Behind China’s Zero-COVID Policy Lies Profits for Elite Interest Groups, Leaked Recording Shows

Commentary Recently, a leaked recording of an alleged conversation with Harvard scholar Huang Wansheng in January at a private gathering in China circulated on the internet. Surprisingly, Huang revealed that Beijing’s real intention in adopting the zero-COVID policy is to help the regime’s elite interest groups make a lot of money. He also said that China lags far behind the United States in 5G, quantum computing, and gene technology. Since 1997, Huang has been a senior assistant to Professor Tu Weiming, a Professor Emeritus and Senior Fellow of Asia Center at Harvard University. According to Huang, in July 2020, six months after the outbreak of the pandemic, Beijing’s top officials purchased a one-way ticket for him that cost 170,000 yuan (about $27,000) and urgently invited him back to China to lead a project named “Pandemic Control Using Science and Technology,” which is directly under the command of Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Why has the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) “zero COVID” policy led to the current awful situation? Huang’s response is that mass PCR testing, vaccine R&D, and mass vaccination, have been exploited by the CCP’s elite interest groups to make a bundle from the pandemic. Huang quoted the information he recently obtained to illustrate his point. A Chinese company has earned 670 billion yuan (about $105.8 billion) from nucleic acid testing for COVID-19 alone. In December 2020, Li Ling, a professor at Peking University, boasted that China generated a revenue of 67 trillion yuan (about $10.58 trillion) in 2020 from pandemic controls. Huang emphasized that no other country in the world is conducting pandemic controls like China, and China’s pandemic prevention methods are simply for the CCP’s interest groups to make profits. Many of the CCP’s top officials and their business representatives are engaged in the PCR testing industry. Therefore, Chinese authorities often order mass testing for an entire district when only one or two cases are identified, because the testing industry makes huge profits from such high volume sales of the test kits. “Even the third shots or the fourth shots are mandatory. All these mandates are related to the interest groups behind them,” Huang said. At this point, another person was heard saying, “Then, this has become a serious problem. A public health issue has been turned into a political issue.” According to Huang, the United States and European countries have realized that the rapid spread of the omicron variant can help them reach herd immunity, thanks to the variant’s mild symptoms and that the immunity it generates is effective against other variants. That’s why many Western countries have decided to end pandemic control measures in March, and are looking forward to a normal life after herd immunity sets in, Huang said. Weakness in China’s Health Care System In the United States, tens of millions of people were infected in a very short period of time. Why wasn’t there a visible public health crisis? Huang said he believes that this is because of the superior medical system in the United States that has a strong grassroots capacity. Huang praised the U.S. medical model, using the phrase “Point of Care” to describe it. For example, a family doctor is capable of monitoring the entire treatment of a given patient, he said. He said the concentration of power leads to the concentration of interests. As a result, China’s medical resources are concentrated in large hospitals, which overburdens them, Huang said. He believes that is one of the main reasons why China does not dare to lift its lockdown measures, as its fragile medical care system cannot handle a large number of patients. The excessive concentration of power has caused disaster to the livelihood of the Chinese people, as reflected in the medical care system, which may face a systemic collapse in times of crisis, he said. Huang mentioned another reason for China’s weak medical system—its poor research and development capabilities. He further revealed that China is entirely dependent on foreign imports for a wide range of important medical products, such as drug research and development, medical equipment, and testing reagents. “Almost all of China’s core medical equipment is imported,” he said. “As of today, the most common model of CT [scanning] equipment manufactured in China has not yet passed the basic quality test; and 88 percent of the various reagents used in medical testing are imported.” Quantum Computing and Biotechnology Huang also spoke about China’s IT technology, including quantum computing, as well as China’s gene technology. Mankind is still tens of thousands of miles away from truly having quantum computers, he said, as we are still far from the very first step—having stable quantum bits, which are the first prerequisite for quantum computing. Even the United States is still far from this stage, let alone China. In addition, “all the core internet technologies are in

Behind China’s Zero-COVID Policy Lies Profits for Elite Interest Groups, Leaked Recording Shows

Commentary

Recently, a leaked recording of an alleged conversation with Harvard scholar Huang Wansheng in January at a private gathering in China circulated on the internet. Surprisingly, Huang revealed that Beijing’s real intention in adopting the zero-COVID policy is to help the regime’s elite interest groups make a lot of money. He also said that China lags far behind the United States in 5G, quantum computing, and gene technology.

Since 1997, Huang has been a senior assistant to Professor Tu Weiming, a Professor Emeritus and Senior Fellow of Asia Center at Harvard University. According to Huang, in July 2020, six months after the outbreak of the pandemic, Beijing’s top officials purchased a one-way ticket for him that cost 170,000 yuan (about $27,000) and urgently invited him back to China to lead a project named “Pandemic Control Using Science and Technology,” which is directly under the command of Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Why has the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) “zero COVID” policy led to the current awful situation? Huang’s response is that mass PCR testing, vaccine R&D, and mass vaccination, have been exploited by the CCP’s elite interest groups to make a bundle from the pandemic.

Huang quoted the information he recently obtained to illustrate his point. A Chinese company has earned 670 billion yuan (about $105.8 billion) from nucleic acid testing for COVID-19 alone. In December 2020, Li Ling, a professor at Peking University, boasted that China generated a revenue of 67 trillion yuan (about $10.58 trillion) in 2020 from pandemic controls.

