The Nest of Spring / Sheng Hong

My eyes are surprised by Spring’s coming,
There is no perfume left when she goes;
The nest of Spring in my wish only,
Will attract Spring back years and years.

Translated from a poem of mine in Chinese, 春之巢.




The Forget-talk Hill Study is at the Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall









Let All Citizens Enjoy Safely Their Homes / Guo Daohui et al

Note: Today, the biggest contrast happened in Changping, Beijing. On Human Rights Day, thousands of illegal demolitioners rushed into Xiangtang village to restrict the personal freedom of residents and illegally demolish their homes. Once again strongly condemns this unconstitutional and illegal anti human and anti civilization atrocity. (December 10, 2020)

Note: Recently, we saw a new wave of illegal demolition in Changping, Beijing. The first is that the local government deviates from the due process of law. For example, in Jiuhua Villa, the local government even disdained to show the legal documents, did not show the identity of the intruder. At the Jinhongyuan Cultural Exchange Center, the local government claimed that the community with complete legal procedures “failed to obtain (temporary) rural construction planning permit according to law” and “ordered to dismantle within a time limit”, and illegally dismantled the gas pipeline and illegally cut power. Another characteristic is that it is closer to the urban area of Beijing. This highlights the nature of “land grabbing” and threatens to approach the city. Issue this open letter again, denouncing all unconstitutional and illegal demolition. (October 21, 2020)


To the State Council on the Massive Illegal Demolition Campaign against the Constitution in Beijing and Other Places

State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Premier Li Keqiang:

In recent years, Beijing and other places have been emerging the violation of  citizens’ housing rights and property rights and large-scale illegal forcibly demolition in the name of “demolition of illegal buildings “. Since 2019, due to the fact that some local governments, such as Beijing, have formulated large-scale forced demolition plans by form of movement,  used government organizations at all levels to link positions and promotions with the “achievements” of forced demolition, which has resulted in more negative and significant social impact, serious violation of housing rights, eviction and displacement of citizens living in the only residence, and huge property losses equivalent to the total annual income of several years suffered by citizens whose houses were  illegally forcibly demolished; their constitutional rights were violated and their human dignity was destroyed (see the annex for details). We condemn this unconstitutional and illegal demolition campaign.

First of all, this forced demolition is a serious violation of the principle of protecting the life, property and dignity of citizens in the Constitution, and a serious violation of citizens’ housing rights (Article 39), property rights (Article 13), personal freedom (Article 37) and human dignity (Article 38). The only reason the implementers of this illegal demolition campaign used against the Constitution was that these houses were “illegal buildings”. Its legal basis is the Law of Urban and Rural Planning, which is the subordinate law of the Constitution. Among them, the so-called “planning right” should only protect and serve the citizens’ housing right and property right, and should not arrogate them, let alone damage the constitutional rights of these citizens. At the same time, it violates the principle of “socialist market economy” stipulated in the Constitution. That is to say, market system plays a decisive role in resource allocation, including land allocation. “Planning right” can only be a secondary public power which plays an auxiliary and referential role in the market allocation of land resources.

Second, this illegal demolition violates the Legislative Law and the Urban and Rural Planning Law. A large number of “forced eviction notice” quoted article 41 of the Urban and Rural Planning Law, but this article only emphasized that if people want to occupy the farming land for building houses, they need to obtain the construction planning license, so that we can see that there is no need for a license for building on non-farming land; it does not give the forced evictor the power to forcibly demolish the citizens’ houses, especially on non-farming land. The Article 65 cited clearly refers to the “building under construction”, rather than the citizen’s home that has been completed, sold, and carefully managed for several years, or even 10~20 years. It is a deliberate violation of the law that the forcible demolisher distorts its meaning and uses it for a purpose totally different from the original intention of the legislation. In spite of this, the forcible demolisher still apply the distorted interpretation of the Urban and Rural Planning Law, which was implemented in 2008, to the houses built before that, which also violates the principle of “no retroactivity” in the Legislative Law (Article 93).

Third, this illegal forced dismantling also violates the legal due process stipulated in the Administrative Punishment Law, the Administrative Reconsideration Law, the Administrative Litigation Law and the Administrative Compulsory Law. The forcible demolisher fails to comply with the Administrative Punishment Law, that is, inform the citizen concerned (Article 31), listen to the defense (Article 32), hold a hearing after the notification (Article 42), post the threatening notice of “three days within a time limit” by means of sudden attack, which violates the provisions of the Administrative Compulsory Law that the party concerned shall not demolish after bringing administrative reconsideration or administrative litigation (Article 4 4). The legal period of “administrative litigation” is six months. For example, there are more than 800 citizens in Xiangtang cultural new village who have filed administrative reconsideration or administrative litigation against the “Notice of forced demolition”. Up to now, none of them have received the notice of acceptance, nor have they entered the administrative reconsideration or administrative litigation procedure, which violates the provisions of the Administrative Reconsideration Law and the Administrative Litigation law on accepting complaints.

Fourth, the forcible demolition by the forcible demolisher also violates the Administrative Compulsory Law and the relevant regulations of the State Council. For example, the use of power and water cut-off means to force citizens to leave their houses in order to forcibly demolish them (for example, in Woodhouse village, Oubei), in violation of the provisions of the Administrative Compulsory Law, “the administrative organ shall not stop water supply, power supply, heat supply, gas supply for residents and other ways to force the parties to implement relevant administrative decisions.” (Article 43) the forcible demolisher has forced demolished (for example, to Hanbi building) or prepared (for example, to Xiangtang new village and Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall) to forcibly demolish in the form of sudden attack, which violates the Emergency Notice of the State Council (Guo Ban Fa [2010] No. 15), and is not allowed to “forcibly demolish by means of” demolition in a row “or” demolition by surprise “. Some local forcible demolishers ordered the police to interfere with and intimidate the rights safeguarding actions of the citizens concerned (such as in Guozhuang Village), which violated the regulations of the State Council that “the public security police should not be used to participate in the forcible land acquisition and demolition”; the forcible demolishers employed the demolition company and the security company to illegally demolish the taxpayer’s houses with the financial funds, which violated the provisions of the Budget Law in scope of use of government funds (Article 27, Article 93).

Fifth, this unconstitutional and illegal demolition movement has fundamentally damaged the property rights institution. This property rights institution is the basis of the “socialist market economy” system stipulated in the Constitution. It is precisely because of the establishment of the property rights institution, the enthusiasm of the people’s production and management stimulated by China’s reform and opening up that China’s miracle has attracted worldwide attention. Illegal demolition in violation of the Constitution and challenge the constitutional rights including housing right and property right with exaggerated administrative “planning power” is to dig the root of reform and opening up and shake the root of China’s economic miracle. The illegal forced eviction campaign not only violated the housing and property rights in practice, but also threatened all other house owners with its unconstitutional and illegal, devalued their market value and deterred citizens and foreigners from investing in China.

Sixth, this illegal forced demolition movement used the concept of “small property rights” to stigmatize the property rights of rural collective land, in an attempt to weaken the legitimacy of its property rights. The property rights of rural collective land is a complete property rights stipulated and protected by the Constitution. In a certain period of time, it was limited by the mistakes in the Land Management Law. However, the new Land Management Law of 2019 corrects this error. Rural collective land can enter into the construction land market without being expropriated by the government. This improvement originally restored the complete nature of the rural collective land property rights. The houses built on the collective land in the past should be better protected in accordance with the principles of the new law. However, this illegal forced demolition campaign continues to deceive the society with the fallacy of “illegal house with small property rights”, which destroys the wealth of house owners and greatly damages the interests of rural collective as land owners.

Seventh, the forcibly demolition is suddenly launched during the time fighting against the COVID-19. It shows that the demolitions took advantage of the COVID-19 epidemic as an opportunity to demolish (Hanbi building in Qingdao) or threaten to demolish (the Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall ), causing the gathering of the demolishers, of the demolishing teams,  of the security companies, and their strongly body contact with house owners, greatly  increased the risk of virus infection and destroys the overall situation of anti-epidemic. It also shows that the forced demolishers ignore the economic recession aggravated by the epidemic, seriously hit the economic recovery, and destroy the mode of suburban economic development in large and medium-sized cities, resulting in huge loss of wealth and related demand contraction and unemployment, leading to further deterioration of the macroeconomic situation. Some areas (such as Miyun County, Beijing) have “sounded the clarion call of” basically no illegal construction area “, which is enough to prove that it is a serious damage to China’s overall interests to place illegal demolition on top of anti-epidemic and economic recovery.

Eighth, in the form of the “Cultural Revolution” movement, this illegal forced demolition campaign is characterized by “first convicting, then finding evidence of crime”, first determining the area of forced demolition, then finding the reasons for forced demolition, and taking the completion of the forced demolition indicators as the criteria for assessing the performance of governments at all levels, forcing governments at all levels to become tools of illegal forced demolition, devastating governments at all levels and their officials, forcing them to break their promises and tear up contracts, Illegal actions, insulting the constitution. The forced demolitions forced the government officials to distort their minds, to annihilate human nature, to break through the moral bottom line, to take destruction as a task, and to regard human life as nothing, which became the cause of local citizens’ unease and fear. The forced demolition movement put government officials at all levels in a high risk area that will eventually be punished by law, and turned the government institutions that originally protected citizens’ constitutional rights into monsters that devoured houses. This is a serious damage to the national system.

Ninth, This illegal demolition campaign violates the Constitution, the Legislative Law, the Urban and Rural Planning Law, the Budget Law, the Administrative Penalty Law, the Administrative Reconsideration Law, the Administrative Procedure Law and the Administrative Compulsory Law, the administrative decision of the municipal government, the decision of the District or County People’s Congress, the contract of villages and towns as the civil subject,   by illegal means to forcibly demolish citizens’ home is to destroy the entire legal system. Because if the violators can’t be punished, the law itself has no effect. This is equivalent to putting the homes of all the people in our country into a huge risk that they can be forcibly demolished at any time without legal protection, and our society will lose the foundation of its public governance.

Mencius said, “Killing one innocent, conducting one injustice, even can get the world, I will not do so.” Today, in China, there are tens of thousands of buildings have been destroyed; there will be millions of buildings will be destroyed, in buildings there are homes, and people. Above the top of the country, is there no shame? To sum up, we invite the State Council and Premier Li Keqiang to quote the first paragraph of Article 89 of the Constitution, “according to the Constitution and the laws Issue decisions and orders “, urgently stop this large-scale illegal demolition campaign of abusing public power, investigate the illegal demolition that has been implemented, and prosecute the responsible person of illegal demolition. At the same time, we hope you also reaffirm the protection of citizens’ constitutional rights, including the right to housing — even for buildings that are likely to violate major laws, they should be treated on a case by case basis, and they should strictly follow the due process of law to make decisions — let all citizens enjoy safely their homes.

Guo Daohui    (signature)

Zhang Qianfan               (signature)

He Weifang     (signature)

Sheng Hong                               (signature)

Guo Yuhua               (signature)

April 26, 2020

Annex I: Some facts of illegal demolition in Beijing and other regions (omitted)

Annex II: The directory of forcibly-demolition  videos (omitted)

Plan and Market in Wuhan’s Epidemic / Sheng Hong


It now appears that the eating problem of Wuhan residents during the new crown pneumonia epidemic is a serious problem. This problem did not exist during the period of our country’s fight against SARS, and this time other provinces in China, and many countries in the world. Why is this? Quite simply, the Wuhan Municipal Government has imposed restrictions on the sales of supermarkets and convenience stores to individual residents, and has not been able to provide an equally effective alternative for quite a long time. Residents rely on group purchases and self-seeking sources to rescue themselves; in the later period, the government The grassroots organizations will then decide on the rationing of residents, even exclusive and compulsory rationing. Strictly speaking, this kind of distribution of goods by the government is a small-scale return to the planned economy.

Reform and opening up are market-oriented reforms. The Chinese have been accustomed to the market economy for more than 40 years. It really looks like “invisible hand”, or “too perfect to know.” In fact, the market system is quite complicated. It just doesn’t need to be ordered or organized by the government or elites. It relies on people’s instinct to seek benefits and avoid harm, and on the basis of voluntary negotiations between people; therefore, it achieves complex goals and structures under very simple rules. In other words, the market can achieve the complex purpose of “what to produce, how much to produce, and for whom” as long as it follows the rules of equal negotiation, unanimity, and voluntary transactions. In the process of achieving this purpose, a complex structure of production enterprises, wholesalers, transporters, retailers, and finally consumers is formed.

What determines this complex structure is the market’s price system. Each market entity does not have an order from the government, but only determines the transaction behavior based on market prices and their own costs and benefits. In return, the decentralized decisions of many market entities can form a relative price system among various commodities. This is the common sense that microeconomics tells us. Teacher Mao Yushi made a more popular expression in his Principle of Optimal Distribution: As long as the marginal utility brought by the transaction is higher than the marginal cost, market entities are willing to trade until the marginal utility equals the marginal cost. At this time, the resource allocation is optimal. Making such calculations is very simple. Teacher Mao said that housewives “clearly know that the optimal living arrangements should make the marginal utility of each dollar increase equal.” Needless to say, others, Entrepreneurs, wholesalers, transporters and retailers are also clear. Therefore, it is the price system that the individual decisions are aggregated and converged to guide people’s decisions, and people’s decisions form the price system. This is an interactive, real-time information system, without the extra cost of collecting and transmitting information.

Such an effective resource allocation system was easily abandoned by the Wuhan Municipal Government in the name of epidemic prevention. According to reports, after the city of Wuhan was closed, supermarkets would no longer sell to individual residents, but only accept group purchases by residents. After February 15th, the control of the residents’ community was strengthened, and even group purchases by residents were not allowed. Only the grassroots government organizations can arrange dishes with nearby supermarkets (Xu Jinbo, February 16, 2020). This is equivalent to the material allocation system of the planned economy. Understanding it with the utmost kindness, the Wuhan government does not seem to realize that it simply cannot assume such a task. On its website, the Wuhan government patted its breasts to the public from the beginning, saying that “Wuhan’s commodities, food, and medical protective supplies are fully stocked and supplied smoothly,” allowing everyone to “don’t panic.” In fact, it really does not know how difficult it is to both want to replace the market and reach the level of the market. Of course, it is inevitable that they do not have a constitution in their hearts and that they do not have the constitutional rights of the people, so that they can easily violate the people’s economic freedom.

Now make a simplified assumption. Assume that there are 10 million people in Wuhan today, and daily needs of 300 kinds of food, fruits and vegetables, ingredients, seasonings, and other daily necessities. They have traded in pairs with 10 million producers or service providers including Wuhan, and they live in 10,000 communities, everyone’s tastes are different, and their needs at different times are also different. How to allocate to meet their needs? What are the costs of these producers and service providers? How much do their suppliers cost? If a central planner is to make a distribution plan, he has to solve a simultaneous equation of 3 × 1020 equations, and the calculation amount is an order of magnitude higher. And we need to know the utility function of each consumer, the cost function of each producer, and their changes over time, and finally find the dynamic price that will balance supply and demand at each instant. Even in today’s computer age, not only such simultaneous equations cannot be solved, as far as we know, the fastest computer in the world can only reach 3.39 × 1015 per second; more importantly, everyone’s inner utility function cannot be known, and the true cost of each producer is also difficult to know, if people do not go through real transactions.

In fact, when the government banned individuals from buying food and vegetables, the price system was broken. As we mentioned earlier, the market price system is formed by the decentralized decision-making of many consumers, and then aggregation and convergence. Once the people are not allowed to buy vegetables on their own, their demand information cannot be revealed through a large number of decentralized buying and selling decisions, and it is impossible to form a price system. Without the price system, society would lose the signal system of supply and demand. It would not know who in a certain place needed what goods at any time, nor how much price at highest he or she would like to pay. Producers also lose the signal to make production decisions.

The question is, China has experienced 30 years of planned economy. How did we solve these problems at that time? Strictly speaking, there is no solution. Only by reducing the variety, rationing and shortage of commodities, the planning authorities managed to keep the masses on the edge of food and clothing. In the early stage of the formation of the planned economic system, including the transformation of industry and commerce, the number of commodity varieties in China continued to decrease. According to the data of Tianjin quoted in the new China business history draft, the commodity varieties of Tianjin Culture Station decreased from more than 600 in 1957 to more than 300 in 1960; Tianjin Department Store reduced from more than 300 varieties and 3700 patterns to more than 200 varieties and more than 1300 patterns (compiled by the Institute of commercial economy of the Ministry of commerce, 1984, P. 159). In 1957, a large number of commodity varieties had already reduced on the original basis. People who have experienced this period are most impressed by the fact that the color of our clothing is mainly blue, so it is called “blue ant”. In the ten years of the Cultural Revolution, people in the North could not see bananas and oranges. The great reduction of commodity varieties and patterns was obviously far away from the complex utility needs of consumers, which greatly reduced the quality of life of the people, but it could reduce the complexity of distribution of commodities to close to the ability of planners.

Even so, the planning authorities could not meet the needs of consumers, so they took a further step, namely, rationing. For example, food stamps, oil stamps, meat stamps, non-staple food quotas, peanut and melon seeds for the Spring Festival, radio, sewing machines, watches, bicycles and other so-called “four pieces” also need to be purchased with ticket, and so on. At the peak of the planned economy, around the time of the Cultural Revolution, there were more than 100 kinds of commodity quota tickets. Even so, it is often unable to reach the balance of supply and demand, so we often have to line up. For example, every year, people line up to buy rationed cabbage. In the field of investment goods, raw materials and intermediate products, there are more shortages, so that Hungarian economist Konner wrote a book, Shortage Economics to analyze the planned economy.

