Tucker Carlson: China's Rulers Are Using COVID Restrictions to Stay in Power Forever

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Monday, FNC host Tucker Carlson laid out the move to lock down part of China, including Shanghai, in the name of COVID-19 mitigation.

In some cases, as Carlson pointed out, the Chinese government was using brutal tactics to impose its will on its people.

Carlson speculated that much of this had to do with the Chinese ruling class’ desire to stay in power.

CARLSON: The first mass quarantine in human history began in the Central Chinese City of Wuhan, that was back in the beginning of 2020. Within days, pictures and videos of what was happening there begin to appear on English language social media, and at the time, the images were shocking to everyone in the West.

The Communist Party of China had effectively imprisoned 11 million people simultaneously. The citizens of Wuhan were confined by government order to their apartments and those who tried to leave sometimes found themselves welded inside, some of them starved to death.

Authorities in hazmat suits dragged screaming citizens into vans and then drove them to internment camps. Watching this, you could barely believe it. China seem to have gone insane, moving from authoritarian to dystopian in a single day.

So this was the world’s introduction to COVID-19, a virus we later learned the Chinese government itself helped create.

Looking back at all seems like a bad dream. COVID panic has now ended. The virus no longer constitutes a public health crisis in this or any other country and it is clear, in retrospect that government lockdowns, whatever their motives, in the end hurt far more people than COVID itself did.

The much-touted vaccines, meanwhile, provided nowhere near the protection that drug companies had promised and at the same time came with significant risks that even now have not been openly discussed.

So at this point, knowing all of this, as everybody does, countries all over the world are lifting their coronavirus restrictions. Next will come the apologies; and then in the free countries at least lawsuits and criminal charges against the people who did this.

So we’re just beginning to reckon with the nightmare that all of us have lived through and it is impossible to imagine living through it again.

But in China, they are living through it again. The government of China has just completely shut down the City of Shanghai. Shanghai is the biggest city in the country. It’s one of the largest cities in the world. More than 25 million people live in Shanghai. And the lockdown there is by all accounts more brutal and more far-reaching than anything we saw in Wuhan two years ago. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you think Wuhan 2020 was bad, welcome to Shanghai 2022.

This has been like no other lockdown and it is in the country’s cosmopolitan and most affluent financial hub of all places. So this door behind me, this is my exit to the outside alleyway, and late last night I heard them taping up my door along with the doors of my neighbors. They are placing a paper seal, so as to keep it closed.

Some buildings with positive cases inside, well, they are locked shut from the outside. They’re using bicycle locks and padlocks just to keep people in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: So for once, CNN is not exaggerating. You have 25 million people locked inside their homes. You have the largest prison camp in human history. Anyone who tests positive for COVID is shoved into a van and then taken to a quarantine camp. Watch it happen to this child?

[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]

CARLSON: So where are those vans going? Well, here are pictures of a quarantine camp in China. The child you just saw may be there now. Many thousands of Chinese citizens are.

At this camp, mattresses are strewn on the floor of cells. There is no water. There is just one shared toilet.

Just days ago, the inmates you see here were living ordinary lives, in their own homes. Now, they’re in prison. What happened to the lives they left behind? What happened to the dogs and cats they left at home?

Well, chances are, a Chinese police beat those dogs and cats to death on the street. That’s happening tonight all over Shanghai, a mass slaughter of pets and we hesitate even to show this to you it’s too horrible, but it’s also real and we thought you should know.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The COVID prevention worker was caught on camera bashing to death a pet Corgi. Apparently, this happened after the pet’s owner had tested reportedly positive for COVID-19 and taken away to a quarantine center. It was a resident of the compound who filmed this video and filmed how this health worker used a shovel to strike the Corgi three times before the pet dog died on the scene.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: A Corgi beaten to death with a shovel, in China, that’s COVID protection. The Chinese government has also confiscated some huge, but unknown number of house cats from people’s homes, thrown them in bags and left them on sidewalks to be killed.

[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]

CARLSON: Again, it was a tough judgment call whether or not to put that on the air, but it’s real. And you should know exactly what the authorities are talking about when they say the Chinese government is responding to COVID. There are videos like that all over social media.

So the Chinese government isn’t denying this is real and it is not apologizing. Liang Wannian is a spokesman for China’s National Health Commission. Effectively, he is China’s Tony Fauci.

He recently gave an interview to the state, excuse me, the state-run newspaper, the People’s Daily, and explained the government’s thinking here. “China adheres to COVID Zero,” he said. “China’s socialist system has a strong ability to organize and mobilize, which will help it ensure the success of the COVID Zero strategy.”

So, the Chinese government certainly has the capacity to mobilize, but what does success look like? Well, this is what success is in Shanghai tonight. This is video, shot by a resident of one of Shanghai’s countless apartment towers. What you’re hearing in this video are the screams of the people trapped inside.

[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]

CARLSON: Has there ever been a clearer picture of what hell is like? Twenty-five million people imprisoned in concrete apartment blocks, screaming for help, and slowly starving.

In the words of a Western journalist called Jaap Grolleman who is apparently stuck in Shanghai, quote: “This is the biggest, richest, most international city in China and people are starving without medicine, without freedom. Parents are separated from their children. The military is on the streets, and Shanghai’s optimism has ground to a halt.”

