Warehouse Fires Occurring Nationwide May Be Linked to Lockdown Policy

News AnalysisLogistics parks and warehouses in many parts of China have reportedly caught fire in recent months. Some suggest that the fires could  have been set on purpose to conceal the dumping of (or spoiled) materials that couldn’t be delivered during lockdown-induced transportation disruptions. From February to April, fires were frequently reported in the logistics industry covering Shanghai and provinces such as Shandong, Zhejiang, Guangdong, and Guangxi. The logistics industry is the movement of goods and encompasses transportation and warehousing. The causes of fires were all “unknown” or “under investigation,” according to official media. But the fires in China’s logistics parks would not be an individual, accidental phenomenon, Lu tianming, China current affairs commentator, told The Epoch Times. He said that many times they are related to the ongoing anti-pandemic policies in China. “Since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has adopted a very extreme and harsh zero-COVID policy, large-scale lockdowns in cities and blocked highways led to a lack of logistics and disruption of the supply chain, which has seriously affected people’s livelihood,” Lu said. During the weeks-long lockdown in Shanghai, some complained online that residents were sealed in their homes and unable to get groceries, while drivers were stopped from entering the urban areas and were leaving truckloads of vegetables rotting on the roadside. Warehouse fires are happening in provinces where the supply chain is partly or entirely halted by travel blockages, screening of drivers, restricted access, and various other local anti-virus measures. As usual, “the CCP officials won’t take the blame, so it has to find ways to shirk its responsibility,” said Lu, indicating that a fire can be a perfect way to bury the truth. This is not the only tactic the CCP uses to divert public attention, it also uses fabrication and obfuscates facts. Similar fires broke out in grain warehouses four years ago, Lu said. On July 23, 2018, the State Council issued a notice that it would inventory the nation’s grain depots. Six days later, on July 29, a fire broke out at the Datong Grain Reserve in Taonan city, Jilin Province. Official reports said that the grain reserve stored a total of 9,417 tons of corn placed there in 2015. The corrupt officials had stolen and sold the grain and the silo was empty; so they set fire to the granary before it could be inspected. Thus, the missing grain wasn’t investigated and their crime was concealed, said people familiar with the matter and reported by Radio Free Asia on Aug.1, 2018. Likewise, fires in the logistics parks might be a cover-up of some crimes that the CCP officials don’t want to be found, Lu said. “The CCP officials certainly do not take responsibility for the failure of supplies delivery, so the fire accidents, of unknown cause, can be called a natural disaster, an accident, so that they can pass the buck,” said Lu, citing that many of the trucks of the logistics companies could not get off the highway, and the drivers waited for days in their trucks because of the strict lockdown measures. Flames and smoke rise from the site of a series of explosions in Tianjin early on August 13, 2015. (AFP via Getty Images) Frequent Fires In eastern China’s Shandong Province, a logistics park in Linyi city caught fire on April 27, a video uploaded to Weibo showed black smoke filling the sky at the site. An eyewitness told the local media that the goods in the park were on fire and  two or three fire engines were at the scene. In the Guangdong province of southern China, a fire was set in a warehouse in the Anlin e-commerce logistics park in Lishui town, Foshan city on April 25. A fiery single-story warehouse, black smoke billowing, and a burning truck in the warehouse can be seen in videos of the incident. A businessman near the logistics park told the local media that he noticed the fire and was going to check the rescue situation when he heard an explosion-like sound nearby. On April 10, a logistics company was burned in Anhui Province’s Chuzhou city. Witnesses said the fire and thick black smoke poured from the windows creating a frightening scene. A fire broke out in a container in a logistics park in Nanning city, Guangxi Province, on March 27, igniting a van and truck next to it. On March 12, a logistics warehouse in Shanghai’s Baoshan district burned, with an overfire area of about 20 square meters. On Feb. 22, Zhejiang Province’s Jinhua city Yiwu Fire Department reported that a fire in a logistics park burned out multiple trucks of goods. Kane Zhang contributed to this report. Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times. Follow Jessica Mao is a writer for The Epoch Times with a focus on China-related topics. She began writing for the Chinese-language edition in 2009.