It’s been decades since those days. The new generation doesn’t know there will be such a thing, and the old generation gradually forgets. However, as long as this society has memories and historical intellectuals, it will not be unaware of the disaster brought about by the planned economy. As a level of government organization, Wuhan government should have long-term memory and long-term vision, and could not be so stupid to abandon the market economy. One possible explanation is that it wants to use Zhou Xianwang’s “harder” policy behavior to let the superiors, rather than the public, “think” that they are doing well.

As a result, the “return of small planned economy” in Wuhan shows all the disadvantages of planned economy, even more obvious and clear. First of all, this rationing system can not meet the people’s rich dietary needs in the market economy. According to a large amount of information, the “love food” provided by Wuhan government and its subordinate grass-roots organizations, in cooperation with nearby supermarkets, is a rationing combination with monotonous varieties, poor quality and high price, generally only four or five kinds of dishes. This is a lot worse than the residents are used to in the normal period. Not to mention whether these dishes match the taste of the residents. More importantly, the supply of meat is in short supply. Many residents didn’t eat meat for many days. And there seems to be only one kind of meat. This situation almost perfectly represents the characteristics of planned economy, such as “reducing varieties”, “rationing” and “shortage”.

Wuhan rationing system also has a prominent feature, which is not apparent in the planned economy period, that is, the price is on the high side. When the dish is not “love”, it is usually 30-50 yuan per bag. To be fair, given a planned economic system, it is also somewhat reasonable. Because, after abandoning the wholesale, retail and distribution system of market economy, the market distribution and transportation system which has been run in for many years has also been stopped. The cost of the distribution system of planned economy is much higher than that of market economy. If normal commercial vehicles are not allowed to enter the city, Wuhan will not be able to maintain the efficient distribution system of the original market economy. Using garbage trucks or emergency trucks to transport meat, of course, reflects the moral defects that government officials ignore people’s physical health and human dignity, but also exposes their dilemma of not being able to allocate transport vehicles in time and effectively. Unable to plan, low efficiency, high cost. Under this system framework, some Wuhan residents still understand the high price. However, on the other hand, because the government has abandoned the market, the supermarket designated by the government or the government is equivalent to an exclusive monopoly. In the absence of competition, the price will naturally become a monopoly high price. At this time, some people can only endure for a while, while others can obtain the source of goods through other ways, such as group buying, and sell them to the residents at a low price. This balances monopoly.

Of course, planned economy is compulsory, otherwise it will not be able to maintain operation. This requires specific people to impose coercive regulations on price, quantity, number of production and sales enterprises, and even limit consumers. This leads to rent-seeking opportunities. In order to protect the interests of rent-seeking, some government organizations abuse the coercive force. A video shows that the official community organization even forbids the residents to buy flour and enter the community, and has a rude attitude. It even describes its obligation to help the residents get food as its right to restrict the economic freedom of the residents, so as to exclude the residents’ self-help and avoid the legitimate behavior of high price exploitation. We have also seen many times that Wuhan urban management, industrial and commercial administration or other administrative departments abused their power during the epidemic prevention, directly robbed the goods, punished the businesses that provided the goods during the epidemic prevention, and in the name of no qualification closed the restaurants that still provided voluntary services.

The residents’ protest in Yingcheng, Xiaogan, was that the local government declared that the supply of living materials should be “implemented by the property organized by the community, and it is strictly prohibited for others to sell living materials without permission.” (Beijing News, March 13, 2020) this is a typical example of local governments transforming obligations into power and limiting people’s rights. The local government and the supermarket collude to use the monopoly position during the anti-epidemic period to distribute vegetables and meat at a high price. When the volunteers among the residents find a cheap source of goods, they abuse their power to arrest the volunteers and put down the competitors, so as to maintain their monopoly high price (Yuguangtongchen, March 12, 2020; Gaofei, March 13, 2020). This led to protests by Yingcheng residents against the illegal arrest by the police. This kind of thing is very common outside Wuhan. In a rural area of another province, a man who wanted to return to work along the coast found that he needed to pass seven checkpoints to get the certificate of returning to work, but he still couldn’t succeed. Finally, it was found that you can go as long as you pay the traffic police (Sister Dandan, February 17, 2020). It turns out that the rent-seeking effect of government regulation does not need to be taught, and someone will soon make money.

The planned economy will also bring great inconvenience to consumers. Although the operation related to transaction seems unimportant, in the market economy, most of them have become market-oriented behaviors, and we pay for them, but it brings convenience. Some of them bear the cost of distribution for promotion. We’ve forgotten the days when we were queuing up to buy the most popular goods. In today’s Wuhan, due to the sudden disappearance of the market, the professional distribution of those marketization disappeared. Instead, it changed into the distribution of street cadres and volunteers, because either the information was not smooth, or the vulnerable people needed to get it by themselves, they needed to make efforts to carry it, sometimes they had to climb multiple stairs, so that the vulnerable groups could not get it, or it was difficult to get it. It is reported that in some remote communities or old cities in Wuhan, due to the lack of the coverage of the government’s grass-roots institutions, there has been no food and vegetable ration for quite a long time. What’s more, it’s the situation of the elderly or the infirm. For example, a single mother with mental illness once came out to fight for food, but was beaten by the residents’ committee, and could not get food for a long time, resulting in the starvation of her one and a half year old child (funny, March 16, 2020).

Because this kind of grass-roots government organizations only cover local residents, some migrant workers, or people who travel to Wuhan on business, it is difficult to get rationing because of the epidemic in Wuhan. It is reported that some migrant workers live on the streets, many of them live on the leftovers in the garbage cans for a long time, and they even have difficulty drinking hot water due to the closure of commercial stores (night break, February 25, 2020). There are also some business or technical personnel on business trip to Wuhan who have only bought “love food” once in a month (Fengxiang bar, “Seven people stay in the Han for 47 days: having paid nearly 20000 Yuan for hotel rooms, and have bought ” love food ” only once).

Perhaps Wuhan officials will argue that the purpose of banning residents from buying vegetables directly in supermarkets is to prevent and control the epidemic. This is clearly wrong. Think about it carefully. What are the key points of epidemic prevention? It is to prevent people from gathering and contacting with each other, that is, to keep “social distance”. I have pointed out in the article “why the unconstitutionally administrative behavior will worsen the epidemic situation”, that the administrative system itself is an organization that operates by repeated close contact. Compared with the market behavior, the government administrative behavior is more likely to cause people’s aggregation and sustained close contact. Replacing the market with the government administrative department can only cause more aggregation and sustained contact between people. When people go to the supermarket to buy vegetables, they don’t have a fixed time, and they don’t repeatedly contact with a certain individual. Therefore, people are in “random contact”. If they wear masks, keep a distance with others, and use the self-service checkout which has been quite popular, the risk will be greatly reduced. If you are more careful, control the dynamic number of people in the supermarket and take the temperature automatically, it will be quite safe. And the rationing behavior of government basic level organizations and volunteers is to have a number of people keep in touch with each other, and be taken or distributed to households by community residents. At the peak, there are even many people gathering.

Novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan has rebounded from more than 300 to more than 500 in from February 21st to 29th, according to an article. One of the reasons is “close contact within the closed and isolated community”, which “is directly related to the” last kilometer “of the supply of necessities.” Because whether it’s group buying, especially the government’s grass-roots organization rationing “love food” increases the contacts between people, and even causes gathering. This is quite similar to my judgment in the article “Why unconstitutionally administrative behavior will worsen the epidemic situation”, but it is more experienced. So some Wuhan residents said that in addition to the infected people who crowded hospitals, crowded supermarkets (rush to buy), group buying (or rationing and receiving “love dishes”) was the fourth batch of “infected people” (Zhang Li, March 3, 2020). Therefore, to restrict the normal operation of supermarkets, farmers’ markets and convenience stores, and prohibit commercial distribution vehicles from entering the city, not only bring inconvenience to Wuhan citizens, but also increase the possibility of being infected by the virus. If there is another incident like Yingcheng happened, it will cause a large-scale gathering of the people, and it is more likely that the police are improperly dispatched to make strong contact with the people.

Then make a comparison between China and the rest of the world. During the last SARS period in China, no city took such extreme measures, and the epidemic was finally controlled. In this fight against the COVID-19, other provinces other than Hubei, except for Wenzhou, did not abandon the existing market system, while controlled the epidemic. Look abroad again. Daegu, South Korea, is a severely affected area. Although the so-called “maximum blockade” has been implemented, it has not affected the basic travel of citizens. Supermarkets operate normally and “it is found that food materials and daily necessities can basically meet the needs” (Chen Qinhan, March 4, 2020). By March 22, South Korea had dropped to 64, after exceeding the peak of more than 800 new confirmed cases on March 3. Italy, known as “closure of cities” and “closure of country”, does not actually restrict the purchase of food and vegetables, but only limits the dynamic flow of supermarkets, and is expected to gradually decline over the peak of more than 6000 cases on March 21. We should also note that because Chinese mainland is still prohibit and warn people to disclose information about epidemic situation, we can not simply compare their data with other countries. Besides, we should pay attention to time. Daegu, South Korea, announced the “maximum blockade” on February 25, which took seven days to cross the peak of cases, while Italy announced the “closure” of the northern city on March 8, which was only 13 days before March 21. It took 22 days for Wuhan to reach its peak.

Figure 1 number of additional diagnosed cases per day in Wuhan, South Korea and ItalyPlan and marketNote: the starting point is the day when “city closure” or “maximum blockade” is implemented. It’s January 23 in Wuhan, February 25 in South Korea and March 8 in Italy. Confirmed cases are based on official data. The red dot is the highest number of cases. Wuhan’s peak did not choose the day with the largest number of cases, because it was the release of previous cases caused by the change of government personnel, and the time of the next day is accepted.

Of course, during the anti-epidemic period in Wuhan, the government may not know what to do. This is the free donation of food, vegetables and fruits from other provinces to Wuhan. At the beginning of the anti-epidemic campaign, this was undoubtedly the National People’s love for Wuhan. However, how to distribute these donated items is a problem. Because the donation is through the government, but the government does not have the function of allocating donation materials in the regular period. In the beginning, some local governments put donated materials into supermarkets for sale, but it seems morally inappropriate. So some government departments explained that they should support the hospital with the money they sold. It has also been criticized. But if they are not sold in the supermarket, some administrative departments privately distribute these donated items. Like Ezhou Public Security Bureau. In fact, Wuhan is a disaster area of infectious diseases, rather than a disaster area that is too poor to afford food, vegetables and fruits. Therefore, donated materials should be those in short supply to cure the disease. Among the conventional materials, the best support for Wuhan from other provinces should be to ensure the normal supply of Wuhan market, rather than free donation. Of course, the donation from other provinces may also be due to the improper abolition of the market and prohibition of commercial transport vehicles by Wuhan government. In any case, this is the result of the wrong actions of Wuhan government.

Because the Wuhan government improperly abandoned the market and tried to replace the market, resulting in a serious mismatch of resources, a large number of human and material resources allocation in the field which it should not and is not good at, but also can not get good results, causing the resentment of the people in Wuhan, as “Wuhan sister-in-law scolded” revealed. The community cadres who were scolded were really wronged. They were driven by the wrong decisions of their superiors and did what they could not do well. But in the field that the government should invest, we see a lot of work missing. For example, in helping vulnerable groups. According to reports, on the vehicles transporting the elderly for isolation and treatment, there were no community cadres for docking; many disabled people were not helped; some died in the home for several days but were not found; and the family infection caused by poor isolation conditions in the home was not solved. From the aspect of Wuhan government, we don’t see its sympathy for the suffering of vulnerable groups during the epidemic, its sorrow for the lost lives, and its review of the lack of work. In its view, it seems that this is the corner of its work. It has to do what it can’t do well. It doesn’t care about these people. This is the reversal of the role of the government. It would be much better if the staff who replaced or even excluded the healthy people who help themselves to count clearly the vulnerable people and focus on helping them.

Confucius said that the government should “benefit without expense”; only “benefiting people for the benefit people seek for” can it be achieved. The direct purpose of my writing this article is to hope that the Wuhan government will quickly remove the restrictions on residents’ purchase of food, fruits and vegetables, resume the normal operation of supermarkets, farmers’ markets and convenience stores, improve the daily life of Wuhan citizens, and make those retailers who rely on the flow of the market survive. There is no need for people in Wuhan to continue to pay the price for this restriction that increases the risk of infection. At the same time, in the long run, the “return of small planned economy” implemented in Wuhan once again makes us relive the low efficiency and injustice of planned economy, and makes the people of our society firmly determined to “not go back from reform”. Two years ago, those heroes who said that “big data” and “cloud computing” can realize the planned economy did not help the Wuhan government this time, which shows that they clearly understand that such a complex set of simultaneous equations is far beyond their ability, not to mention that they can not know the utility function of Wuhan people, which can not be realized at the philosophical level. Moreover, “market economy” has been written into the constitution. This time, Wuhan government abandoned the market in the name of epidemic prevention and restricted the purchase of residents, which constituted a violation of the constitution. The direct result shows that the market economy, the historically tested constitutional principle, is a kind of natural law. The administrative department violates the natural law with the arrogance of “no punishment for itself”. The natural law will tell it “wrong” in its own language: King is under the law.


“New Beijing Daily”, “why do hundreds of people gather on the basketball court in Xiaogan Yingcheng district? Official response, “March 13, 2020.

Chen Qinhan, “residents of Daegu, South Korea surrounded by epidemic and heresy: alarm rings, emergency evacuation”, Beijing News, March 4, 2020.

“In order to rework, I have been issued 7 certificates, but I still haven’t left the village”, Coldplay lab, February 17, 2020.

Sister Funny Fang, “Hubei one and a half year old girl starved to death at home! What’s the truth? Who is the real killer? “, NetEase, March 16, 2020.

“The people of Hubei didn’t get a dish you donated: black-heart property management and supermarket united ‘hurting’ people!”, Sina Weibo, March 13, 2020)

Mao Yushi, The Principle of Optimal Distribution, Jinan University Press, 2008.

Commercial Economy Research Institute of the Ministry of Commerce, new China commercial history, China finance and Economics Press, 1984.

Xu Jinbo, “more strict control over the access of Wuhan residents to residential areas to minimize the flow”, China News Agency, February 16, 2020.

“In Hubei, those unknown lives and deaths”, the little secret base, February 25, 2020.

With guangtongchen, “residents of Haishan community, Yingcheng City, Hubei gather to protest”, China digital age, March 12, 2020.

Zhang Li, Wuhan first line: “love food” becomes “sad food”, how to remedy it, Observer Network, March 3, 2020.

March 23, 2020 in Fivewoods Studio

The Proper Target for Fighting against the COVID-19 is to Reduce the Basic Reproduction Number to Below 1 / Sheng Hong

basic infected number3

At present, most countries in the world fight against the COVID-19 pneumonia. The goal is to reduce the number of additional infections to zero. However, this is neither realistic nor cheap. The “unrealistic” means that asymptomatic infected persons appear. If we want to find them all and isolate them in time, we need to conduct nationwide testing. Although some countries, such as the United States, have announced free nationwide testing.However, there is no way to solve the problem of interactions with foreigners. Let alone many countries, especially developing countries, can not do it. On the other hand, if we can not test the whole nation, but want to prevent the spread of the virus, we should regard all the people as suspects who are asymptomatic to carry the virus. The cost will be too high if we would like to fall the additional number of the infected people to zero. Assuming that only 1% of the asymptomatic infected people in the crowd, apart from testing we are unable to distinguish, 100% of people should take quarantine measures. Because modern economy is highly dependent on human interaction, this means stopping the operation of the economy and stopping the creation of income and wealth. According to the estimation of the SIEM model in my article, “We need Transaction while Epidemic Prevention”,because of the isolation of the city and the community, Wuhan’s GDP dropped 99.4%.

Then, whether it is too loose if only reducing the basic reproduction number (R0) to below 1. To say so because people do not know about the exponential nature of infectious diseases. The so-called “index type characteristics” refers to that the rate of transmission of infectious diseases is highly sensitive to the exponential, the exponential increases a little, the number of infected persons increases largely; the exponential decreases a little,the number of infected persons decreases largely. I take the basic reproduction number ,3.77, and the average interval of infection, 7.5 days, presented by the Zhong Nanshan team, as the basic parameter, by   3.77 power 7.5 , get 19% (expect experts correct) as increase rate of the average number of infected persons per day . From December 1, 2019 to January 23, 2020, the number of infected persons in theory was increased to about 78159. If the basic reproduction number is less than 1, for example, 0.94, the cumulative infection rate will increase by 0.96% on average.The number of additional infections is -1% daily. In the same 54 days, theoretically infected people accumulate only 148 people, can be easily handled by the Wuhan medical system, and it does not impede everyone else’s normal travel.

Fig. 1 Different results caused by different basic reproduction numbersbasic infected number1Note: this map takes December 1, 2019 as the starting point, and January 23, 2020 as the end point. It depicts the change track of the number of infected persons with basic reproduction numbers of 3.77 and 0.94 respectively. Because the difference between the two data is too large, the coordinates on the left and right sides should be used as the scale of the basic reproduction number 3.77 and 0.94, so that the latter can be revealed.

It is assumed that the number of infected persons increased by 15464 per day in Wuhan, but if the number of basic reproduction number dropped to 0.94, the number of additional infections would also decrease day by day (see chart below). This means that the infection of COVID-19 pneumonia is convergent. As long as the time is long enough, the number of additional infections will drop to zero.