But it’s worse than that. Some in Shanghai are so desperate they are crying out for food. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And people are complaining that stores have run out of food, and it’s nearly impossible to schedule deliveries because couriers can’t keep up with the demand.

One man in Shanghai documenting the shortages on Twitter, says, “We had three deliveries that were booked to deliver today. All three were canceled.”

NBC REPORTER: On social media, videos not verified by NBC News described as protests by people desperate to get food and medicine, store shelves cleared out.

This man on the street yelling, “What am I supposed to buy? What am I supposed to eat?”

In some areas, drones telling people to stay home. “Control your soul’s desire for freedom,” it says.

STOUT: And in this video, the residents yell at the police. At one point they say, “We are starving.”

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: “We are starving,” they scream at stony-faced police as drones overhead tell them to stop longing for freedom. This is again the richest city in China and you never thought you’d see anything like this. So the question is: What is going on here? Obviously, it’s not about COVID. Let’s stop pretending. Shanghai does not have a COVID crisis. Even if Shanghai did have a COVID crisis, we know perfectly well from recent experience this is not the way to handle a COVID crisis.

So, from the perspective of China’s central government, the problem is not COVID. The problem is Shanghai itself. Shanghai is probably the freest place in China. It’s certainly got more foreign nationals than any city in China. They’re drawn by the trade that revolves around its historic port.

So, by Chinese standards, Shanghai is an independent-minded city, and that’s the problem. For authoritarians, independent-mindedness is the main threat. If you’re the head of the Communist Party of China and you’re trying to run a highly volatile country of 1.4 billion people from Beijing, naturally your top concern always will be Shanghai.

Shanghai is the one place a meaningful insurrection might start, and that is especially true this year. Xi Jinping, the Chinese autocrat, is set to take a third consecutive term beginning in the fall. Now, that was not supposed to happen. There were term limits in China. But four years ago, the Chinese Communist Party did away with those term limits and Xi Jinping can now rule the country forever.

Even in China, that is a controversial move. As a China expert called Natasha Kassam put it, quote, “From Beijing’s perspective, there is no higher priority than stability ahead of the party Congress this fall. This is the closest you might come to seeing a campaign season in China.” Oh, there it is, right there.

A campaign season, even in an authoritarian country, public opinion still matters. A campaign season is still real, even if you’re President for life. Sound familiar?

So China’s rulers want to stay in power forever and in order to do that, they are using COVID restrictions. They’re pretty sure COVID restrictions work. They watched our last presidential election closely.

Now, how should we respond to this? If you believe in democracy, this is repugnant. Twenty-five million people just lost their most basic human rights. So, the question is, is anyone in the Biden administration, which is constantly lecturing us about democracy and human rights, said anything about this? Has the State Department issued an angry denunciation of Xi Jinping? Is the U.S. government threatening sanctions against China for building the world’s largest prison camp?

Well, of course not. Effectively, our leaders are defending what China is doing. Here is Tony Fauci admitting on camera he will never criticize the Chinese government.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SOPHIE RAWORTH, BBC: We spoke to one of the W.H.O. investigators who’ve been to Wuhan to investigate how the virus started, and they were prevented from seeing key details and from speaking to key people.

Why do you think the Chinese government did that?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: You know, I don’t want to create any or mention any disparaging remarks about that, but the Chinese are very closed in a way of being very reluctant, particularly when you have a disease that evolves in their country, they become extremely secretive, even though there’s no reason to be secretive.

I think they were very concerned and maybe embarrassed that the virus evolved from their country, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: Yes. So, they lied about an international pandemic that they clearly had a hand in creating, but according to Tony Fauci, there was, quote, “nothing wrong” with the Chinese government lying about COVID.

There is certainly nothing wrong with starving the population of Shanghai. You would have said so if there were. In fact, Shanghai might be a model.

A long-time Harvard epidemiologist called Eric Feigel-Ding just wrote an op-ed explaining that we should all be grateful for the atrocities the Chinese government is committing in Shanghai tonight because they’re in quote, “everyone’s interest.”

A health security expert called Nicholas Thomas just told CNN that Shanghai is an inspiration to the world’s leaders, quote: “The legacy of Shanghai will see a return to mass lockdowns for larger cities in the near to medium term.”

And if you watch carefully, you can see all of this taking shape, and why wouldn’t it be taking shape in this country? We’ve got midterm elections coming and the ruling party is predicted to be in tough shape. So they’re doing something about it.

In the City of Philadelphia, authorities just announced the return of an indoor mask mandate. Is there science to justify this? Philadelphia has a seven-day average of two COVID deaths. Two COVID deaths in a city of 1.5 million people over a week. Now, of course, when your strategy is, quote, “COVID Zero” two dead from COVID is more than enough to justify another mass quarantine.

According to a report tonight, the Biden administration plans to bring back its lunatic vax mandate for Federal employees and of course, the mask mandate remains in effect for all commercial air travel in this country, though not for Nancy Pelosi’s private plane, despite no scientific evidence at all that it works, but you must obey anyway and they’re making sure.

At Love Field in Dallas, two robots known as “Security Control Observation Towers,” — SCOT for short — scan the crowd to make sure that everyone is in compliance. Now, with facial recognition software, the robots could know exactly who the disobedient are.

We’re just beginning to see the outlines of the repression that COVID has made possible. That’s the point, and if we want to know what the future looks like, you can look at China and shiver.


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