintaining stability will become an issue. This is the real situation in Guangzhou that the mainstream media can’t tell you.”

The article quoted the official as adding that the reason for the easing of anti-pandemic measures in Shijiazhuang city in Hebei province is the same, nothing is free. “Someone joked that going to quarantine points is to eat free boxed meals for a few days, but if you ask local catering companies, if it continues like this, there will be no more free meals. Anti-pandemic staff are always busy; they have to organize nucleic acid testing, do transit contact, inform residents to stay indoors, register COVID cases. … If these grassroots workers have more and more tasks and less and less wages, even owed wages, how long do you think they can persist? They are all human and have to earn money to survive.”

The author cited the view of his former classmate that Guangzhou can cancel the “controlled zones” because the economy of Guangdong province is too important for China, “This year, in refunding bonds of China, Guangdong paid the most, accounting for more than 40%. What are refunding bonds for? It is to make up for the pension gap. If Guangdong cannot provide this amount, it is possible that the Northeast region’s pension will not be distributed.”

The article concluded, “It’s hard to imagine that cities with buildings close to each other are locked down for a little while. People don’t work, don’t study, don’t do business, don’t consume, just stay at home waiting for the “zero-COVID.” It’s even harder to believe that some people call this ‘putting people first.'”

For example, Zhejiang has propagated the slogan “People first, not pandemic prevention first.”

“We should not belittle people’s livelihood, economy, and lives in the name of pandemic prevention and control, much less implicitly accept that ‘only COVID is a disease, other diseases are not important.'”

The author wrote: “I told my old classmate who is working as a civil servant in Guangzhou that actually people’s opinions are not the same. Some people ask to be allowed to go out, some people ask to stay at home. But my old friend said that people should first understand that being released is a normal state and everyone has a right, while staying at home is an abnormal state, those who stay at home can voluntarily give up their rights, but they can’t ask others to waive this right either. Some people think that they are social parasites, financial parasites, it is best to lock down for another year, everyone will stop working and wait for the pandemic to end and go out later. They don’t even think, where does the money come from?”

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