Figure 2  Assuming that the basic reproduction number in Wuhan is 0.94basic infected number2Note: ordinate indicate the number of infected persons. Abscissa indicates time, and time unit is day. There are 365 days in total.

The question is, how can we reduce the basic reproduction number to less than 1? In fact, determining the basic reproduction number, there are natural factors , such as the infectious characteristics of the virus itself, and also the social factors. Without careful consideration, the basic reproduction number seems to be dominated by natural factors. In fact, since it is an infectious disease, it must be related to the interaction characteristics between people.It is what it is only in the normal state of the existing social interaction. For example, every person has to work with other people, gather with friends and family, travel and so on every day. If in a farming society, the basic infection  number of the COVID-19 virus will be much lower than the present value. Even in the normal state of interaction in nineteenth Century, the basic reproduction number will be lower than today.Humans can also reduce basic reproduction number by changing social factors, that is, changing behaviors.

There are two important variables that affect the basic reproduction number. One is population density, the other is frequency of interaction. Static population density is relatively fixed, such as the distribution of people’s residence and work is relatively fixed, while the dynamic population density is not so fixed. Such as watching ball games, plays or movies, religious worship, irregular business or political gatherings, etc. This is also known as the “time density” of the population. The frequency of interaction, that is, the higher the frequency of interaction in unit time, the greater the probability of human to human transmission of virus.The population density and frequency of farming society or Nineteenth Century are lower than today.

It is assumed that the basic reproduction number is the product of natural factors and social factors, expressed as:

Basic reproduction number = Natural factor coefficient × Social factor coefficient

This means that the basic reproduction number will change proportionally with the change of the coefficient of social factors. If we calculate the average number of contacts per day as 100%, assuming that reducing the frequency of contacts will reduce the basic reproduction number in the same proportion, that is, if our average number of contacts is reduced by 10%, the basic reproduction number will also be reduced by 10%; if our average number of contacts is reduced by 50%, the basic reproduction number will also be reduced by 50%; then we can infer that if we reduce the frequency of contacts to a certain number, the basic reproduction number will drop to below 1. For example, when the basic reproduction number is 3.77, if we reduce the frequency of interaction to 25% of the normal level, the basic reproduction number will be reduced to 0.94. This means that as long as we reduce the frequency of interaction to 1 / 4 of our daily life, we can reduce the basic reproduction number to less than 1. That is to say that the target to prevent novel coronavirus pneumonia can be achieved without closing cities and staying homes.

First of all, we can make an analysis of our daily interaction. It can be divided into at least two parts. Part is “necessary interaction”, part is “unnecessary interaction”. The necessary interaction is mainly work interaction, because there is no economic income without work, so we can’t maintain our life. In addition, there are also non work interaction with high intensity, such as school, strongly emotion driven visit to relatives and friends, desire for tourism, on-site view of important ball games, etc. Unnecessary contacts are dispensable, such as shopping, chatting, watching movies to kill time, etc. First of all, people can reduce unnecessary contacts. The proportion of necessary interaction and unnecessary interaction can be obtained through sociological and behavioral surveys. Now it is assumed that the proportion of necessary interaction is 80% and that of unnecessary interaction is 20%. Then people can at least reduce the frequency of interaction by 20% without unnecessary interaction.

In the necessary interaction, people can also maintain economic transactions, without carrying out personal contact, leading to virus infection. In my article “We need transactions while epidemic prevention”, I put forward that “non face to face trade” can be carried out. In particular, producer services, such as finance, information technology, e-commerce, education, consulting and other industries, can basically use the Internet for transactions or exchanges and create value. In 2007, producer services in the United States reached 46.6% of GDP. In the first half of 2019, China’s service industry reached 54.5% of GDP. If we estimate that the proportion of producer services in service industry in Wuhan is 60%, the proportion of producer services in China is as high as 32.7%. Assuming that GDP, that is, all the added value provided by people’s work, corresponds to 70% of all people’s contacts, the corresponding contacts of producer services in China account for about 22.89% of all contacts. If this part of the work of producer services takes the form of non face-to-face, such as working at home, online meeting, distance education, video consultation, online negotiation, etc., in fact, it is equal to reducing the direct contact interactions and the possibility of infection without reducing the work interactions. Added with 20% unnecessary contacts mentioned above, there are 42.89% interactions in total not to reduce economic income without direct contacts.

To fight against the COVID-19 pneumonia, of course, we must make efforts in medical technology. However, the most important danger of this disease is its spread. We can adjust our behavior to the spread of the virus. When people have to go out for social contact, people can also avoid infection by establishing new rules of behavior. Now some people have exaggerated judgments about the COVID-19 epidemic.It is believed that this has changed the trajectory of the world. In fact, human history has experienced many infectious diseases, such as plague, malaria, and so on, human beings have avoided them by adjusting their behavior rules. For example, during the black death period in Europe, Jews had greatly reduced the rate of disease by traditional isolation rules.After the epidemic of infectious diseases, human beings also include the rules of behavior to avoid infection into the daily rules of behavior. For example, the behavior rules to avoid AIDS can prevent the outbreak of infectious diseases for a long time,and normal transactions will continue. Until now. The basic reproduction number can be reduced by changing the rules of behavior slightly.

For example, social distancing. This generally refers to a distance of two meters or more to keep real spatial distance with others. This includes on the road, in the office, in the workshop, in any public place. It is reported that Ford Motor Co has made employees wear social distance bracelets, and when two people are less than 6 feet away, they will vibrate and remind.We can imagine that maintaining social distance rules can not be foolproof. We assume that maintaining social distance reduces the infection probability by 90% than normal interaction. That is also a great thing. Most primary industries and second industries can produce in a way that keeps social distance.In agriculture and in highly automated workshops, the normal distance between people is more than two meters, so there is no problem. Even in labor-intensive workshops, shift production can reduce the population density, so that the distance between workers is greater than two meters. The working contacts in the primary industry and the second industry account for 32% in total GDP, assuming that there is a probability that 10% of the social distance rules will be contagious.On the whole, it only increased 3.2% of infectious contacts. From another perspective, it increased the number of transactional but non infectious contacts by about 28.8%. Up to now, it has totaled 71.7%.

Another way is to “do not touch transactions”, which I mentioned in “epidemic prevention and transaction”. In the necessary contacts, life service industry seems to be inevitably faced with face-to-face services. However, this can also be improved. Modern technology can make people do not directly contact when they are in service. Supermarkets and stores that we have thought of have self checkout, and customers in restaurants can also help themselves to order. and robots can send food to them, and the hotels can also self-help check in. Most of Airbnb customers are already used to book  their rooms on the Internet, and to open the electronic code lock at the residences they booked. People can also change their behavior rules to reduce the peak. Such as supermarkets can divide the hours into groups, the agencies can also avoid the peak to work, and they can avoid the peak bus. Even the school may get half of the students to school every week.The other half listen to the online lectures. The result is the creation of conditions for social distance. In.2018, the total value added of China’s wholesale and retail trade and catering industry accounted for 11.5% of GDP, and the number of contacts was about 8% of the total amount of contacts. If “no contact transactions” could reduce the infection probability of 90%, it would be equivalent to an increase of 7.2% of the transactions which are not contagious but  tradable. Up to now, it has accumulated 78.9%.This means that reducing the interactions possibly infected to less than 25% of normal level, that is, the minimum goal of reducing the basic reproduction number to less than 1, has now been achieved.

Fig. 3  Cumulative effects of various measures to reduce the basic reproduction number on the number of additional infections in the case of GDP unchangedbasic infected number3Note: this map is made by the simulation of spatial economics and institutional economics planning model (SIEM). The number of GDP and of infected people are index, so they can be compared. The time span is one month. The effect of different measures is cumulative. The reason why the last measure, “Social distancing” looks having a great influence, is once the basic reproduction number is less than 1, it will show obvious convergence immediately.It is not the influence of this factor.

However, there is still some potential. In all kinds of services, tourism may be the industry that needs people to contact with each    other to provide services.It includes both public transport, such as aircraft, trains, long-distance buses, and tour guide services. First, people will take more and more short trips in the form of self driving, which will partly replace public transport such as planes and trains. Second, in form, free travel or self driving travel will greatly increase and replace tourist groups.Social distance control can also be adopted, such as airplanes or trains can only take up half of the passengers to set aside social distance. On the other hand, airlines or railway companies are allowed to adjust their prices upward. Travel agencies also need to change their form of service from large group to small group, or more services for family free travel and self driving.

Finally, the necessary non work contacts. For example, watching ball games, drama, movies or family gatherings. If you really want to go, you can also go. In addition to controlling the number of people, such as selling only half seat tickets, keeping social distance, you can also increase the requirements. For example, testing before going to the activities, the information should be recorded in public health institutions,and so on. On the one hand, it can restrict people to participate in highly gathered activities. On the one hand, it can also identify and grasp the information of infected persons beforehand and afterwards, and isolate and treat them in time.

On the basis of the above change of behavior rules, personal protection and institutional protection can reduce the infection rate. Personal protection is to wear masks and wash hands. This is a low cost measure and is easy to carry out. This means not only the low price of masks, but also the easy to wear and no need to always wear.It can be worn in places with low population density, that is, when the distance to others is greater than the social distance, it is not worn. The effect of wearing a mask seems to have no mature empirical parameters.The most conservative estimate is that wearing masks can at least reduce the risk of infection by 50%. While institutional protection includes testing body temperature, office disinfection and so on, the cost of addition is not very high. It also significantly lowers the infection  rate. If personal protection and institutional protection can reduce the infection rate by 70%,The above 21.1% necessary interaction can reduce the infection probability by 14.77 percentage points, with only 6.33 percentage points remained. It is much lower than the 25 percentage points required to reach the basic reproduction number 0.94, so that the basic reproduction number can be reduced to 0.2.

If a country implements the above measures and reduces the basic reproduction number to below 1, it will be able to accept the citizens of other countries that implement similar measures and actually reduce the number of basic reproduction number to less than 1. The measures will not be special.For example, the planes or trains may be required to take only half of the full passengers; or for passengers taking international flights or trains, they can be required for pre-detection and afterwards to save tourist information in the public health agency of the country. Entering a country, people should follow the rules of the country’s epidemic period. So that international contacts will basically resume.

So far, I have not discussed the medical or hospital factors. That is to say, no treatment is considered, nor the isolation of patients with symptoms is considered. We have not considered effective treatment after diagnosis, nor have we considered innate immunity, cured immunization, vaccine immunization and so on, we only conduct changes in the rules of behavior, reducing the basic reproduction number to less than 1.If the medicine or medical treatment is taken into account, the effect will only be better. Moreover, because this change of behavior rules will not bring the impact of the rapid increase in the number of patients to the normal medical capacity, it will make the medical strength and medical material resources play a better role.

If we think that such measures are proper and appropriate, we can look back and see that some of the measures currently adopted by the states may be useless or counterproductive. For example, when I put forward the idea of “We need transactions while epidemic prevention”, the prohibition of private cars in Wuhan may be a counter productive measure, which deprives the family of the dynamic isolation facilities.Forced to take a taxi or a 120 ambulance, it increases the probability of infection. For example, Wuhan prohibits individuals from buying vegetables in supermarkets, replacing them with grass-roots government organizations, and increasing the probability of infection. In addition, Wuhan closed residential communities, most cities in mainland China test residents’ body temperature and check them in and out of communities. Many cities in the world require residents to stay at home.It may at least be a “superfluous measure” that does not work. Compared with maintaining social distance, staying at home does not reduce the infection probability. There is even another possibility to increase the probability of infection. Because the experience of diamond princess has proved that perhaps this kind of concentration of people in a narrow building will increase the infection.It may also be squeezed into smaller spaces through neighbors. Besides, staying at home is not allowed to go out, and it will also cause damage to people’s health. In fact, if people go for a walk or exercise in the open area of the countryside, because of low population density, fresh air and plenty of sunshine, it will raise people’s health level and be good for resisting virus.

One obvious feature of reducing the basic reproduction number to below 1 is that the government’s coercive measures are greatly reduced. This means that a large number of choices can be made to citizens. In fact, there are great differences among individuals in the probability of being infected. Young people are less susceptible to infection than the elderly.They can take a more daring choice when they go out. People who depend on the income flow from market to  tend to work interactions more than those who earn fixed income. Those who prefer risk may assess the probability or cost of infection lower than those who hate it. More importantly,The consequences of personal decisions should be borne by the individual himself and his relatives and friends. Therefore, it will also be a family choice. A person will not choose too risky behavior because of family constraints. This does not require mandatory government measures.

So how do we know that the basic reproduction number has dropped to below 1? It is very simple that the newly confirmed cases published by various countries are a concise indicator. Most countries now have passed the peak in this index. Some countries, such as Italy and the United States, have been hovering at a high level after that, which is known as “plateau area”. This shows that the basic reproduction number is below 1.But it is still around 0.9x. If there is doubt about the data released by the government, it can also be entrusted to a non-governmental professional body by a public health institution. Once every few days, such as five days, a random sampling test will be conducted. According to the size of the area, the number of samples will be determined. For example, 10 thousand people are sampled every time. As long as in several times (such as five times) of the sampled tests, the number of additional COVID-19 infections have been decreasing, the basic reproduction number would be proved to drop to below 1. Of course, it is necessary to ensure that the sampling is absolutely random. This requires that the administrative organs should not be allowed to do such thing. Especially in mainland China, administrative agencies can not be allowed to control the data of COVID-19  through their organizations.

Figure 4 Additional diagnosed cases in Italy dailybasic infected number4Source: Worldometer,

Figure 5 number of additional confirmed cases in the United States dailybasic infected number5Source: Worldometer,

More generally, the strategy to reduce the basic reproduction number to less than 1 requires absolute authenticity of data. Otherwise, policymakers will have nothing to depend on. In mainland China, we need to change the way to collect COVID-19 information. Because we know that the number of infected persons and the number of confirmed cases is linked to “achievements” in the administrative system, linked to official positions or promotions.The data will never be accurate. Zeng Guang, who hosted the infectious disease report for 17 years, said: “during the past 17 years, the most serious problem is that after the outbreak of the local epidemic, the local health administrative departments do not allow the medical institutions to report, or even let the local disease control system report.It is also not ruled out that under some circumstances, the administrative department will report the opinions to the local government. The mayor or higher leader of the local government will not allow to report. “And the local officials who hide the report often get no punishment (Song Pan, March 29, 2020). Not only that, in order to conceal, the local government also controls through the network to suppress the disease information that appears among the people,as Wuhan has done for AI Fen and Li Wenliang et al. Therefore, as long as the infectious disease reporting system is controlled by the administrative system, the number is not credible. Therefore, in China, the most important thing is to implement the thirty-fifth constitution and abolish the system of controlling the epidemic information by the administrative departments at all levels.

Although no country has put forward the goal of reducing the basic reproduction number to below 1, many countries have taken similar measures. For example, Sweden, this country has its own way. As always, there are no closure of cities, no closure of roads, no downtime, no shutdown of shops, no restrictions on international flights.There is no call for people to stay at home. People work and live as usual. Judging from the trend of additional diagnosed numbers, Sweden has already reached its peak, with a peak of 812 additional diagnosed cases per day and 57 days apart from the first case. In general, the number of new confirmed cases is decreasing. This means that the basic reproduction number has dropped to below 1.The proportion of the confirmed population in Sweden is slightly higher than that in Norway 1.2/10000, Denmark 2/10000, Finland 6.1/10000 (calculated on the basis of Worldometer online data). Meanwhile, Sweden’s personal consumption is not much reduced, compared with Denmark’s and Finland’s 66% and 70% respectively, Sweden has decreased by 30%; Sweden’s relief applications are only Norway’s 1/4 (Fredrik Erixon, 21 April 2020).

Figure 6 number of additional diagnosed cases in Swedenbasic infected number6Source: Worldometer,

There are other countries or regions, such as South Korea, Taiwan of China and so on, there is no closure of cities, nor too much restriction on the freedom of the people. The time from the first case to the peak is 14 days and 34 days respectively. The measures are similar to the “basic reproduction number below 1”. Compared with Wuhan’s measures, there are many redundant elements and under this system.The local officials will not really think about finding better measures, and just do it for the leaders to see, and it appears  “strongly”. So in fact, Wuhan has started to peak from first case of COVID-19, which is about 75 days. The effect gap is obvious.

Figure 7 Additional diagnosed cases in Koreabasic infected number7Source: Worldometer,

Figure 8 Daily number of additional cases in Taiwan, Chinabasic infected number8Source: Worldometer,

Calling “reducing the basic reproduction number to below 1” is a “suitable target”, I don’t mean that there is a better goal. In fact, the so-called “high goal” is actually the high goal of a single target. The goal of human society is comprehensive, not only to prevent COVID-19 pneumonia, but also to guard against other diseases; not only to prevent diseases, but also to maintain normal economic movement.People are able to earn normal income to maintain their living. Therefore, the proper goal is to take into account the best goal of the comprehensive goal. Therefore, this measure is also the best way to achieve the best goal. Using the “Spatial economics and institutional economics programming model” (SIEM) to expand the analysis of infectious diseases and economic operation at the same time,we can give the data of infection and economic results corresponding to the measures to achieve the goal.. We can see that, with the “elimination of unnecessary contacts”, “non face-to-face transactions”, “no contact transactions”, “social distancing”, “test in advance of the gathering area”, “public transport limiting half number of passengers”, “personal protection” and “institutional protection”.A society can basically keep working interactions and necessary non working interactions, and reduce the basic reproduction number to below 1, which ensures both normal economic income and effective control of the COVID-19 epidemic situation.

