TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Video has surfaced appearing to show Wuhan residents shout "everything is fake" at Communist China's Vice Premier Sun Chunlan (孫春蘭), as she toured the quarantined community at the epicenter of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on Thursday (March 5).
On Thursday, Sun, vice premier of the State Council, led members of the Central Steering Group on an official inspection tour of epidemic prevention efforts by residents in the Wuhan Kaiyuan Mansion Community in Wuhan's Qingshan District, reported Xinhua News. However, frustrated, quarantined residents soon began loudly shouting at Sun and her entourage from their high-rise apartment windows.
In videos of the incident that quickly surfaced online that afternoon, male and female residents can be heard shouting in both the Wuhan dialect and standard Mandarin, "Fake! Fake! Fake!" and, "Everything is fake!" Others said things like, "They are taking advantage of the people to put on a show," "The real estate management office has concocted this scene," and "formalism" (形式主義, basically, appearance rather than content).
One resident shooting video was surprised that people would so boldly shout such criticism at a high-level Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official. Another resident who captured the scene on camera giggled with glee.
Sun Chunlan and other CCP officials tour community as residents heckle them. (WeChat video screenshot)
In an extraordinarily unusual move by the authoritarian regime, China's state-run media outlets such as the Global Times and the People's Daily shared short clips of the incident.
State-run TV news broadcaster CCTV that evening reported that, "In response to the difficulties and problems reported by the general public at the scene, Sun Chunlan immediately requested the provincial and municipal leaders to conduct an in-depth investigation, not to avoid conflicts, eliminate formalism and bureaucracy, insist on a programmatic style, seek truth from facts, solve problems in a practical manner, and increase the level of satisfaction by the general public."
China watcher Carl Minzner on Twitter noted that the sharing of such discontent was very rare for the CCP, but he pointed out the People's Daily version was edited to make it seem as though there was only one voice. Minzner postulated that either the video was so explosive that authorities tried to downplay it with an altered version, or that Sun is being set up as a "scapegoat for initial failures."
原来不只是一家人在喊，孙春兰遭遇的是四面楚歌！— 新闻大吐槽 (@TuCaoFakeNews) March 5, 2020
“Everything is faked!” #Wuhan resident shouting out loudly when Sun Chunlan, vice premier of #China inspecting a residential area during #CoronavirusOutbreak 近日，中共国务院副总理孙春兰视察#武汉 青山区中建开元公馆小区，封城后被困在家里40多天的业主们愤怒高喊：“全部都是假的!” pic.twitter.com/vjnGauhMG6— 曾錚 Jennifer Zeng (@jenniferatntd) March 6, 2020
"It's fake! It's fake!" shout residents of a community in #COVID19 epicenter Wuhan in a viral video on China’s social media. They have accused property management of cheating them by only appearing to provide promised necessities. Investigation is underway https://t.co/kzq4gbB4RM pic.twitter.com/0ujObfedR8— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) March 6, 2020