China's Forbidden City Flooded for the First Time in Its 600 Year History: 'A Dire Omen'

China's Forbidden City Flooded for the First Time in Its 600 Year History: 'A Dire Omen' - Beijing recorded its heaviest rainfall in at least 140 years as the remnants of Typhoon Doksuri swept through northern China in recent weeks. Even the Forbidden City—Beijing's ancient palace complex—which had not flooded in its 600 years of existence, was inundated.

China's Forbidden City Flooded for the First Time in Its 600 Year History: 'A Dire Omen'

China's Forbidden City Flooded for the First Time in Its 600 Year History: 'A Dire Omen'

Beijing recorded its heaviest rainfall in at least 140 years as the remnants of Typhoon Doksuri swept through northern China in recent weeks. Even the Forbidden City—Beijing's ancient palace complex—which had not flooded in its 600 years of existence, was inundated.

The Beijing Meteorological Bureau reported a total of 744.8 millimeters (29.3 inches) of rainfall between July 29 to Aug. 2.

The record-breaking rainfall caused massive flooding in Beijing and the surrounding province of Hebei, leaving at least 33 dead and dozens missing.

‘A Dire Omen’

The Forbidden City, a World Heritage site built during the Ming Dynasty, has been standing for over 600 years. Prior to the recent floods, it had never flooded—thanks largely to its very old but efficient system of drainage. A complex sewer system and hundreds of dragon-shaped water spouts even protected it during historic flooding in 2016 that submerged thousands of square miles.

However, the recent deluge left knee-deep water levels in the Forbidden City, leading a Hong Kong Feng Shui master to call it a "dire omen."

In a recent interview with overseas Chinese media Vision Times, Feng Shui Hao said the flooding of the Forbidden City—long considered a symbol of royal power—foreshadows the instability of the regime.

Feng Shui Hao said he believes that the flooding of the Forbidden City is due to the clogging of drains in the adjacent Zhongnanhai, the compound that houses the offices and serves as a residence for Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership. An imperial canal known as the Golden Water River carries water through the Forbidden City and to the outside. During the recent floods, clogged drains in Zhongnanhai likely caused rainwater to back up and flow back into the Forbidden City, flooding the complex, he said.

In an interview with The Epoch Times, Li Yuanhua, a former professor at China's Capital Normal University now living in Sydney, said he suspects that drainage underneath Zhongnanhai may have been altered.

“It is possible that the CCP has made unwise changes to the drainage system of the Forbidden City, using the so-called modern hydraulic engineering approach to alter the design of the past. The Forbidden City was designed to withstand all kinds of natural phenomena, including heavy rain and torrential rains,” he said.

He thinks that the CCP may have dug culverts under Zhongnanhai, destroying the original water drainage system, and thereby causing congestion.

“When flash flood gets congested at a certain spot, the water in the man-made river will then become stagnant and cannot be drained after heavy rains, causing flooding in the Forbidden City,” Mr. Li speculated.

Widespread Public Anger Over Official Response

In an attempt to reduce flooding in Beijing, near areas such as the city of Zhuozhou—home to about 1 million people—were deemed a "flood storage zone" and deliberately flooded as authorities diverted floodwaters from the capital.

However, many believe that Zhuozhou and other "flood storage" areas were not merely sacrificed for Beijing. They were also intentionally flooded to protect Xiong'an New Area, an ambitious new "city of the future" south of Beijing.

Xiong'an has been under intense construction since 2017. Expected to become a tech hub and a laboratory for intelligent city design, it is a pet project of Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Ni Yuefeng, the CCP head in Hebei Province, sparked the anger of netizens by saying that Xiong'an represented "the top priority of flood control in our province."

Another senior official, Li Guoying, China's minister of water resources, stated that relief efforts should focus on ensuring the safety of Beijing's Daxing airport and Xiong’an New Area.

Although the flood-devastated city of Zhuozhou could have been saved if flood water had been diverted to Xiong’an, critics accuse Chinese communist officials of releasing flood water into the heavily populated city in order to save Xiong'an, which is currently a largely unoccupied "ghost city."

“The CCP simply does not have a holistic view when making plans. You can see from the disaster brought by this heavy rain that there must be problems with the site selection of Xiong’an New Area. The terrain there is low-lying. How can you build a new city in a low-lying place and attempt to save it from flooding when it rains?” Mr. Li asked.

According to official data, Zhuozhou is 20-70 meters (66-230 feet) above sea level, while Xiongan is only 7-19 meters (22-62 feet) above sea level.

New Zealand-based journalist Ye Zhiqiu accused the CCP's top leaders of ignoring flood-stricken areas. Rather than going to the front line to coordinate rescue efforts, party leaders gathered at the party's annual policy-making meeting in the resort town of Beidaihe during the first week of August.

“The Beidaihe Conference is the CCP’s most important meeting, involving the internal power struggle, power distribution and personnel arrangement of the CCP leadership. Attending the Beidaihe Conference is a must for these high-ranking CCP officials who consider power their life. No matter how much the public suffers from disasters at this time, they will not genuinely pay attention to it,” Mr. Ye commented.