Fig. 9  Simulating the GDP index and infection index of Wuhan, if the basic reproduction number is 0.77 since January 22, 2020.basic infected number9

Note: It is assumed that the behavior rules of “reducing unnecessary interaction”, “non-face-to face transaction”, “non-contact transaction” and “social distancing” are adopted, and the basic reproduction number is reduced to 0.77, the GDP index and infected people index from January 23 to March 23, 2020.

Of course, the analysis of this paper is based on rough estimates of the effects of various rules of conduct. A better analysis should be based on, on one hand, tracing and studying the effects of different measures in different countries; on the other hand, experts conduct microscopic experiments on rules of conduct to get close and accurate empirical parameters.To form better rules of conduct. At present, the different epidemic prevention measures adopted by various countries are actually a competition between rules of conduct. Ultimately, the best rule of conduct will win. That is, the rule of behavior that will reduce basic reproduction number to less than 1 and ensure the normal operation of the economy will prevailed. This victory will bring real benefits to the winners.It is not the advantage of text wrapping. Because the virus is still present when the virus is deleted, and if there is a violation of the appropriate epidemic prevention rules, even if there is more power, it can not stop the spread of the virus or support the normal operation of the economy. This compels the countries of the world to move towards the appropriate rules of conduct. Of course, they are fast or slow.Which countries can discover and form these rules of conduct will reconstruct the world pattern after the epidemic.


Fredrik Erixon,“The Swedish experiment looks like it’s paying off”, The Spectator, 21 April 2020

Song Pan, “Zeng Guang: If there is no lesson in blood, the problem of concealing the epidemic can not be solved!” WeChat public No. “County Health Media”, March 29, 2020.

April 23, 2020 in the Forget-Word Hill House

Let Illegal Demolition Fear the Rule of Law / Sheng Hong


The other day I went back to my home in Huairou, the Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall. I found that my neighbors were all prepared for battling against enemy, who are the enemies? The demolition team that may appear at any time. They may come in the daytime, in the evening or in the early morning. For this reason, my neighbors have been on duty day and night since November 2019, when I didn’t know we were going to be forcibly demolished. I only remember one time when the property management called my wife and said that the neighbor asked us to call back and whether we wanted to buy a national flag. We replied, it was not needed, It turns out that they were cautious, even the word “forced demolition” is not willing to say on the phone. Later, it was probably at the end of December that we learned from the SMS of the property that our home would be forcibly demolished. It turns out that neighbors flying the national flag are looking forward to something related to this sign, that is, the protection of citizens’ housing rights by the nation.

It seems that Huairou District doesn’t care about the national flag, let alone the constitution behind it. Since the outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia in January, we estimate that the threat of forced demolition could be delayed because of the fact that the Huairou district government was busy with epidemic prevention. However, on March 20, the whole of Beijing was still on high alert. Huairou district government arranged “Jiudu River town government staff” to send anonymous messages to some neighbors, asking them to vacate their houses and demolish them by themselves. This caused immediate tension among the owners. During the Spring Festival, many owners went out to travel and stayed in other places due to the epidemic, some owners were isolated in the city; there were fewer people in the community. But the next day many owners who didn’t live in the community drove back to the Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall and prepared to join the owners in the community. But when they got to the road outside the community and the T-junction of Jiudu River Bridge, they found a pickup truck blocked the way. There were several people like workers in the demolition company who did not allow the owner’s car to enter, claiming that only when they go to the nearby “demolition headquarter” to sign for forced demolition could they enter.

Some people went to the so-called “headquarter” and found that there were no leader, no villagers, only a few people with foreign accents. They said that the owners could put their cars in if they agreed to move out. This is a kind of blackmail for forced demolition. Their idea is to pledge the furniture property of the owners’ home in exchange for the owners’ submission and consent to forced demolition. It’s really mean. What they did was not only obviously illegal but also with bad behavior. Blocking the road by car is a clear violation of the Traffic Safety Law, which prevents the owners from entering their own houses, and even infringes the citizens’ housing rights and property rights. In the face of such a rogue behavior, the owners are very angry. Because they believe that their houses and properties are protected by the constitution, and that it is just and proper to protect their rights, with their courage and integrity, led by the elder brother with military quality, the owners rush in. It was a big win. But the neighbors’ cars didn’t get in because the pickup was in the way. I track the progress of my neighbors through WeChat group. I admire their courageous defense of their rights. But I’m just a scholar myself, and I’m really ashamed of myself compared with these neighbors.

But I have my advantages. This is writing. This is not just writing a general article, but I have a long-term concern and research on land issues, small property rights housing issues and forced demolition issues. Many years ago, in 2009, there was a “Tang Fuzhen incident”, which forced the demolition of Tang Fuzhen to death. At that time, I wrote an article entitled “Ask what is the ‘law’ in the world, simply drive people to fight by life” to uphold justice for her. Later, I wrote “life first, this is an absolute order” to denounce a homicide case caused by forced demolition. After Panjin land acquisition murder, I once wrote to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress with several law tycoons to ask for the truth. At the end of 2017, in the form of forced demolitions, there was an event to drive out migrants in Beijing. I joined hands with several law tycoons to write to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress to request constitutional review. Until last year, when I heard that Xiangtang cultural new village would be forced to be demolished, I wrote an article entitled “why Xiangtang can’t be demolished” to support Xiangtang residents.

When I heard that “Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall” was blacklisted, I began to write relevant article. Before the lunar New Year, it had begun to take shape. But with the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak, I turned my attention to the observation and analysis of the epidemic, and wrote some related articles. Later, seeing that the epidemic situation gradually slowed down, I went back and completed this article entitled “The place where my heart settled down is my hometown”, focusing on the experience of “Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall”, discussing the forced demolition. When I first wrote “Why can’t Xiangtang be demolished”, I mainly combed the legality of “small property right” houses in suburbs like Xiangtang from the Constitution to various laws; and illegality of forced demolition while this article “The place where my heart settled down is my hometown” focused on the illegality of forced demolition means of local governments in the existing forced demolition events. These two articles together can be called sister articles.

I regard Mr. Li Keqiang as the first reader of my article, “The place where my heart settled down is my hometown”. I found that there is a website called “national complaint acceptance office” on the Internet, which is very good. On March 9, I wrote a letter to Mr. Li Keqiang through this website, and attached two articles: “why can’t Xiangtang be demolished” and “the place where my heart settled down is my hometown”. The latter had not yet been published then. The content of the letter is very simple, that is to ask him to read these two articles. At the same time, it quoted the last paragraph of “the place where my heart settled down is my hometown”, which mentions that the most effective way to stop the “one size fits all demolition” is to remove the Secretary of the county Party committee who illegally forcibly demolishes “the most successful” from office. I don’t know if Mr. Li Keqiang has read this article. If not, I can only regret for him. Protecting property rights means a lot more than lowering taxes or interest rates by a few percentage points. However, the website is good on the whole, with feedback on the complaint letter. In addition to the short message of receiving the complaint letter, there is also the function of “query and evaluation”. It includes the handling situation and the complainants’ evaluation of the handling situation. Including the evaluation of the handling of the complaint department and the evaluation of the handling of the responsible unit.

I’m not satisfied to both. In my comments on the handling of the complaint department, I said, “can you correct the mistake by transferring the letter directly to the local government itself that should correct the mistake? If you think it’s a problem, you should send someone to investigate it. If it’s a mistake, you should correct it directly. If you are not willing to investigate, at least you should confirm that the local government is wrong according to the literal understanding of the problem reflected by me, and transmit the letter to local government and order it to correct the mistake” This is the reason why letters and visits have no obvious effect, and even lead to retaliation against the complainants. It only transferred the letter to Cuicun government, which is responsible for Xiangtang issue, and not to Jiudu River town government, which is responsible for the issue of “Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall”. However, the so-called “treatment” of Cui Village government is a two-line sentence paper with no receiver’s name nor sender name, saying that “administrative acts are not within the scope of letters and visits”. In my evaluation, I criticized this kind of response for being neither serious nor polite in form, nor unreasonable in content. “To say ‘administrative act’ is not within the scope of acceptance of petition matters, that is to say, as long as the town government says that it is an ‘administrative act’, it can violate the Constitution and can’t do anything bad.” This is to say that the petition Department of the State Council has no right to accept all the cases of the town government, because its actions are “administrative acts”.

Generally speaking, if the behavior of all levels of government is “administrative behavior”, which is not within the scope of petition acceptance, is the petition department only set up for “non-administrative behavior”? Who will restrain the government administration? In the written constitution, China is a country with people’s sovereignty. In order to effectively govern the public, it has set up governments and administrative departments at all levels. In order to ensure that these government departments can implement the constitutional obligations to protect the rights of citizens, a set of supervision and restraint mechanism has been set up. This is an organic whole. The petition department focuses more on obtaining the information of the illegal acts of the administrative departments at all levels, and has the obligation to provide it to the relevant departments under the framework of the Constitution to correct and punish those illegal so-called “administrative acts”. To say that “the administrative act is not within the scope of petition acceptance” means that “my act can be free from any restriction” and continue to infringe upon civil rights is really lawless and rampant. If governments at all levels claim that they are not subject to supervision and restriction, what will the country look like?

A week later, I would like to send this article to Dai Binbin, Secretary of CCP of Huairou District in Beijing. However, although the website of Huairou district government has a “district chief mailbox”, its function is poor and it has no attachment function. I have to send the article by express. In the letter, I reminded him not to use “carrying order out” as an excuse, because this has been criticized by Hannah Arendt as “the crime of mediocrity”, which is even a worse crime: doing bad things without taking responsibility. I suggest that he fully abide by the legal due process stipulated by the Constitution and the law, including not skipping or bypassing any legal procedure, informing the residents of the Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall in time of relevant information, and protecting their rights protection actions. The website of Huairou district government has no feedback function, and there is no other channel to tell me whether Dai Binbin has received and read my letter. On March 20, I heard that he wanted to forcibly demolish our home. I think he read it, but judging from the illegal and chaotic practices of Jiudu River town in those two days, he made a retaliatory response.

On March 16, I put “The place where my heart settled down is my hometown” on the Internet. As we all know, this is a sentence of Zhaoyun, which was used by Su Shi in his poem. At this time, it is very appropriate to be used as the title of the article. Because only the housing right, property right and the associated right to life can be protected, there could be a safe place, the home. And human beings set up government just for this kind of “my heart settled down”. This also counts as my efforts to protect my common home with my neighbors and make up for my lack of action ability. At the same time, as mentioned before, I have always been concerned about all the homes facing forced demolition, so when a friend of Xiangtang thanked me for my words, I said “not only for Xiangtang”. This article also “not only for the Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall”. I speak for all my friends in this predicament.

When I say that, it seems that I’m a bit defending my behavior, saying that I have no selfish intention. I remember a few years ago, someone asked me why I wanted to defend the “small property right house” and whether it was because I bought the “small property right house”. At that time, indeed, I had already bought “Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall”. But how strange the logic is. If I claim to protect property rights, it is because I have property; I claim to protect life, it is because I have life. A person’s legitimate rights must be safeguarded with integrity. Society seems to be upside down now. Those who often infringe upon others’ property rob openly, while those whose properties damaged have to defend their behaviors. But at a deeper level, in the minds of most people, the belief in just rights has become widespread and rooted. What I see in my neighbors this time is the spirit of fighting to defend their legitimate rights. They will not be ashamed that these properties are their own, they just fight for their rights. But those who infringe their property rights have no foundation. People who rush through the blockade and enter their homes are mostly old people, while those who guard the checkpoints are young people. Obviously it’s not a matter of physical strength.

While defending their right to housing and property, they are actually defending the inviolability of everyone’s right to housing and property, that is to say, defending the constitution. In this sense, they have contributed to the whole society. And everyone can contribute to the whole society in this way. In fact, the property right system is the result of everyone’s efforts to protect their own property rights. In fact, it is impossible to imagine an omniscient and omnipotent God who has the ability and selflessness to bring property right system to human beings. The most active to the property rights institution are the owners themselves. Their efforts and struggles to obtain and maintain property rights are the biggest driving force for the formation of property rights system. In mainland China, the property right system established by the reform and opening up has indeed played a role in motivating the people. However, some officials mistakenly think that this is their gift to the people, so they repeatedly violate, plunder and even destroy the existing property rights of the people. On the other hand, the property right system needs to stand the test of resisting infringement. Those who oppose illegal “breaking rules” tend to scold “one size fits all”. The key is to change the situation of people taking the place of “I am the fish” and “the other is the knife” . At this time, the protecting rights action for anti-demolition of the residents of the Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall, together with the rights protection of other people, constitute an important practice in the reconstruction of the Chinese property rights institution.

Novel coronavirus pneumonia is not yet over, what is the reason why the Huairou district government has to rush to forcibly demolish houses? Maybe it thinks it’s a good time. But it made a mistake while it was busy. This is exactly what the Constitution and the law should avoid and prohibit. According to Article 43 of the administrative compulsory law, “administrative organs shall not enforce administrative compulsory execution at night or on legal holidays”. The spirit of legislation should be that forcibly demolition cannot “take advantage of people’s absence”, “take advantage of people’s unpreparedness” or “take advantage of people’s inconvenience”. This highlights the neutrality and benevolence of law. The punishment that has to be implemented as stipulated in the law is not to hurt the parties, but only to punish, without any malice. On the other hand, Huairou district government’s act of forcible dismantling before the epidemic is over is quite different from the above legislative spirit. This arrangement of Huairou District obviously takes into account that during the anti-epidemic period, many owners can’t rush back in time, and the community is empty; even if the owners rush back, as long as they block the entrance to the community and take the property of the owners’ home as the hostage, they can coerce the owners to comply. There is no cover for the malice here.

However, this malicious behavior itself made Huairou district government make two mistakes at the same time. One is to block the road; the other is to stop the owners from going home. In a letter to Dai Binbin, Secretary of Huairou District Committee of the Communist Party of China on March 23, I said that blocking the road “violates Article 31 of the traffic safety law.”. The king is under the law. Even the premier of the State Council can’t violate it, let alone a mayor. ” “The right to housing not only means that no one else can enter without permission, but also means that no one else can prevent the owner of the right to housing from entering his or her house. It is unconstitutional and illegal to block access. ” I suggest that he stop these two kinds of wrong behaviors. On March 24, I saw that the car was still blocked at the intersection, and I suggested to Dai Binbin to stop such behavior in the latter letter.

However, not only did the pickup not withdraw, people from Jiudu River town arranged by Huairou District suddenly came to the “Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall and began to post “Notice of demolition within a time limit” on some residential gates. It seems that my house is the first to bear the brunt. In my letter to Dai Binbin on March 24, I commented on the “notice” and said, “Compared with Xiangtang’s forced demolition notice, there are still some improvements. For example, the first is aimed at the individual owners rather than the general institutions, and the second indicates the rights of administrative reconsideration and administrative litigation. It’s commendable.“ “However, this notice has two low-level hard mistakes.”


First, it refers to “the first paragraph of Article 40 of the land management law”. In fact, no matter the new or old article 40 of the land management law, there is no second paragraph.

Second, the urban and rural planning law was passed in 2007, and the Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall was completed and sold in 2006. Article 93 of the legislative law stipulates that “laws, administrative regulations, local regulations, autonomous regulations, separate regulations and rules shall not be retroactive”.

These two tough injuries basically negated the murderous “notice”. If a law article without the second paragraph is written as the first paragraph of Article X, it is obvious to tell people that the person who wrote it has never seen that law article, and he does not know what that law article means. He doesn’t care what that law article means at all. He only cares about the purpose of this “notice”. As long as this goal is achieved, he doesn’t care whether the “notice” has a legal basis, whether it is illogical; he doesn’t care that it’s easy for others to see this kind of low-level hard mistakes. This implies that all this does not prevent it from passing legal proceedings. This is because it believes it can manipulate legal proceedings. On the other hand, this kind of low-level hard mistakes does not prove the illegality of this “notice”?

In terms of form, this kind of forced demolition notice in the name of the town government, which has no legal basis at all, is a kind of blasphemy to the house, that is, the blasphemy to the law. In terms of intensity, the nature of forced demolition is more than the death penalty. There is no such penalty as “forced demolition” in traditional China, but there is a contrary comparison. For example, the punishment of “digging graves” is higher than that of “killing people”. And the grave is the house of the dead. It can also be said that “forced demolition” is a worse crime than homicide. However, in traditional China, although “the murderer pays for his life”, the death penalty is not arbitrary. Even in the Qing Dynasty, the death penalty cases were reviewed repeatedly and finally decided by the emperor. Now the decision of “forced demolition” can be made by a town government! Think about how many more people die in a year if the town government has the power to sentence them to death. Today, the Chinese mainland is full of forced evictions. Is it related to the rule that one town can decide demolition without care and prudence?