Huang emphasized that no other country in the world is conducting pandemic controls like China, and China’s pandemic prevention methods are simply for the CCP’s interest groups to make profits. Many of the CCP’s top officials and their business representatives are engaged in the PCR testing industry. Therefore, Chinese authorities often order mass testing for an entire district when only one or two cases are identified, because the testing industry makes huge profits from such high volume sales of the test kits.

“Even the third shots or the fourth shots are mandatory. All these mandates are related to the interest groups behind them,” Huang said. At this point, another person was heard saying, “Then, this has become a serious problem. A public health issue has been turned into a political issue.”

According to Huang, the United States and European countries have realized that the rapid spread of the omicron variant can help them reach herd immunity, thanks to the variant’s mild symptoms and that the immunity it generates is effective against other variants. That’s why many Western countries have decided to end pandemic control measures in March, and are looking forward to a normal life after herd immunity sets in, Huang said.

Weakness in China’s Health Care System

In the United States, tens of millions of people were infected in a very short period of time. Why wasn’t there a visible public health crisis? Huang said he believes that this is because of the superior medical system in the United States that has a strong grassroots capacity. Huang praised the U.S. medical model, using the phrase “Point of Care” to describe it. For example, a family doctor is capable of monitoring the entire treatment of a given patient, he said.

He said the concentration of power leads to the concentration of interests. As a result, China’s medical resources are concentrated in large hospitals, which overburdens them, Huang said. He believes that is one of the main reasons why China does not dare to lift its lockdown measures, as its fragile medical care system cannot handle a large number of patients.

The excessive concentration of power has caused disaster to the livelihood of the Chinese people, as reflected in the medical care system, which may face a systemic collapse in times of crisis, he said.

Huang mentioned another reason for China’s weak medical system—its poor research and development capabilities. He further revealed that China is entirely dependent on foreign imports for a wide range of important medical products, such as drug research and development, medical equipment, and testing reagents.

“Almost all of China’s core medical equipment is imported,” he said. “As of today, the most common model of CT [scanning] equipment manufactured in China has not yet passed the basic quality test; and 88 percent of the various reagents used in medical testing are imported.”

Quantum Computing and Biotechnology

Huang also spoke about China’s IT technology, including quantum computing, as well as China’s gene technology.

Mankind is still tens of thousands of miles away from truly having quantum computers, he said, as we are still far from the very first step—having stable quantum bits, which are the first prerequisite for quantum computing. Even the United States is still far from this stage, let alone China.

In addition, “all the core internet technologies are in the hands of Americans, from its roots to various software. China is just a user, the world’s largest user,” Huang said. “The saddest thing about China is that it has not contributed anything to the underlying algorithms of the internet so far. For all the basic algorithms, 90 percent come from the United States, and 10 percent from the European Union and Japan. China just makes use of these algorithms to write programs.”

He also revealed what he knows about the frontier development of gene technology, especially disease-related research, in the United States.

By decoding 8,000 different proteins identified inside the human cell, “American medical scientists have figured out the mechanism of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and diabetes. Therefore, Harvard Medical School announced to the world that treatments for these diseases will be available within 5 years,” he said.

FRANCE-HEALTH-SCIENCE-RESEARCH-BIOTECHNOLOGY-CANCER-VACCINE
A laboratory test at the Transgene biotech firm, which is working to develop a neoantigen cancer vaccine, in Illkirch-Graffenstaden, eastern France, on Nov. 17, 2021. (Patrick Hertzog/AFP via Getty Images)

According to Huang, the technologies involved in bioscience are much more complicated than those in IT technology, as IT is mostly based on applied mathematics, while biotechnology builds upon fundamental research as its solid foundation. “In other words, there is no way China can catch up with the United States in biotechnology,” he said.

Huawei’s 5G Turned Into a Political Issue

Regarding 5G, Huang said that 5G applications are not for civil communications, as 4G is good enough for mobile phones. The real use of 5G is in remote automation.

However, although China’s Telecom giant Huawei has invested a huge sum in the R&D of 5G, it virtually has zero application in remote automation, Huang said.

According to Huang, the United States opposes Huawei’s 5G because the wavelength range it uses does not meet 5G technical requirements. “This leads to a significant delay, roughly 0.8 seconds … If a vehicle has to wait for instruction, whether to hit the brakes or make a turn, any accident may happen during that 0.8-second delay,” Huang said.

Therefore, he concluded that it was out of safety concerns that the U.S. government hopes that European countries will ban Huawei’s 5G applications. However, the CCP authorities treat 5G as a political issue, thinking that the United States is trying to strangle China in key technology.

Several people who were present said that this thinking comes from Xi Jinping’s ambition to dominate the world and the people surrounding Xi fortifying his mentality.

One person specifically mentioned that Wang Huning, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CCP, who specializes in Marxism, Leninism, and communism, kept brainwashing Xi to strengthen his ambition.

China experts in the West have said that Wang is a key person in forming the Chinese ideology today. American radio show host Hugh Hewitt wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post in December last year, describing Wang as the “most dangerous man in the world,” who is in charge of writing the future of China, and is able to enforce his vision “because of his outsize influence with Xi.”

According to public information, Huang graduated from the Institute of Philosophy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 1981 and served as the director of the Comparative Philosophy Research Office of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. From 1997 to 2020, he was a scholar at Harvard University, and also served as a visiting professor in five universities in China, including Tsinghua University.

The Epoch Times reporter compared the voice heard in the leaked talk with a recording of Huang’s speech at the 2nd Internet Thinkers Conference held in November 2018. The voice and speaking styles of the two were very similar.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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Jennifer Bateman is a news writer focused on China.