Warehouse Fires Occurring Nationwide May Be Linked to Lockdown Policy

News Analysis

Logistics parks and warehouses in many parts of China have reportedly caught fire in recent months. Some suggest that the fires could  have been set on purpose to conceal the dumping of (or spoiled) materials that couldn’t be delivered during lockdown-induced transportation disruptions.

From February to April, fires were frequently reported in the logistics industry covering Shanghai and provinces such as Shandong, Zhejiang, Guangdong, and Guangxi. The logistics industry is the movement of goods and encompasses transportation and warehousing.

The causes of fires were all “unknown” or “under investigation,” according to official media.

But the fires in China’s logistics parks would not be an individual, accidental phenomenon, Lu tianming, China current affairs commentator, told The Epoch Times. He said that many times they are related to the ongoing anti-pandemic policies in China.

“Since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has adopted a very extreme and harsh zero-COVID policy, large-scale lockdowns in cities and blocked highways led to a lack of logistics and disruption of the supply chain, which has seriously affected people’s livelihood,” Lu said.

During the weeks-long lockdown in Shanghai, some complained online that residents were sealed in their homes and unable to get groceries, while drivers were stopped from entering the urban areas and were leaving truckloads of vegetables rotting on the roadside.

Warehouse fires are happening in provinces where the supply chain is partly or entirely halted by travel blockages, screening of drivers, restricted access, and various other local anti-virus measures.

As usual, “the CCP officials won’t take the blame, so it has to find ways to shirk its responsibility,” said Lu, indicating that a fire can be a perfect way to bury the truth.

This is not the only tactic the CCP uses to divert public attention, it also uses fabrication and obfuscates facts. Similar fires broke out in grain warehouses four years ago, Lu said.

On July 23, 2018, the State Council issued a notice that it would inventory the nation’s grain depots. Six days later, on July 29, a fire broke out at the Datong Grain Reserve in Taonan city, Jilin Province. Official reports said that the grain reserve stored a total of 9,417 tons of corn placed there in 2015.

The corrupt officials had stolen and sold the grain and the silo was empty; so they set fire to the granary before it could be inspected. Thus, the missing grain wasn’t investigated and their crime was concealed, said people familiar with the matter and reported by Radio Free Asia on Aug.1, 2018.

Likewise, fires in the logistics parks might be a cover-up of some crimes that the CCP officials don’t want to be found, Lu said.

“The CCP officials certainly do not take responsibility for the failure of supplies delivery, so the fire accidents, of unknown cause, can be called a natural disaster, an accident, so that they can pass the buck,” said Lu, citing that many of the trucks of the logistics companies could not get off the highway, and the drivers waited for days in their trucks because of the strict lockdown measures.

Epoch Times Photo
Flames and smoke rise from the site of a series of explosions in Tianjin early on August 13, 2015. (AFP via Getty Images)

Frequent Fires

In eastern China’s Shandong Province, a logistics park in Linyi city caught fire on April 27, a video uploaded to Weibo showed black smoke filling the sky at the site. An eyewitness told the local media that the goods in the park were on fire and  two or three fire engines were at the scene.

In the Guangdong province of southern China, a fire was set in a warehouse in the Anlin e-commerce logistics park in Lishui town, Foshan city on April 25. A fiery single-story warehouse, black smoke billowing, and a burning truck in the warehouse can be seen in videos of the incident.

A businessman near the logistics park told the local media that he noticed the fire and was going to check the rescue situation when he heard an explosion-like sound nearby.

On April 10, a logistics company was burned in Anhui Province’s Chuzhou city. Witnesses said the fire and thick black smoke poured from the windows creating a frightening scene.

A fire broke out in a container in a logistics park in Nanning city, Guangxi Province, on March 27, igniting a van and truck next to it.

On March 12, a logistics warehouse in Shanghai’s Baoshan district burned, with an overfire area of about 20 square meters.

On Feb. 22, Zhejiang Province’s Jinhua city Yiwu Fire Department reported that a fire in a logistics park burned out multiple trucks of goods.

Kane Zhang contributed to this report.

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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Jessica Mao is a writer for The Epoch Times with a focus on China-related topics. She began writing for the Chinese-language edition in 2009.