This kind of situation of blocking the road and threatening to agree to forcibly demolition for cars’ entering lasted for several days, and Dai Binbin seemed to be reluctant to change. I think of the website of the national complaints acceptance office. On March 25, I wrote to Li Keqiang, and the selected classification was “public health emergencies”. In my letter, I told him, “on March 23, Beijing’s epidemic prevention and control was still in a tense period. I was stuck with a notice of forced demolition by the town government on the door of the” Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall “in Jiudu River Town, Huairou District. Large scale illegal “forcibly demolition” has begun. “Different from the previous forced demolition, Huairou district government, when the epidemic situation in Beijing was still very tight, threatened the forced demolition to “artificially cause crowd gathering and strong physical contact during the epidemic prevention period.” Specifically, it includes sending people to block the entrance of the community, “pushing and jostling with the owners who want to enter the community; the town government sends out a” talk notice “to ask the residents to talk with it; forcing the residents to rush back to the community”; and so on. At the same time, I also told him the behaviors of blocking the road by car and infringing the residents’ right to enter the housing. And said that I wrote to Dai Binbin three times without success.

On March 24, Huairou district government sent people from Jiudu River town to the “Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall” to continue to post the notice of forced demolition. Residents refused to let them into the courtyard. On March 26, it sent people from Jiudu River town to the community, and the residents still refused to let them in. As a result, they put the notice on the wall outside the courtyard. This notice is called “Urging notice”. In my letter to Dai Binbin on March 27, I talked about my feelings about the “Urging notice”: “I feel that the above language is terrible. It’s very similar to the “Urging money collection notice” of bandit kidnapping. Limit the time and kill the hostage without paying. ” It’s like “bandit kidnapping”. Does what I said go too far? In 1946, the famous kidnapping case of Rong Desheng happened in Shanghai. Until the 8th day, the ransom price was still discussed. This “notice” requires the owner to vacate the house within three days and demolish it by himself, not to mention its legitimacy. Even if the owner wants to surrender, it is not feasible from the perspective of technical implementation. The first thing is to find a house that can be moved. Whether it’s for purchase or rent, you need to find a house, bargain, sign a contract and so on. The fastest time is two weeks. We need to find a moving company. Rent forklifts, etc. What’s more, during the outbreak, these services have not been restored. Many house owners are stranded in other areas due to epidemic prevention and control and have not come back.


The earliest reference to “three days within a time limit” was in the forced demolition notice given to Xiangtang village by Cuicun town. It seems that these local governments engaged in forced demolition often exchange evil experiences of forced demolition. In fact, the “three-day time limit” which cannot be implemented technically proves the illegality of this illegal forced demolition. There is only one possibility behind this irrational crazy demand, that is, it originally wants to make the parties too late, that is, to carry out a surprise attack, so that the parties are caught off guard. Why let the parties be caught off guard? Because Huairou district government is very clear that its forced demolition is illegal. If it believed that its actions were legitimate, it would not take a surprise attack. It is clear that once the case enters the legal due process, once it really has to undergo the test of the Constitution and the law, it will be difficult to have an opportunity to forcibly dismantle it. Because as I revealed in “Why can’t Xiangtang be Demolished” and “The place where my heart settled down is my hometown”, China’s constitution and law protect the right of residence, which covers the rights of residence and property of “Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall”.

Therefore, the motive of Huairou district government’s “three-day deadline” is to use the method of sudden attack to cause the demolition to become a fact. Once the demolition is completed, it will be much more difficult for the owners to claim for compensation. It can take advantage of the defects of our judicial system and directly intervene in the fair trial of justice, at least dragging for a long time. However, such attempts have long been banned by the State Council. As early as 2010, the State Council issued the “emergency notice of the general office of the State Council on further tightening the management of land acquisition and demolition and earnestly safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of the masses”, which stipulates that ” In case of illegal and compulsory demolition by means of “involving demolition” and “surprise demolition”, the responsibility of relevant responsible units and persons shall be investigated strictly. In case of casualties or serious property losses due to violent demolition and land acquisition Criminals shall be severely punished in accordance with the law “. Only in recent years, some local governments have set some bad examples, and they have not been punished in time, which makes other local governments think they can follow suit. In fact, just as the “three-day period” directly interrupts the “administrative reconsideration” and “administrative litigation” procedures, the nature of its “sudden attack” is also illegal. In this illegal state, forced demolition is a crime of serious infringement of property rights.

On March 27, when I returned to the Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall, I found that the pickup truck in the road was missing. It was replaced by an anti epidemic checkpoint, and the residents’ cars were already to drive in. I don’t know whether the letter I sent to Li or Dai worked or whether it was the result of the efforts of our neighbors. I think it might be a joint effort. On the same day, I wrote to Dai Binbin and said, “I’m glad to see that the illegal pickup truck has been removed and replaced by the anti-epidemic inspection when I went to the Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall today.” I believe that you have conscience in your heart and are willing to follow the road of rule of law. ” I added, “it also shows that you are determined to bear the legal responsibility for this illegal” forcibly demolition”, instead of pushing the duty down to” temporary workers “or up to” superior orders “. I believe that once you realize that you are legally responsible for these government actions in Huairou District, you will move in the direction of the Constitution and the law. “

The latter paragraph refers to a phenomenon of local government in recent years. This phenomenon is that the person who bears the legal responsibility for the forced demolition tries his best not to bear the responsibility. If the order of forcible demolition comes down from above, it is generally expressed as “military order” or “deadly order”. This is a very bad form, because the meaning of “military order” is to ask the lower level government to carry out a task with a single goal, and the higher level only needs the result, no matter how the lower level completes it. This implies that the subordinate can take illegal measures, but he does not want to know. So he can be irresponsible. Once the subordinates have done something wrong, he may get rid of the responsibility without knowing it. But he can “protect” the subordinate who has executed the wrong order without pursuing the illegal responsibility of the subordinate. But that’s all. If things are too big, sometimes the lower level will be scapegoated. This is from top to bottom. The same is true in the county. Hire some workers from security companies and demolition companies to rush ahead and forcibly demolish them. If they demolished houses, they naturally complete the “task”; if there is an accident, they can be said to be “temporary workers” rather than “government workers”.

However, it is this kind of person who should bear the legal responsibility does not bear the legal responsibility that will cause the illegal forced demolition which is common and forbidden repeatedly in the whole country, and the person who actually bears the legal responsibility is also very hard to be punished. The point is that the legal principle is very clear. It’s the person who gives the order, not the demolition workers in front, is the person who should bear the legal responsibility. This view has a long history in our country. This is the meaning of the story “Zhao Dun killed the Duke” in the Warring States period. Zhao Dun fled for fear of being harmed by Ling Duke of Jin, but he returned when he heard that Ling Duke of Jin had been killed. Dong Hu, a historian, wrote “Zhao Dun killed the Duke”. Zhao Dun said that I didn’t kill the Duke. Dong Hu said that he “did not leave the country when escaped, and did not punish the killer after being back “. How is it said that he didn’t kill the monarch? Conversely, if the leaders of the county government can bear the legal responsibility for the forced demolition, there will not be so many illegal forced demolition.

However, based on such a small change, can I conclude that Mr. Dai Binbin will bear the legal responsibility of forced demolition in Huairou District and take the road of rule of law? It’s just my belief. When I wrote to him once, I said, “Mr. Yangming said that everyone has conscience. I’m sure you do.” In another letter to him, I said, “I believe in your conscience; it is my strong ally.”

March 29, 2020, Wangyan Hill-house

The Place Where My Heart Settled Down is My Hometown / Sheng Hong


The Place Where My Heart Settled Down is My Hometown

Sheng Hong

Novel coronavirus pneumonia is a pressing matter of the moment, but some people can’t relax even after the epidemic. From November 2019, the residents of the “Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall” community have been on duty day and night. This community is located in Jiudu-River Town, Huairou District, Beijing. Surrounded by mountains, Jiudu River flows by. Although the river is often dried up for human reasons, there are still murmuring water in years with high rainfall, such as 2008. On the mountain to the north, the Great Wall in the Zhuangdaokuo is clearly visible. Many residents have bought houses here since 2006. Some are used as first residence, others as weekend villa. In any case, this community is their home, where reserves good times with family and friends. However, why are they on duty? Who are they guarding? They guard against the local government. It’s strange, why should the government be guarded against, now that its vocation is to protect citizens’ lives, houses and properties? Because since November last year, there has been a terrible “rumor” spreading here, that is, the local government is going to tear down this community.


If it’s a “rumor”, why do people believe it? Because it’s not a rumor. On October 17, the government of Cuicun Town, Changping District posted a notice on October 15, asking Xiangtang new village residents to demolish their houses by October 18. On November 4, fairytale villa community and Banshan Yunju community in Nankou Town, Changping District were faced to be demolished, the owners demonstrated in front of Changping District government, and were forced to demolish on December 20. On December 24, the community of “European North wooden house area” in Yanshou Town, Changping District was cut off from water and power supply, forcing residents to leave to carry out forced demolition. On January 13, 2020, Guozhuang village, Shisanling Town, Changping District was forcibly demolished. Most of these houses were beautiful country villas, but after being forcibly demolished, they turned into a piece of broken walls and ruins in an instant, making people miserable; the helpless and indignant complaints of the owners who lost their homes made the conscience unable to bear them.

In fact, the Beijing municipal government regards the forced demolition of small property houses as an important administrative task. Since last year, it has published a list of 108 forced demolition projects in the suburbs of Beijing, and 27 have been demolished. Although the Old Beijing Courtyard of Water Great Wall is not on the forced demolition list for the time being, it may be included in the list at any time because the list has neither solid legal basis nor legal due process. What’s more, it’s also reported that the Beijing municipal government has planned to dismantle the so-called “illegal construction” equivalent to 15.5% of the built-up area of Beijing. Up to now, 15% of the “task” has just been completed, and the “task” can only be “completed” after a large-scale demolition. As a suburban county, District Huairou’s total built-up area is only 27.3 square kilometers, less than 14% of the total target. Now it seems that this kind of forced demolition is not a few cases, but a systematic administrative act of the government.

Facts have proved the guess of the residents of the Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall. They have communicated with the government of Jiudu River town and asked what reasons for the forced demolition. The first answer was in the flooded area of the river. So the residents specially invited the former water affairs expert and professor level senior engineer of the Ministry of water resources to participate in the discussion with the town government on January 14, pointing out the mistake of this excuse. In fact, even in river flooded areas, residents would rather be “flooded” than make it an excuse for forced demolition. So the town government said again, this is a villa. Residents also understand the planning, saying that according to the definition of “villa” by the Ministry of land and resources, this is not a villa. The town government began to talk about “five certificates”. This kind of behavior tells us that it is to have a target task first, and then find a reason. The excuses are all outrageous, and the real purpose is probably unspeakable absurdity. In fact, the residents only need one reason, which will surpass the countless reasons of the local government. This is that the right to housing is the constitutional right of citizens. The government only exists to protect the constitutional rights of citizens, so the government officials get the salaries paid by citizens – their taxes, once it does not protect but infringes, it has no legitimacy.

But now it seems to be reversed. We have seen that the administrative departments of the government have taken forced demolitions as their performance indicators, and taken the elimination of citizens’ wealth and the destruction of citizens’ homes as their policy objectives. They feel not only no guilty, but in the right and self-confident. According to Xiangtang residents, the party secretary newly transferred to Cuicun said as soon as he took office, “I just want to flatten Xiangtang!” (ten thousand villagers in Xiangtang village, “New Things in Changping, Beijing”, November 19, 2019) at some internal meetings of the government, the higher level officials, in a threatening manner, asked the lower level officials to use “real, hard and fast move” to forcibly dismantle (see China, November 27, 2017). I saw some videos of the people who came to forcibly demolish houses, who were rude in their words and deeds, and the people in the court window who were indifferent and indifferent to the citizens who came to file the complaint, and refused to accept them. The atmosphere was unbelievable and shocking; the government that our citizens paid for took our money to demolish our houses. Why is that? They really don’t know that citizens are their food and clothing parents. Why do they hurt the fundamental interests of citizens and think they are “enforcing the law”?


Now they seem to have one of the most powerful reasons is “demolishing the houses violated regulation”. As long as it says that you are “illegal building”, it thinks that it demolishes ‘illegal building” legally. What is “illegal building”? According to Baidu Encyclopedia, “illegal building refers to the houses and facilities that are constructed outside the planning area without the planning license of the proposed project (original address, site selection and building opinion), and start construction in violation of the Land Management Law, Urban and Rural Planning Law, Regulations on Planning and Construction of Villages and Towns and other relevant laws and regulations, has the characteristics of occupying safe passage and farmland, affecting urban public space, destroying ecological environment, and many illegal buildings are still hidden in legal buildings. Illegal construction damages the credibility of the government, destroys the cityscape, restricts the healthy development of the city and the implementation of urban and rural planning, and also affects the future development of the city. “

First of all, the “violated-regulation building” is the term with very low legal effect, because the “regulation” of “violated” can be understood as “departmental regulations”. According to the Legislative Law, departmental regulations are at the lowest level of “laws and regulations”, on top of which are the Constitution, the Legislative Law, the Land Management Law, the Administrative Reconsideration law, the Administrative Procedure Law, etc. Even if “violating the regulations”, there is no reason for forcible dismantling, because this “regulation” may violate the upper law. For example, the forced demolition of houses violates the housing rights and property rights stipulated in the constitution. Now there have been many forced demolition, not only seriously violated the property rights of citizens’ houses, but also deprived citizens of the right to live in the houses. Many of them regard the houses to be demolished as their first residence, or even the only residence. According to their “regulation”, the administrative departments of the government want to deprive citizens of their basic constitutional rights, which is completely asymmetric. If there is a mistake or a crime, people who have a little knowledge of law know that their forcible demolition is a crime that cannot be tolerated by the society compared with the so-called “illegal construction” that they want to forcibly demolish.

Therefore, it is unconstitutional to forcibly dismantle the so-called “violated-regulation building”. Because the state is established to protect citizens’ lives, houses and properties, the Constitution emphasizes and proclaims these basic rights as citizens’ constitutional rights. The duty of the government is to protect the interests of the country by protecting these constitutional rights of citizens. It’s subverting constitutional principles if it excuses that citizens’ houses should not exist without its approval. This puts the urban and rural planning law above the Constitution and the Legislative Law. On the issue of “urban and rural planning law”, I have already made a criticism in the article “Why Xiangtang can’t be demolished”. The core idea is that the distribution of housing should first obey the market rules, and the government’s planning power for housing is limited to auxiliary and referential power. Its purpose is only to make the distribution of housing more reasonable, rather than to eliminate housing. Even though the Urban and Rural Planning Law itself only stipulates that “violated projects under construction” can be considered to be demolished instead of communities that have been built for ten or twenty years, and since it came into force in 2008, it has no legal effect on community houses built and sold before that.

Then look at the so-called “violated-regulation building” related to the “Land Management Law”. Before the law was amended in November 2019, it seemed that there was a clause saying that rural collective had no right to construct on their own land. In fact, if you look closely, you will know that there is a “but”. Article 43 stipulates: “any unit or individual that needs to use land for construction must apply for the use of state-owned land in accordance with the law; but, except for if the establishment of township enterprises and the construction of villagers’ houses are approved in accordance with the law to use the land owned by the farmer collective of the collective economic organization, or the construction of public facilities and public welfare undertakings in the township (town) village is approved in accordance with the law to use the land owned by the farmer collective. ” Is the residential community of rural collective development not a rural real estate enterprise? Therefore, the so-called “small property right housing” in rural areas is not illegal construction. After the amendment of the law, the clause of “construction must use state-owned land” has been deleted, and the principle that rural collective construction land can enter the land market has been recognized. According to the principle of “preferring new rather than old” (Article 83) of the legislative law, the so-called “house with small property rights” is even more absurd.


Look again at the Regulations on the Planning and Construction of Villages and Market Towns. This is an administrative regulation enacted in 1993, with a very low level of legal effect. Even so, Article 18 contains provisions allowing non-agricultural residents to build or purchase houses in rural areas. “If urban residents with non-agricultural registered permanent residence need to use collectively owned land to build houses in the planned areas of villages or market towns, they shall go through the procedures of examination and approval prescribed in Item (1) of the preceding paragraph with the consent of their units or residents committees.” Among them, the clauses that the urban residents who want to build houses in rural areas need the agreement of units or residents committees are still the factors of planned economy, which are out of date after marketization, and the “item (1) of the preceding paragraph” refers to that the use of cultivated land should be approved by the county government. However, the vast majority of “small property right houses” do not use cultivated land, but “use the original homestead, idle land in the village and other land”. Therefore, according to this regulation, only “approval by the Township People’s government according to the village, market town planning and land use planning” is required, obviously, this “regulation” cannot prove that a large number of small property houses in Beijing suburbs are “illegal”.

Finally, look at the latter paragraph of the definition of Baidu Encyclopedia, “illegal building has the characteristics of occupying safe passage and illegal occupation of cultivated land, affecting urban public space, destroying ecological environment, etc.” basically, it has nothing to do with what a large number of local governments call “illegal building”. A large number of “small property right houses” are built in “villages in the city”, belonging to the rural collective homestead. Especially in the shallow mountain areas in the north of Beijing, there are a lot of hillside land or river beach land that cannot be used for farming, and a large number of so-called “small property houses” are built here. From this we can see how far-fetched the excuse of “breaking the law” by the local government is. In fact, I have studied China’s land institutions for many years, and also followed the history of forced demolition by local governments. “Demolition of illegal building” is an evil “experience” widely shared by many local governments. In the early days, local governments often encountered strong resistance in forced demolition, and they often failed to meet the demands of the people who were demolished when talking about compensation. So they came up with this bad idea, which seem to be a good excuse and need not pay. But the price is more serious violation of the constitution, violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, and damage to our judicial system and administrative system. Therefore, “demolition of illegal building” is an excuse for breaking all superior laws.

