Why China is Starving Citizens in Shanghai

China expert Steven Mosher offers a harrowing possibility.

By Aliya Kuykendall Published on May 1, 2022

John-Henry Westen, editor-in-chief and co-founder of LifeSiteNews, interviewed China expert Steven Mosher recently on his show. He explained that Steven Mosher “understands all the Chinese languages” and is therefore particularly able to explain the disturbing videos on social media emerging from Shanghai. Video scenes include people screaming from their balconies, drones telling people to control their desire for freedom, enforcers in white hazmat suits, and an enforcer brutally killing a pet corgi.

In Mosher’s opinion, the lockdown is one of the periodic “purges and persecutions of different groups of people” needed to keep citizens in a Communist country submitted. He also called it a “power play” by China’s President Xi Jinping to punish political opponents in Shanghai. Mosher said there would be “a lot more videos” posted online except for the Chinese censors who take down much of what’s posted.

China’s largest city has been under strict lockdown for a month under China’s “zero-COVID” policy. What began as a two-phase lockdown, starting with half of Shanghai on March 28th, expanded to the entire city within a few days. A South China Morning Post article from April 3 describes the 6 a.m. race the population of 26 million undergoes daily to order food online before supplies run out. Residents must depend on food delivery or face arrest if they leave their homes. On April 7 the Post reported “a shortage in food supply.”

The Videos

Videos emerged in early April showing residents screaming from their balconies after a week under lockdown. Mosher said in these videos he can hear people saying “things like, ‘we’re dying,’ ‘we haven’t eaten in a long time,’ ‘we need food,’ ‘please help us.'”

“It’s heart-rending,” Mosher said.


Another video shows a drone reportedly telling residents not to open their windows or “sing” and to “control your soul’s desire for freedom.”

In another video, an enforcer dressed in white throws a citizen to the ground and kicks the person.

An enforcer beats people with a mop stick:

Here, people are seen screaming, kneeling and resisting. Mosher said this video shows police arresting people who are being evicted from their residence so that it can be used to house people who have tested positive for COVID.

“And yet John-Henry, the homebound ones … are the lucky ones. The unlucky ones are the ones who test positive for COVID.” Everyday everyone in Shanghai is tested for COVID. Those who test positive are taken to camps. Videos show the distress of life in concentration camps, including one video with babies and small children quarantined together without their families:


In another, people have been given carboard boxes to sleep in.

Other videos show people having emotional breakdowns.

Another video shows people desperate to snag food during food distribution.


Mosher referenced a photo of an open empty fridge on a balcony, by which a resident is demonstrating a lack of food.


It is a form of cruel and inhumane punishment to subject people to solitary confinement. And there are lots and lots of elderly people in Shainghai. Lots and lots of singletons living in Shanghai alone in their apartments, and basically they’ve been condemned … to solitary confinement, and that in itself is wearing on your psyche and can grind you down emotionally, especially if you’re starving to death at the same time. So at the end of the day, I think when this lockdown is finally over, and when the police go in and finally visit people who have been confined in their apartments for the last 30 days, they’re going to find lots of dead bodies.

Why the Lockdown in Shanghai?

Mosher said the lockdown is a “terrible overreaction.” Shanghai has an Omicron outbreak, which Mosher said he pronounces as “I’m a cold” because of it’s “a mild variant.” So why is Shanghai under lockdown? Mosher credited the “totalitarian mindset that is dominant in China today.”

“In the same way we control production, in the same way we control reproduction, we will control the virus. And of course, it’s insane.”

Mosher went on to say that such persecutions are necessary to “maintain the muscular rigor” of the communist system. This, he said, is “one level” of explanation.

The communist system or totalitarian system I think has to carry out purges and persecutions of different groups of people over time, just to maintain the muscular tone of the system. Just to maintain the state of fear on the one hand, and just to maintain the enforcers in a state of constant readiness to enforce any order they’re given. And so you see over time, the forced abortion of over 400 million women in China. So you see the genocide of the Uyghurs in the far West. So you see the persecution of Catholics in China. At one level they’re all a way of maintaining the muscular rigor of the system. Like someone who wants to stay in good physical condition goes to the gym every week to work out, or twice a week. A communist system or party has to do something to single out a class of its people for persecution from time to time just to keep everything in a state of readiness.

But there’s more going on, Mosher said. In October the Chinese Communist’s Party will hold its 20th Congress, which Mosher called a “leadership election.” He said the Central committee of the Chinese Communist Party will meet and decide if Xi can serve a third five-year term. A third term “would mean a fourth and a fifth — he would die in office effectively if he gets this.”

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Opposition to Xi Jinging serving a third term is “based in Shanghai,” Mosher said. “There is something called the Shanghai clique. And they were in power in the 1990s and the early years of the 2000s. … Xi Jinping has purged a lot of them. But they’re not done. They want to stop him from getting a third term. They want to stop him from being president for life.”

“So I think the response of Xi Jinping to the Shanghai clique has said, ‘I’m going to show the whole world and the 1.4 billion people of China that you guys are powerless. Because I’m gonna lock down your city, the source of your political strength, for as long as I want, just to show you who’s in charge.’ So I think that’s going on as well. On one level it’s a power play by Xi Jinping to become dictator for life.”


Aliya Kuykendall is a staff writer and proofreader for The Stream. You can follow Aliya on Twitter @AliyaKuykendall and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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