Experts say this nationwide power shortage is not a shortage of electricity to limit supply, but an artificial pulling of the switch, triggered by a political order issued by Zhongnanhai. Photo shows a power grid in Beijing on Oct. 13, 2021. Widespread power cuts and restrictions continue across China, causing serious impacts on people’s livelihoods and the economy. Experts say that this nationwide power shortage is not a shortage of electricity to limit supply, but an artificial pulling of the gates to restrict electricity, triggered by a political order issued by Zhongnanhai.
Cheng Xiaonong: Electricity restriction movement originated in Zhongnanhai
Since mid-September this year, more than 20 provinces in China, including Jiangsu, Guangdong, Yunnan and Zhejiang, have been restricting electricity consumption. Despite the official elevation of “power supply” to the most important political task, the power shortage continues.
The official explanation is that the power shortage is due to the lack of enthusiasm of power plants to produce electricity because of losses caused by coal price hikes. In order to push up power generation, the Communist Party’s Development and Reform Commission issued a notice of electricity price reform on October 12, allowing electricity prices to rise according to market conditions, with industrial electricity prices rising by up to 20%. Among them, the price of electricity for high energy-consuming enterprises is not restricted.
However, Dr. Cheng Xiaonong, a political and economic scholar, wrote on October 8 that the nationwide campaign to restrict electricity consumption, which came from an order from Zhongnanhai, was actually an artificial pulling of the switch, not a shortage of electricity to limit supply.
On September 11, the National Development and Reform Commission of the Communist Party of China issued a document entitled “Program for Improving the Double Control of Energy Consumption Intensity and Total Amount”, which was sent to all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, as well as all ministries, commissions and agencies directly under the State Council.
The document stipulates that the central government sets annual targets for total energy consumption and decomposes and issues five-year targets for dual control of energy consumption to each province (autonomous region and municipality directly under the central government), requiring local governments to ensure that the targets are met.
According to Cheng Xiaonong, this document shows that the CPC has set an annual energy consumption ceiling for each province and municipality based on previous data on electricity consumption within the jurisdictions of local governments, and ordered not to break it. This is an order from the central government to local governments at all levels, which is a mandatory administrative task. Local governments must follow this set electricity consumption ceiling to control the electricity consumption of enterprises in their jurisdictions until the national goal set by Zhongnanhai is achieved. Then different regions began a “campaign” to stop production and limit electricity.
Cheng Xiaonong pointed out that this document is not a confidential document, the official media also reported, but no one dares to blame Zhongnanhai for the power restrictions and power cuts.
He said, it can be seen that this nationwide power cut is not a problem in the power supply sector itself, but a result of the central government’s administrative force, which issued the power cut as a political task and engaged in a nationwide “one-size-fits-all” approach.
He said in the article that the central government broke down the electricity quota to the provinces, and after each province had done the math, they worked out their own length of time to limit electricity consumption, which varied from place to place.
According to Taiwan’s “Financial Newsline”: Shaanxi Province stipulates that power supply is restricted until the end of the year; Ningxia District stipulates that high energy-consuming enterprises will be without power for 30 days; Henan Province stipulates that some processing industries will be without power for more than 21 days; Chongqing City announced that the deadline for restricting power consumption has not been set; Guangdong Province stipulates that power will be stopped for 4 days a week; Shandong Province stipulates that power will be stopped for 9 hours a day; Jiangsu Province stipulates that power will be stopped for half of the working days in the last 3 months of the year. Zhejiang Province, 20-30 days of blackouts per quarter.
Cheng Xiaonong said, from these messy regulations, it can be seen that after the Communist Party issued that document, Zhongnanhai is considered to have accomplished the goal of limiting the use of electricity, and the central government does not intend to specifically intervene in how individual provinces are regulated.
He said, in short, where the most electricity is used, the pressure to limit the use of electricity is also the greatest. Specifically to each prefecture-level city, the situation is varied. For example, if there are large enterprises that consume a lot of electricity, they will cut off the electricity of these enterprises; if there are no large users of electricity that can be pulled, such as Shen Yang City, they will cut off the power of residential homes and stores, and even the traffic lights on the road together. The Chinese Communist Party’s media is still trying to cover up the truth by telling the public that it is not the government that is pulling the plug, but the power supply companies that are experiencing difficulties.
Wang Weiluo: Policy contradiction officials lie flat
In response to China’s electricity shortage, German CORS engineering firm engineer Wang Weiluo also believes that this is not caused by China’s power shortage and coal shortage, but by the contradictory policies of the Chinese Communist Party, which make the officials below very dissatisfied and therefore collectively lie down to resist.
One of the Chinese officials said, “I can generate twice as much electricity with our current generators, but I just don’t do it,” Wang told New Tang Dynasty. China is also not short of coal, China’s coal resources are probably ranked third in the world.”
He said the implementation is the contradictory policies of the Chinese Communist Party, which makes these officials very dissatisfied, “What do you say up there how to do? You send contradictory (instructions) from above. I’m going to do what you say contradictory. You just said to go east, I follow the east, you said to go west, I follow the west. The directives fought, not my business, so everyone lay flat.”
Wang Weiluo said, in fact, the Chinese Communist government only needs to come up with a little money to make up for the loss of the power plant, but now it can not get the money, so let the people to bear the burden. “For now, it hasn’t extended the tariff increase to domestic electricity. Now it is still just staying on the industrial use of electricity, but the industrial use of electricity will lead to the rising cost of industrial goods, that in the end or you the people to pay.”
“Idleness and laziness” has become another type of crisis for the Chinese Communist regime
In recent years, the “slackness” and “laziness” of officials have become an alternative crisis of the regime that the authorities can do nothing about. Dr. Cheng Xiaonong told the Voice of America that since the Xi Jinping administration has been fighting corruption, there has been a backlash of negativity and laziness among CCP officials.
Especially at a time when the authorities are caught in a trade war dilemma, there are three types of people in the CCP who make it difficult for Xi to sleep: those who look at the jokes, those who do not act, and those who work blindly. And Xi has a good idea of the centrifugal departure of officials.
According to Cheng Xiaonong, the current state of the CCP officialdom, the broken machine of the CCP is already in command, and the inaction of local officials will only allow the economy to continue its great slide, thus triggering political risks.