The problem is that there are many residents living in some communities that have been forcibly demolished. The natural law determines that they have the natural right to fight against the saboteurs who come to destroy their homes. Why are they so easy to be forcibly demolished? This is because, in order to better protect their homes, they transferred their natural rights to the government conditionally and wrote the conditions into the constitution, including that the government must protect their personal safety, housing rights, property rights, and human dignity, etc. What they did not expect was that some officials in the government, after temporarily mastering the public power on the condition that they promised to fulfill the Constitution, turned their back on their original promise and concentrated the power resources, which is for protecting citizens’ constitutional rights, in turn were used to damage their clients. At this time, the citizens who transfer their rights have no resources to fight against those who violate their promises. Because of the great disparity of power, these administrative officials are arrogant towards the citizens’ protest and extreme contempt for the civil rights. It is clear that these officials violated the social contract of the constitution. Why is that?

To understand in good faith, the problem is that although the government administrators swear to the constitution every year on the “Constitution Day”, the government departments do not carry out effective constitutional education, so that most of the government administrators do not understand the principles of the constitution. One of the biggest misconceptions is that they think government policy is bigger than constitution. As long as we have a look at the constitution, we know that China is a country with people’s sovereignty in theory. The government itself is established by the people through the constitution. The purpose of the establishment is to implement the constitution, especially to protect the constitutional rights of citizens stipulated in the constitution. The government must not make policies against the constitution. Therefore, the effectiveness of government policies must be lower than that of the constitution. If the administrative departments of the government use the power given to them by the citizens to infringe upon the interests of the citizens, it is a counter attack on the Sovereign of the state. This is common sense and has a long tradition. As early as in the Warring States period, Xunzi said, “People generated by the God is not for King, but the King established by the God is for people.” This has made clear the nature of the government’s provision of public services to the public. The correct way for government officials is to kneel in front of citizens’ constitutional rights and show respect and submission.

The second misconception among government officials is that the higher the level of government order, the more effective it is. This is wrong. In fact, both political science and public choice theory emphasize that the state is a social contract, which is based on the consent of citizens. Professor Buchanan, Nobel laureate, pointed out that the principle of unanimity is the best principle of public choice. A decision agreed upon by all parties is the best one between them. So the contract between two people is the best decision between them. The government has no right to deny the validity of this contract unless it damages the third party or the public interest. The legitimacy of the government can only be based on the protection contract. If it violates the contract, it has no rationality. Those contracts signed by villagers’ committees or township governments and buyers are actually contracts between two civil subjects, whose nature is equivalent to contracts between two natural persons. Township governments cannot deny their contracts as civil subjects because they are also administrative subjects. In this way, they are not qualified to be both civil subjects and administrative subjects. Any high-level government’s violation or denial of this contract is a subversion of the government’s own rationality and legitimacy.

However, in spite of the defects in the constitutional education of the government administrative officials, there are still protection mechanisms in the constitutional framework and legal system of our country in case of problems in the administrative organs. The original residence of residents is expensive property. Generally speaking, the demolition of residence is “crime of infringing property rights with serious circumstances”. According to the criminal law, this is to be “sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than seven years” (article 275). Therefore, if the administrative department of the government wants to achieve its administrative purpose and avoid committing serious crimes, it should first make a request to the court for demolition, and then act with the consent of the court. Even if it acts unilaterally, because of the “Administrative Reconsideration Law” and “Administrative Procedure Law”, citizens can bring administrative reconsideration and administrative litigation to higher authorities of administrative departments or courts. However, in order to forcibly dismantle, some government administrative departments directly intervene in the judicial department. Some citizens who have been forcibly dismantled submit administrative litigation petitions, and the court is instructed not to accept them, which is directly reflected in the arrogant attitude of the reception personnel who refuse to serve. This is a clear violation of the “principle of independent trial of the court” stipulated in the Constitution (Article 131).


There are also some government administrative departments that, on the surface, follow due process of law and sign demolition agreements with residents. However, in the negotiation process, they take some illegal means, such as putting pressure on the organizations or enterprises of the parties, threatening their families and friends, or interfering with the normal operation of the parties, or even beating the parties (World Wide Web, “New Year’s first kill: Jiangsu reappearance revenge case”, January 2, 2020), forcing them to sign the demolition agreement. According to Chinese tradition, this kind of alliance under the city has no effect. Confucius said, “God dose not listen the forced contract.” It also violates the modern principle of voluntary contract and has no legal effect. This is also very similar to the “crime of forced trading”, which is defined as “forcing others to provide or receive services” by means of “violence or threat”. Since “agreement” is the result of equal negotiation, the administrative department of the government can only be one party to the agreement. If they force citizens to accept their forced “services”, this “agreement” is not only invalid, but also suspected of “forced transaction crime”. According to the criminal law, if the circumstances are “especially serious, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than seven years and shall also be fined” (article 226).

It is said that there is also a “tactic”, that is, to agree with the owners’ administrative litigation, but to instruct the court to delay the time, during which time, to forcibly demolish the house. Of course, this is illegal operation. Because according to the Administrative Compulsory Law, “for illegal buildings where compulsory demolition is necessary, the administrative organ shall make a public announcement and set a time limit for the parties to dismantle by themselves. If the party concerned does not apply for administrative reconsideration or file an administrative lawsuit within the statutory time limit, and does not dismantle it, the administrative organ may forcibly dismantle it according to law. ” (Article 44) it clearly means that it cannot be forcibly dismantled before the administrative reconsideration and administrative proceedings are completed. The following clause is more clear: “if a party does not apply for administrative reconsideration or file an administrative lawsuit within the statutory time limit, or fails to perform the administrative decision, the administrative organ without the power of administrative enforcement may, within three months from the expiration of the time limit, apply to the people’s court for compulsory execution in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.” (art. 53) It means that enforcement can only be carried out with the consent of the court. The above tactics of administrative departments, that is, the forced dismantling in the process of administrative litigation, are illegal.

The broad sense of housing right includes public service. Public service has the requirement of uninterrupted service. Because tap water, electricity, pipeline gas and heating have become basic needs, which can not be lacked for a moment. To this end, the state has “Electricity Law”, “Urban Water Supply Regulations”, and various regions or cities have “Heating Management Regulations” to ensure. As stipulated in Article 29 of the electricity law, “power supply enterprises Power supply to users shall be continuous and shall not be interrupted. ” Violators “shall be liable for compensation according to law.” Article 33 of the regulations on urban water supply stipulates that enterprises that “stop water supply without authorization” shall “be liable to the persons in charge and other persons directly responsible Administrative sanctions may be imposed. ” Article 32 of the administrative measures of Beijing Municipality on heating and heating stipulates that “heating units During the heating period, if the heating is delayed, suspended or terminated ahead of time, the comprehensive administrative law enforcement organ of urban management shall order it to make corrections “and impose a fine. However, in order to forcibly demolish, some local governments also ignore these laws and regulations, arbitrarily and maliciously force public utilities to cut off water and power supply for the houses to be demolished, especially in winter, so as to force residents to withdraw from the houses, so as to achieve the purpose of forcibly demolishing. As mentioned above, this is the case of the “European North wooden house” community in Yanshou Town, Changping District. All these actions are against the law.

The public security system was originally used to protect civil rights. The Police Law stipulates that the most important qualification of the police is to be loyal to the Constitution, that is, to protect the constitutional rights of citizens. However, in the process of illegal demolition, police are often used to violate citizens’ constitutional rights. This is not only reflected in suppressing and intimidating the demolished citizens at the scene of the demolition, but also in the interference and destruction of citizens’ behavior of safeguarding their rights. Such as in the excuse of seizing gambling to impact the internal meeting of citizens’ rights protection discussion; interfering with citizens’ petition about forced demolition. For example, the residents of Guozhuang village, Shisanling Town, Changping District, Beijing who were forcibly demolished went to Beijing petition office on December 3, 2019 to petition, but were detained and threatened by the police. Liu Shuzhen, an 89 year old woman in Shanghai, was detained for allegedly provoking a quarrel when she was forced to demolish a house and told a deputy to the National People’s Congress. In order to achieve the purpose of forced demolition, some local governments also take other illegal means to interfere with the legitimate rights protection actions of the victims of forced demolition, such as using the police to exert psychological pressure on the parties, or even directly sending out the police to participate in the forced demolition; for example, in 2011, Panjin police not only participated in the forced demolition, but also shot and killed a demolished resident. In this way, the last and most direct resources of citizens to protect their rights with the help of public power are exhausted, and citizens are naked in the sense of legal protection.

To sum up, we can roughly make a judgment on the nature of the so-called “demolition of illegal building”. At the most superficial level, houses are forced to be demolished, which are the material facilities of the community. However, for those who have lived in these houses for one or two decades, this is the accumulation of their decades of hard work, which is the driving force of their hard work. Take the Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall as an example. If there is no threat from the government administration, a courtyard here is worth about 1 million yuan. Based on the per capita GDP of RMB 168 thousand in 2019, it also needs six years of total income accumulation. That is to say, if the community is demolished, it means that the residents here have six years of hard work income of zero; if the growth of personal income is calculated by 6% compound interest per year, it means that their income has not increased in 31 years. This is almost the best time for reform and opening up. Isn’t this equivalent to depriving them of the benefits they gained during the period of reform and opening up? Isn’t it the destruction of their belief that the income they get in the market must be their own?

More importantly, these communities and houses are the homes of these residents. Here, their children spent their childhood, their old people came here to spend the summer, and their friends gathered here. A person’s life is actually a series of memories; to tear down here is to tear down their good memories, is to tear down a part of their life. And family is the most cherished value of Chinese and foreign people, the meaning of their lives, and the source of their efforts. The success of household land contract production as the first step of reform and opening up is due to the establishment of an inspiring property rights system and the return of income growth to the family. And home is the material shell and spiritual support of the family. At this time, economic growth and property security are complementary. It is fundamentally contradictory for a government to eliminate wealth while focus on GDP growth at the same time. Therefore, the so-called “demolition of illegal building” of destroying the home is to dig the root of reform and opening up, which is the property rights institution that motivates people to work hard, and the legal system returning the result of protecting the property rights institution to the families and their homes.

Maybe some people think that things are not as serious as I said, because at present, only a small proportion of homes have been forcibly demolished. I don’t know if they’ve ever done a child’s brain tease: there are ten birds in the tree, one is shot down, and how many are left? If there are still nine, it is wrong. Forced demolition of homes not only brings losses to the owners who have been forced to demolish, but also brings the unease and fear of the owners who have not been forced to demolish. There are 7.8 billion square meters of small property rights houses in China. If 1000 yuan per square meter is used, it will be 7.8 trillion yuan. Even if only one percent of the houses are demolished, it will devalue all other small property rights houses. If the depreciation ratio is 30%, it will also depreciate by 2.3 trillion yuan. If count it by the market value, the loss will be greater. The legal system is more general. In violation of all constitutional and legal principles and procedures, forcible dismantling, without any legal relief for the damaged owners, is equivalent to forcibly dismantling our legal system. A country without a judicial system to protect property rights will also depreciate as a whole. So “demolition of illegal building” is to forcibly dismantle this country. Some people think that China’s economy is huge and it doesn’t matter if we do something wrong. However, the wrong thing is to dig the root of reform and opening up. The development speed of evil fruit is as fast as that of China’s miracle, and the withering speed of rootless trees will be very fast.

Hayek said in his Law, Legislation and Liberty, “what we call civilization It is through the demarcation of areas in which individuals or groups are truly protected that it becomes possible. ” “Property rights, in the broad sense of the term, include not only material things, but also each individual’s’ life, liberty and property ‘.” The so-called “demolition” is not only anti market, but also anti civilization. This can be explained by Su Shi’s “the place where my heart settled down is my hometown”. The core meaning of property right is “certainty”. This is actually a psychological feeling. The property right system, as a certain basis, is finally manifested as psychological stability. The so-called “certainty” means that a person feels that something will happen at the next moment, or that the basic state of someone or something will not change at the next moment, that is, he has a certain expectation. Only when we are sure, only when we are at peace, can we work hard and create. So in this sense, “My hometown” is the boundary of one’s certainty. Within this boundary, people can know for sure that the house, those properties must be his at the next moment; the people around him have a good faith guarantee that they will never infringe his property rights. So “my hometown” is not necessarily the place where a person was born and grew up, but the place where the foundation of certainty must be provided. Such a place, even thousands of miles away, is also “my hometown”.

And even if the place where I was born and grew, if there is an organization that I employ and should have protected me, turning around the gun and aiming at its client, and squatting near my home, holding a chicken feather that “demolition of illegal building”, taking the opportunity of my ignore to destroy my home, which makes me uneasy, anxious and frightened, and like the residents of the Old Beijing Courtyard in the Water Great Wall to keep watch day and night. How can it be called “my hometown” ? How can those places, which have not been forcibly demolished but may be forcibly demolished, become “my hometown”? In all places covered by this legal system, because the administrative departments ignore the Constitution and laws, and will not be sanctioned, people can’t foresee what kind of policies they will make to violate the civil rights in the next step, and how can they be “my hometown”? If it is not the “my hometown” of native people, how can it become the “my hometown” of foreigners? Can further reform and opening up be a credible commitment if it is not the “my hometown” of Chinese or foreigners?

Maybe some administrative officials said that I know these reasons, but now it is the superior who has issued the order of forced demolition, and I have to implement it. Such evasion has long been criticized by Hannah Arendt. In her book “Against the Evil of Mediocrity”, she puts forward that this kind of attitude that one just executes the order and is not responsible for the wrong order or crime is a kind of “mediocre crime”. During the trial of Eichmann in Israel, the latter defended his transportation of the Murdered Jews. However, Arendt pointed out that it is precisely because of this attitude adopted by all the executors that a great crime is carried out when no one seems to be responsible for it. On the contrary, in a country with good public governance, or in a dynasty with good governance in China, there are local officials who regard Dao or the Constitution as the principle higher than the administrative order. In case of improper administrative order, they call for the order for the people and do not hesitate to resist wrong order. As the good officials of Han Dynasty who Yu Yingshi said, ” what he pursued is no longer the imperial decrees “, but the Confucian doctrine of benevolence. (Scholars and Chinese Culture, Shanghai People’s publishing house, P. 139) In the Qing Dynasty, honest officials Yu Chenglong, repeatedly protested orders to protect the interests of the people. Such as retrial and rescue of hundreds of people who have already been sentenced to death in Fujian; protested orders to reduce the labors for military; unauthorized opening of the Royal granary in Zhili to relieve the victims. Aren’t you as good as a good official in Han Dynasty or an honest official in Qing Dynasty?

Some officials also believe that forcibly dismantling and suppressing people’s rights can establish the authority of the government, which will make people more obedient and the government can order and forbid. This is due to the lack of basic political knowledge. Hannah Arendt divided power into two parts. One is authority, the other is violence. Authority is something that makes people follow the rules voluntarily. An important source of it is the consent of the people. And the most important thing is that it follows the justice of heaven. Violence is not authority, but the bottom line supplement of power in special circumstances (such as stopping illegal violence). When abusing power, it will inevitably violate people’s consent and justice, and it will  be enforced. This is actually the use of violence, not power. Arendt said power depends on numbers, violence does not. Here “number of people” refers to the number of people who agree and support. I have simply described power as “authority plus violence.”. But the more violence there is, the less authority there is, and the less power there is. Yu Yingshi said, “it is the common requirement of the Confucians in the Han Dynasty to replace” punishment and killing “with” enlightenment ” (P. 157) that is, to replace violence with authority as much as possible. Do you really want to hurt people by abusing public power to make you feel “great”?

If the readers agree with the above proof, the so-called “demolition of illegal building” has no basis of the Constitution and laws, or violates all the constitutions and laws, so “demolition of illegal building” is not the exercise of power by the administrative departments of the government, but only the implementation of violence. The fact that they are able to do so only shows that they have the ability to violate the Constitution and the law and to remain unpunished for the time being does not in any way indicate that what they are doing is legitimate. The reason why they have such ability is not that the power in their hands gives them such ability, but that they abuse the public power given them by the people. Even long after the demolition, the consequences of their actions will remain illegal. Just like a robber who steals something and hasn’t been found or recovered for the time being, doesn’t mean that what he steals is legal, and his behavior is also legal. This illegal state will be a permanent problem for all involved actors. All violations of the law, all crimes against the justice of heaven, will eventually be liquidated, sooner or later.

So, what should we do? It’s simply to follow the Constitution and the law. Someone said that I did not read the Constitution and the relevant laws. I said, it doesn’t matter. Just follow the common sense of life that your parents taught you when you were young. Don’t do anything against common sense. A person’s common sense tells you that you can’t kill a person for “no birth permit”. For township officials and village committees, your common sense will tell you that these so-called “illegal buildings” have brought benefits, jobs and markets to the village. To dismantle these “illegal buildings” is not only to damage the interests of the villagers, but also to damage the economic development and public welfare of the township. For example, the Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall not only built for Xitai village and Huanghuacheng village together, the villagers not only received hundreds of millions of house sales funds, but also received hundreds of thousands of yuan of property fees every year, and also provided a variety of jobs such as property management, maintenance, gardener, bricklayer, catering, etc. once demolished, they not only destroyed their homes of owners, but also villagers’ livelihood. From the perspective of legitimacy and economic rationality, isn’t it clear what township governments and village committees should do? “You have made contributions to the construction of a new socialist countryside in Xitai village,” said the honorary villager certificate issued by Xitai village to the owner of the Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall. It seems clear.

The history of world urban development tells us that there is a process of suburbanization in the process of economic development. That is, because of the increase of income and the convenience of transportation (such as private cars), people are willing to live in the suburbs. In recent years, the economic development of Beijing suburbs mainly depends on the suburbanization of urban population, that is, they either buy houses in the suburbs, or go to the suburbs on weekends to play, eat and sleep. Taking Changping District as an example, the proportion of its service industry increased from 48.3% in 2008 to 62% in 2016; in 2017, the added value of the service industry was 51.8 billion yuan, more than or even several times the total GDP of many northern counties. The secret is self-evident. It is close to Beijing and takes advantage of the time and the place. It depends on the demand for fresh air and beautiful environment of the people with higher income in the urban area of Beijing. The development strategy of Beijing suburb also targets these people. The GDP of more than 50 billion yuan in Changping District mainly comes from them. From the perspective of suburban counties in Beijing, if calculated according to the ratio of service industry in Changping District, the GDP of service industry is about 562.3 billion yuan, almost 20% of Beijing’s GDP. Among the so-called “demolition of illegal building” in Beijing, Xiangtang new village, Old Beijing Courtyard in Water Great Wall, resorts and other tourism facilities are the main targets. Isn’t this kind of “demolition of illegal building” self-defeating martial arts, or self-destroying the source of wealth? Is this the way to repay the “honorary villagers” who have made “contributions”?

From the perspective of Beijing as a whole, such “demolition of illegal building” does not have any benefit to Beijing’s economic development, so we must firmly resist “breaking violations”. In fact, from 2016, Beijing has shown an artificial anti-urbanization trend, and its population is gradually decreasing. And urbanization is the main form of economic miracles brought by China’s reform and opening up. Counter-urbanization means counter-marketization, which means artificially preventing economic growth. I once estimated in the book “The Livelihood of Ordinary People, The Foundation of Great Country” that the losses caused by the anti-urbanization of Beijing and Shanghai can reach 2.8 percentage points of the national GDP. This is an estimate of the loss of migrant populations. For the destruction of suburbanized communities and resorts under the name of “demolition of illegal building”, if only 1/100, considering the investment multiplier and currency multiplier, will further reduce GDP by about 46.8 billion yuan, accounting for 1.7% of Beijing’s GDP (2017). If we take into account the intimidating effect of this practice on other “small property rights” communities and the stopping effect on Beijing’s suburbanization, the losses can not be calculated. Judging from the national influence of Beijing, the large-scale “demolition” movement in Beijing will cause other cities to follow suit, and form a national trend of anti-urbanization, which will lead to a sluggish and possibly declining economy in China. This will only make matters worse.

In the end, we see that the central government has realized the danger of such “demolition of illegal building.” As early as 2010, the State Council’s “Emergency Notice of the General Office of the State Council on Further Strict Management of Land Acquisition and Demolition and Effectively Safeguarding the Legal Rights and Interests of the Masses” stipulated that “To those who carry out with brutal means such as water cuts, power outages, and traffic blockages, and ‘forcible demolition’ and ‘surprising demolition’ and other methods of compulsory demolition, we must strictly investigate the responsibilities of the responsible units and responsible persons. To those who cause casualties or severe property losses due to violent demolition and land requisition … we must severely punish these criminals according to law ” “For those who seriously use public security police to participate in compulsory land requisition and removal, which will cause serious consequences, the party and government leaders must be held seriously accountable.” In 2019, the State Council also emphasized that “it should not demolish illegal buildings with one-size-fits-all way.” However, it seemed that only the stairs rang and no one came down. I did not expect that the illegal “demolition” actions of local governments were even more unscrupulous. Why is that? I suggest that the central government immediately and vigorously stop the so-called “demolition of illegal building”, and adopt a thunderbolt meature on the local governments who demolish forcedly. One of the best ways is to remove a county party secretary who has the most “achievements” in “demolition of illegal building” and file a public prosecution for “grave violations of property rights”. This is certainly not an unjustified punishment for the county party secretary. Because as mentioned earlier, if he can really “demolish illegal building”, it means that he has ignored and violated the Constitution and related laws; if he has done so a lot, it means that he has repeatedly ignored and violated the Constitution and laws; removing him and bring up isn’t public prosecution the most basic response of a country ruled by law?

In Fivewoods Studio on March 12, 2020

Why do Unconstitutionally Administrative Actions Worsen the Epidemic? / Sheng Hong


Since the anti-epidemic, Wuhan and other city governments have taken compulsory measures such as closure or isolation. There is a specious view that these coercive measures are taken for granted, and the stronger the enforcement, the smaller the unit of blockade, and the more restrictions on citizens’ freedom, the better the effect will be. This involves the judgment of the nature of government administrative behavior and of other behaviors, such as market behavior and citizen autonomy behavior. Finally, it may come down to such a question: during the outbreak of infectious diseases, does administrative action have an overwhelming advantage, so that it can violate the provisions of the Constitution on civil rights, invade citizens’ borders of freedom, and deny market behavior and citizens’ autonomy; or conversely, such unconstitutional administrative action may also lead to the deterioration of the epidemic situation? To be more abstract, whether during the period of fighting against the epidemic of infectious diseases, do the basic rights of citizens stipulated in the constitution, including personal freedom, freedom of expression, property rights, housing rights, economic freedom rights and human dignity, have serious conflicts with the anti-epidemic, so that they can be excessively compressed without due process of law? Let’s take a look at Wuhan’s performance first.

Figure 1  Number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus pneumonia in WuhanUnconstitutionalData source: Wuhan Health Committee.

Note: we know that this data is affected by various factors, such as concealment, omission, delay of diagnosis, mistake of cause of death as other diseases, and government replacement factors, which can not accurately reflect the real-time dynamics, but we still assume that these factors are systematically affected, so that we can compare and relatively judge.

The figure above shows the number of additional confirmed cases in Wuhan before and after the closure of the city. What can this tell? Although we know that the number of confirmed cases in Wuhan is artificially lowered, we still regard it as a relative indicator of the number of people infected. The median latency of novel coronavirus pneumonia is 4 days, according to Zhong Nanshan’s team. (W. Guan et al., Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China, the New England Journal of Medicine, February 28, 2020). This means that on average, people who show symptoms 4 days after the closure of Wuhan are infected after the closure. If we think that there is a correlation between the number of confirmed cases and the number of infected people, and assume that the time of diagnosis is about two days after the incubation period, we can start to observe the trend of confirmed cases from January 29, so as to judge whether there is a reduction of infection after the closure of Wuhan. As can be seen from the above figure, since January 29, the number of newly diagnosed patients has increased all the way. By February 12, due to the change of leadership in Wuhan, the number of additional confirmed cases jumped to 13436 which was obviously released of the number of cases suppressed and concealed by the former, rather than the natural trend. We can count the number of additional confirmed cases within the six days after the leadership change, that is, until February 18, as the result of the preventive measures taken by the last party and government leaders of Wuhan.

In order to iron out the fluctuations caused by various factors, let’s take a look at the average. We found that the daily average number of people who were infected before the closure of the city and were hospitalized and diagnosed after symptoms (January 21-28, later referred to as “the first stage”) was 206. The daily average number of people who were infected after the closure of the city and were hospitalized and diagnosed after symptoms (January 29-February 18, later referred to as “the second stage”) was 2002. After that, the daily average number of people who had been hospitalized and diagnosed after infected (February 19 to March 4, known as the “third stage”) was 329. The second stage is almost 10 times of the first stage. Since we moved the calculation time of the second stage from the time of closure to 6 days later, the significant increase in the number of confirmed cases cannot be unrelated to the actions of Wuhan municipal government after closure. Since we know that the number of people infected is far greater than the number of people diagnosed, now we can assume that 10 times of the latter, we can think that in this stage, the measures of Wuhan government worsened the epidemic situation.

Figure 2 Average number of additional confirmed cases of novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan in the three phasesUnconstitutional2Note: Calculating according to the data of Wuhan Health Committee.

Generally speaking, the constitution is a social contract. This is a set of principles and institutional framework for the public to effectively handle their public affairs. Its core content is that in order to effectively protect the above-mentioned basic rights of the public, a public institution needs to be established. They authorize this institution to provide concret public goods, agree to pay a certain proportion of their own income for public goods, and authorize it to take legal violence when necessary. In order to ensure that this public institution does not deviate from their original intention, they declared their basic rights in the contract, and stipulated that the sole purpose of the public institution established is to protect these basic rights, as well as the principles and systems for supervising and restricting this institution, including the aforementioned “freedom of expression” (Article 35 of the Constitution), as well as  the right to criticize and impeach the government institutions and of officials (Article 41), the National People’s Congress shall be subject to the supervision of the people (Article 3), which has the duty of “supervising the implementation of the constitution” (Article 62), establish a supervisory organ (article 123), “the supervisory committee independently exercises the supervisory power in accordance with the law” (Article 127), and carry out “constitutional review”, etc. The staff in the public institutions must strictly abide by and implement this social contract. If they violate the Constitution and the constitutional rights of citizens, they will have no legal power to work in the public institutions.

In a word, this constitutional framework is to ensure that the interests of citizens can be effectively protected by this public institution, and to prevent this public institution from transforming into an organization for the private interests of those in power. A clear and simple sign is whether the public institution is in the right place it should be. In short, a society consists of three parts: one is the field of citizens, the other is the market, and the other is the public institutions. Generally speaking, the public institutions are only used to deal with public affairs, while private affairs are handled by the market and the citizens. If the public institution intrudes into the market or the citizen’s field improperly, it will bring the infringement of rights and the loss of efficiency. The principle of constitution is a summary of the experience of the rise and fall of human history. In mainland China, it also includes the painful lesson of Cultural Revolution. This is still correct and effective in the special period of the outbreak, the only difference is the specific form. For example, when the demand for a certain commodity suddenly increases, the public institutions can use the public reserve resources to stabilize the price, or limit the purchase quantity of each person; when there is a lack of resources in the field of citizens’ self-help, the public institutions can help, and so on. In very rare cases, such as places or individuals with a high risk of infection, compulsory measures may be taken after due process of law. If governments do not act in their own field or invade the market and citizen field improperly, it may lead to the result of worsening the epidemic situation.

What a theoretical government should do under such an epidemic of novel coronavirus pneumonia, there are four main points. The first is to provide real public information in a timely manner; the second is to ensure the safety of medical personnel and the adequate supply of hospital materials; the third is to establish isolation areas in a timely manner; the fourth is to help vulnerable groups. There have been a lot of reports on whether Wuhan municipal government has achieved these points. I believe that there is fair judgement, and I will not discuss it here for the moment. What we should focus on is that many people believe that the excessive coercive actions of Wuhan municipal government after the closure of the city are necessary to prevent the spread of the virus. Zhou Xianwang, mayor of Wuhan, said in a flattering interview with the state media that they did even ” a harder policy”. However, we all know that “overdoing is as if less-doing”. Moreover, the so-called “hard” is often related to the violation of civil rights. As mentioned earlier, citizens’ constitutional rights are general principles that summarize historical experience and lessons. It can not bring good results as long as the constitutional rights are easily violated in the period of epidemic prevention. In fact, the government’s unconstitutionally administrative actions will damage the interests of citizens and their lives in two aspects. First, the administrative act is a single goal, and it will damage the comprehensive interests of citizens beyond the single goal if it is enforced forcefully; second, even within the scope of achieving the single goal, the administrative act does not consider the relationship between the single goal and the cost, and may even lose more than it gains. In the end, it may increase the loss of people’s health, life and property.

Why is that? First of all, we should make clear the differences between administrative behavior and market behavior or voluntary behavior of citizens, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of their characteristics during the epidemic prevention period. We know that infectious diseases are spread by close contact between people. This involves population density, repeated contact times and contact intensity. In my article “both epidemic prevention and trade”, I pointed out that the so-called “population density” in turn is the average distance between people. The higher the population density is, the closer the distance between people is, the more likely it is to be infected. More attention should be paid to the “dynamic population density”, that is, people gather to hold various activities, that is, the population density is increased dynamically, so it is easier to spread the virus. The so-called “repeated contact times” are the times of repeated contact between people. The more repeated contact times, the more easily infected. In particular, the fixed repeated contact with others, which is called “continuous repeated contact”, the probability of infection is higher. The so-called “contact intensity” refers to the degree of contact between people. Whether it’s passing by, face-to-face conversation, handshake and greetings, or strongly scuffling, the chances of infection are different.

According to the above criteria, administrative behavior is more likely to cause virus infection than market behavior or citizen autonomy behavior. First of all, we can see the characteristics of the administrative system itself. It’s a system that operates on the aggregation of people. The most important form of administrative system is meeting, which requires people to gather together. In the administrative system, the relationship between people is fixed. The superiors and subordinates, colleagues, collaborators among units, etc. often meet or meet with each other. The contact frequency is very high, and it is a continuous repeated contact. Again, when the administrative system takes coercive measures against the citizens, they often have physical contact, or even strong wrestling, which brings the risk of virus infection. Moreover, the aggregation of administrative organs includes the aggregation between the superior and the subordinate, including the aggregation between various units, as well as the aggregation between people in different regions. This in turn forms a network channel of virus spread, which will lead to virus transmission across units, regions and levels.

In the market, people don’t have to gather. They choose what they want and pay to leave. Of course, if it is online shopping, there is no need to contact with others. Because there is no fixed time to go to the supermarket to buy, and there is no meeting with specific people for many times, people are “random encounter”, so even if there is some crowding sometimes, there is no “continuous close contact”. There are often gatherings among citizens, but they are not necessary. Most of them will stop automatically during the epidemic prevention. Because both market behavior and citizen autonomy behavior are voluntary, there is no case of high contact intensity. A typical example of the comparison between administrative behavior and market behavior is that when a person wants to go to the county town to buy medicine for his wife, he must get a certificate in the village, and is approved by the mayor of the town, and go through 24 checkpoints along the way (an Qingming, February 29, 2020). This increased people to people close contact for 26 times without reason. If there is no such administrative behavior, he only needs to go to the county directly to buy medicine, and only has one close contact with others when he buys medicine, while he will only flash past others on his motorcycle, and there is basically no possibility of infection. Which is more infectious, isn’t it clear at a glance?

Therefore, only from the characteristics of the administrative system itself, it is not an appropriate form we should rely on for support during the epidemic prevention. Because of the great risks in this form, it should be used only when other means have been exhausted and “have to”, rather than more administrative means during the epidemic prevention period, as some specious views suggest. At this time, the technical requirements for epidemic prevention are highly consistent with the principles of the constitution, that is, the constitution forbids administrative departments to cross their own borders and invade the market and citizen fields, while the technical requirements cannot allow more infectious organizations to intervene in epidemic prevention too much. This is not only not conducive to epidemic prevention, but also to the risk of administrative staff being infected. Therefore, when we see that the number of people infected after the closure of Wuhan city is disproportionately higher than the number of people infected before the closure of Wuhan City, we will have doubts about the actions of Wuhan government after the closure of the city, that is, it improperly took administrative actions across the border, resulting in infection of people who should not have been infected with the virus. Our basic criterion is whether the behavior of Wuhan government has artificially increased people’s gathering, whether it has increased the continuous repeated contact between people, and whether it has increased the intensity of contact between people.

According to the above standards, the first mistake of Wuhan government is that it still violates citizens’ right of free expression after the closure of the city, especially in the field of network, which leads to the aggregation of people with high probability of carrying virus that should not have occurred. In fact, in the years before the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, the mobile network technology has been quite developed, but the Wuhan government generally regards the mobile Internet as an “enemy” and looks for “enemy situation” in the information; completely abandons the platform that uses the Internet as the source of epidemic information, communicates and corrects the wrong information. Therefore, a large number of suspected patients can not register through the network, nor rely on the real-time rolling public queuing by the network, but only to the hospital site queuing. The hospital is a place where patients are concentrated, with the highest concentration of virus. Queuing is a form of high-density agglomeration, with a population density of about 1 million people / km2. Assuming that 20% of them have been infected, and that the probability of a random person on the street carrying the virus is only 1 ‰, the probability of patients and their families being infected will be 200 times that on the street. SIEM simulation shows that within ten days after January 23, patients and their families who can’t register online and queue up in 28 designated hospitals will increase about 1100 infected people more than online registration on average every day, and about 11000 infected people will increase in ten days. According to the case fatality rate of 0.46%, more than 50 lives were destroyed.

Figure 3  A demonstration of the increase of the number of infected people caused by the queuing of designated hospitals in WuhanUnconstitutional3Note: the data in this figure is generated by SIEM simulation. The height of  third dimension in the figure represents the number of infected people, and the high columns represents that the number of infected people caused by queuing in designated hospitals is significantly higher than that in other areas.

While eliminating Internet information, Wuhan government has adopted the lowest level screening, reporting and information concentration methods. The Internet is a flat system, from ordinary residents to the municipal government and even the central government, there is only one level, and the technology is extremely fast. However, the collection of information from the grass-roots level by the administrative departments of the government involves multiple levels, such as “grid”, sub district offices, districts, cities, provinces and the central government. Even at the municipal level, there are four levels. And the means are also very primary. It is necessary to fill in paper forms. It is also possible for many government departments to fill in different forms. The most basic form needs to be filled in in house, which brings about the risk of infection. This process will also result in information distortion due to too many levels, even due to the negligence or selfishness of administrative personnel at all levels. On the other hand, their information is highly opaque, and people don’t know whether the information they tell the government can help them improve their situation. Some people have committed suicide in despair because they can’t wait for the information of diagnosis and treatment arrangement for a long time (, February 17, 2020). A father ran away from home for fear of infecting his family while waiting (Jingchu vision, February 25, 2020). A daughter striked a gong on the balcony for her mother’s having no rescue for a long time (Xiaohui, February 9, 2020).

The second mistake is that under the name of city closure and isolation, Wuhan government excessively restricted citizens’ personal freedom. One of the most inappropriate and most serious consequences is the prohibition of private cars. The freedom of the person stipulated in the constitution, even during the anti-epidemic period, can be restricted only when sufficient reasons are put forward and due process of law is carried out. Wuhan’s Jan. 26 announcement of restrictions on private vehicles was only issued by Wuhan novel coronavirus pneumonia prevention and control headquarter. Later, on February 20, Wuhan traffic administration officially issued a so-called “no all vehicles” regulation. Today, private cars become the basic means of transportation, limiting the use of private cars is a kind of restriction on personal freedom. As I said in “We need transactions while the epidemic prevention”, private cars are the best “dynamic isolation facilities”. Without a private car, it increases the chance of infection.

First of all, more than 50000 medical staff are unable to drive to the hospital by themselves. Although there are volunteer groups in Wuhan to pick them up, there is a greater risk of infection. Medical staff themselves have a high risk of infection. If they are picked up and transported by relatively regular volunteers every day, they will cause more infection than driving a private car. A volunteer named He Bin died of illness in the process of transferring medical staff (Huang Jijie et al., February 4, 2020). Tens of thousands of patients also rely on 120 or volunteer cars to go to the hospital, increasing the contact between patients and other people. Patients or walk to the hospital themselves, which increases their risk of infection along the way, and the hard journey worsens the condition. Novel coronavirus pneumonia patients were diagnosed as 1102 in Wuhan (Jiedi, February 15, 2020), divided by the total number of medical staff in the city of Wuhan,58000, they were infected 17 times as many as the general public. We have previously assumed that 20% of the patients who visited the hospital were novel coronavirus pneumonia patients. If the volunteers pick the medical staff up to 50 thousand times, the patients  20 thousand times a day, with some precautions, the infection rate will be reduced to 1 / 10 of the original, and more than 200 infected people will be increased every day.

The third mistake is to block residential areas and restrict residents’ travel. In this way, security personnel must continue to stand at the gate of the community to check the residents in and out. If the probability of any person in Wuhan carrying the virus is 1 ‰, those who check in and out of the gate of the community will repeatedly contact with others for a long time, and the probability of infection will be 100 times higher than that of ordinary people. Once they are infected, they will infect all the people in and out of the community. Suppose that there are 7000 communities in Wuhan, with an average of 1000 people in each community. The residents in and out of the communities need to be checked. The probability of infection of the checked people is 100 times higher than that of other people, and the residents in these districts will also bear 100 times the risk of infection that the districts are not blocked. Assuming that there are 100 people in and out of each community every day, 700 inspectors or residents in Wuhan may be infected. If the blockade of these communities is cancelled and the residents enter and leave freely, they may also be infected, but the probability is much lower. If they don’t mind associating with others, assuming that each of them has contacted with 10 other people, seven people in Wuhan may also be infected. If they are careful, wear masks and keep a distance with others, there may not be one person infected.

Because of communities blocked, private cars banned, the information of the government administrative system is not open and opaque, a large number of new crown pneumonia patients can not get timely treatment. In a long time, there is no isolation area to go, or no cars to go, so that they can only wait at home, and infect their families at the same time. The probability of family infection is almost 100%, resulting in many cases of home infection or even death. Liu fan, a nurse, was infected with the virus because she had no protective clothing at the initial stage and passed it on to her parents and brother Chang Kai. Without medical treatment and isolation, her family died (Mr. Your Middle-class, February 17, 2020; Jiedi, February 15, 2020).A doctor said that an elderly woman hospitalized was numbed to the message of her husband’s death by novel coronavirus pneumonia. No one else had given her milk because of quarantining of the members of her family. (World Wide Web, February 12, 2020). When information is suppressed, there may be many unreported cases of family infection and death. This kind of “family infection” caused by unconstitutionally administrative behavior is an important form of increased contagion after the closure of Wuhan. However, death at home may not be counted as novel coronavirus pneumonia death data.

The fourth mistake is to use administrative means to restrict the normal life of residential areas and force the residents’ self-help activities to gather more. In the case of blockading the community, restricting personal purchase and no private cars, citizens of each community in Wuhan spontaneously organized to help themselves. They help each other buy food, share masks and medicines, encourage each other, and so on. Because of group buying, residents have to have more direct contact, but it is much better than administrative behavior. “Wuhan sister-in-law scolds” shows that in the early days, the residents of the community were always organized by the owners’ committee to buy masks, alcohol and carry out disinfection for the community, and the cadres at the basic level of the government did nothing at all. The owner’s Committee communicated with the grass-roots organizations of the government “countless times” without any reply; however, after the request of the provincial and municipal governments, the grass-roots organizations received “ready-made team” and tried to take the previous residents’ self-help as its own credit. And once doing, it takes the administrative department’s unique cumbersome procedures, let the residents fill in the form. Residents are restricted from buying food and daily necessities, but they let the nearby supermarkets’ selling them bundled. As a result, a large number of commodities the residents don’t need are distributed to them, and the price is on the high side (Sina video, February 23, 2020). What’s important is that this video has become popular all over the country because what she scolds is a common phenomenon. But at the same time, the grass-roots organizations of the government forced the residents to buy or contact with them, resulting a higher risk of infection.

The fifth mistake is to order the police and epidemic control personnel to overuse the coercive force. It’s not only overuse, but also misuse. We found that at least three citizen journalists had been forcibly arrested by the police and there was no news of their whereabouts. Many residents will soon be “admonished” by the police when they release information about seeking help or complain about not being treated or not satisfied with the treatment. These are obviously unconstitutionally administrative acts. There should also be some administrative acts of forced isolation, but generally speaking, the vast majority of people are willing to seek medical treatment or isolation, so the situation of forced isolation should be rare. And the excessive compulsory behavior is to add a word “Stronger” on the basis of artificially increasing people’s close contact. In general, at check points people can keep a distance of one or two meters. If the time is not long and the infection is caused by droplets or aerosols, the generation of droplets or aerosols is also necessary. The compulsion must lead to close contact or even strong scuffle between people. If the parties carry the virus, they will directly contact the infection. The probability is obviously higher than that of general close contact. It is reported that 404 police and auxiliary police in Hubei Province have been infected (China news network, February 26, 2020), accounting for about 4 ‰ of the total number, which is 271% higher than that of 1.1 ‰ calculated by the official number of confirmed and suspected cases in Hubei Province, apparently due to their excessive use of coercive means.

Sixth, in order to achieve the sole target of confront novel coronavirus pneumonia, the executive authorities can underestimate the treatment of other diseases and squeeze their medical resources. It should be emphasized that so-called epidemic situation means not only about novel coronavirus pneumonia but also about all diseases during this period. But executive officials who are only responsible for a single goal will not consider it that way. It has been reported that some diabetic patients cannot go to the hospital for dialysis as usual because of the normal medical resources’ being occupied; some uremic patients have died because they cannot continue dialysis. As private cars are banned, it is difficult for patients to find medical resources in a wider range (Li Shaoting et al., February 18, 2020). There are also reports that Wuhan Guangfa cancer hospital was temporarily expropriated, and cancer patients were forced to leave hospital, unable to continue hospital treatment and died (China News Weekly, February 15, 2020). This is obviously an important drawback of administrative behavior. It only cares about the orders issued by the superior government, regardless of whether the legitimate rights of the people are violated and their comprehensive interests. However, the death caused by diabetes or cancer is not “lower” than those by novel coronavirus pneumonia. The death of novel coronavirus pneumonia displaced by the death of other diseases is also a worsening of the epidemic.

Seventh, due to the lack of effective restrictions on the administrative departments of the government, there are also administrative officials who have given priority to the use of intercepted and donated materials in this epidemic, or who make their own profits under the banner of epidemic prevention and relief. Chang Kai lamented before his death that he was unable to be rescued because of his “humble position and light words”. This phenomenon of queuing according to powers has been confirmed by the disclosure of a doctor. A video shows that the owner of a small community in Wuhan bought a cart of vegetables, and Wuhan city management took them away in broad daylight. In another video, a government official claiming to have “documents” took a large bag of masks from a medical store. These are just a few examples of being disclosed, and no news of being stopped and punished by the government has been heard. A woman in Ezhou shows off on the Internet that her police husband gets four boxes of fruit a day (Tencent video, February 22, 2020), while no ordinary residents in Ezhou get any of these donations from Guizhou. Although the leaders, such as the head of the police station concerned, were punished, it was clear that this practice of giving priority to the distribution of materials donated by other provinces within the administrative system was not decided by these grass-roots officials. As a part of Hubei Province, Wuhan’s practice should be a systematic one, which obviously undermines the fairness and effectiveness of the distribution of donated materials during the period of epidemic prevention.

To sum up, the large increase in the number of people infected in Wuhan after the closure of the city is due to unconstitutionally administrative actions. This seemingly reasonable behavior in the context of epidemic prevention is actually counterproductive. It also proves that it is politically correct at all times to abide by the Constitution and protect the constitutional rights of the people, and that it will not be incorrect because of epidemic prevention. Violation of the Constitution not only worsens the epidemic situation, but also worsens the comprehensive living conditions of the people. This can be enhanced by comparing with other models. For example, prison mode. People will joke that prison is the safest now. This means that the prison is completely closed. The prisoners temporarily lose the right of freedom of citizens and cannot enter or leave freely. The measures of closure are all the way to the room. However, There was  a news recently that 806 prisoners in Wuhan prison are diagnosed with novel coronavirus pneumonia. According to the national average rate of 1.2 ‰, the number of prisoners in Wuhan prison is estimated to be about 13500, and the number of prisoners with novel coronavirus pneumonia accounts for about 6%. The proportion of the average confirmed population of novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan is 0.45%, prisoners with novel coronavirus pneumonia is 13 times the average in Wuhan. It is precisely because prisoners are not free at all, many prisoners are crowded in one room, information is controlled, prisoners have no awareness of epidemic prevention, group meals, etc., coupled with the bullying of prison guards, it is more difficult to avoid infection between people.

Another model is the national non Hubei model. Although there are many unconstitutionally administrative acts in non-Hubei areas, but the difference between this model and the Wuhan model is quite obvious. The first is that there is basically no ban on private cars like Wuhan. The second is that due to the small number of infected people, there is no large-scale queue to hospital for cross infection like Wuhan. The third is that the vast majority of non-Hubei areas do not have closed residential areas, and residents can come out and buy vegetables. Generally speaking, the unconstitutionally administrative behavior is relatively less and less intense, so it is not as large-scale infection as Wuhan caused after the closure and isolation. In order to eliminate the big difference of absolute number, we still compare the additional diagnosed cases of non-Hubei areas in China in three stages. We take the index of the average diagnosis figures of Wuhan and non-Hubei areas in the first stage as 100 respectively, and in the second stage, the average diagnosis index of Wuhan is 972, while that of non-Hubei areas in China is 160. This difference is very significant. It strongly shows that it is the unconstitutionally administrative behavior of Wuhan government after the closure of the city that forced people to have more close contact, and continuous close contact. In the name of epidemic prevention, it intensified the transmission of the virus. This kind of infection can be called “administrative infection”.

Figure 4  Comparison of the three-stage average additional diagnosed  population index between Wuhan and the whole country (non-Hubei)Unconstitutional4Note: calculated according to the data of national health and Health Commission and Wuhan health and Health Commission.

In the third stage, although the index of additional diagnosed patients in Wuhan is significantly lower than that in the second stage, this is because at this time, various temporary hospitals have been built, with the support of more than 30000 medical staff all over the country, the shortage of medical resources has been alleviated, isolation areas have been set up, and the situation of queuing up in hospitals and being unable to be isolated at home has also been greatly reduced, so the absolute number A significant decline. But in contrast, the number of confirmed cases and the relative index in non-Hubei areas decreased faster (see Figure 5). If the index of Wuhan in the third stage is compared with that of non-Hubei, the gap is larger than that in the second stage. The ratio of index of additional diagnosed population between Wuhan and non-Hubei increased from 599% in the second stage to 1429% in the third stage. This shows that Wuhan further restricts citizens’ freedom in the third stage. In February 15th, the ban on residents from the residential areas (Xu Jinbo, February 15, 2020) did not bring better results; instead, it worsened the quality of life of residents and reduced the free space, and increased the conflict between residents and the control and control personnel (the official account of the Yangtze River daily, February 20, 2020), or even the loss of life. (February 15th) In addition, the probability of infection of the given number of people is increased when the number of people traveling is greatly reduced.

Figure 5 Comparison of additional diagnosed population index in the second and third stages between Wuhan and non-Hubei areasUnconstitutional5

Why does Wuhan government take such measures? This has something to do with the structure of our government and whether officials follow the constitution. As mentioned earlier, the government is used to abide by and implement the constitution, which is to protect citizens’ constitutional rights. However, in recent years, China’s Officialdom seems to go to the opposite direction, that is, officials believe that they can only obey their superiors. This, of course, has to do with the fact that they are not bound by the people. And their superiors often only see whether they are obedient or not, and do not give them discretionary space based on the principles of the constitution. As time goes by, although the officials still swear to the Constitution on the day of constitution, they have become people who do not use their brains and only know how to execute the orders of their superiors, or try to make their superiors think they have executed the orders. Therefore, the typical practice of administrative officials is, first, to do nothing in the name of “no instructions from superiors”; second, as a form of “showing loyalty”, to resolutely implement or even “add code to implement” the instructions from superiors; third, involving their own vital interests, they can violate in private, but at the same time, eliminate all possible leaked information, so as to blind the public, especially the superiors. Therefore, in terms of the authenticity of information, there are cat and mouse games between superiors and subordinates.

In fact, anyone who lies also wants to hear the truth. An official does not want his subordinates to tell him false information, but wants to gain benefits for himself by manipulating information. This is cheating the public and the superiors. But it’s impossible. His deception will certainly set an example for his subordinates. They also want their subordinates to tell the truth, while he tells the lie himself. Thus, a kind of official culture of not telling the truth is formed. The superiors are also aware of this drawback, so they often take extreme forms of orders, such as “dead order”, “zero tolerance”, “zero clearing”, which are not so much of technical significance, but rather to use intimidation to stop lies. In the second day of February 20th, after the three days  of the “clear to zero” investigation on novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan , the woman who had been released from prison and had been infected with the disease went away from Wuhan to return to Beijing. This is a great irony to the so-called “dead order” and also the tip of the iceberg. Wang Zhonglin, the new secretary of Wuhan municipal Party committee, lamented, “we have spent so much manpower and material resources that we can’t find out all of them, and reporters can find more than 1000 patients by secretly visiting.” This is not only because of the residents’ distrust and antipathy to the government caused by the suppression of online rescue and the indefinite waiting time of community application for treatment, but also because of the game of lying and anti lying among all levels of the government. In the end, it’s hard for such a government system to distinguish the true and the false of its own information.

History will prove how wrong Wuhan government made this time. If we want to stop making the same mistakes, we need to change the government structure and official culture, and we need to put the position of officials on the basis of the constitution. Only in this way can officials remove the dust that covers conscience and wisdom. When they think about epidemic prevention, they must think under the premise of protecting citizens’ constitutional rights. They will not pay attention to the immediate concerns of their superiors only in order to deal with them; they will consider the urgent affairs of citizens’ epidemic prevention and their comprehensive interests at the same time; they will understand the concepts of index, population density and probability, and may not be without distinction between infection and no infection, or how high the possibility. They will try their best to make them play a role where the market and civil autonomy can play a role, and when they have to use administrative means, they will give priority to the means of publishing information, reminding, warning and persuasion, and only take compulsory means when they really have to; they will also finally be clear that taking unconstitutionally administrative acts will not only harm citizens And hurt their own interests and even themselves lives. Confucius said, “Fools prefer self-willed, lowly persons prefer arbitrary.” The truly intelligent person is the one who makes good use of others’ intelligence. Wuhan government will find that Wuhan, a place where universities gather, is an inexhaustible source of making up for their lack of decision-making wisdom. Of course, the highest wisdom is the heavenly way, secular, we call it “Constitutional principles”.




《中国新闻网》,“湖北404名警务人员感染新冠肺炎 4名在职警察身故”,2020年2月26日。








腾讯视频,“女子炫耀老公‘派出所的可牛了’后 湖北鄂州两官员被免职并立案”,2020年2月22日。


徐金波,“武汉居民出入小区实施更严格管控 最大限度减少流动”,《中新网》,2020年2月15日。


March 5, 2020 in Fivewoods Studio

[Spatial Economics] Simulation of the Effect of Holding the Ten-Thousand-Family Banquet in Baibuting Community of Wuhan on Virus Infection / Sheng Hong


In the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak, Baibuting community held a ten thousand household banquet on January 18, there are more than 40000 families gathering together joyfully. (Guangming Daily Website, “Baibuting community of Wuhan: Residents cooked 10000 family banquets to cheer up for a better life”, January 19, 2020), a total of about more than 130 thousand people participated in the banquet. This is a great social activity under the situation that the nature of human to human transmission of novel coronavirus pneumonia is already very obvious, and some people have proposed to abolish the activity, but the local government insisted to hold it.

On February 9, online there was a person claimed to be “the resident of Baibuting garden Baibuyating” for help, saying that “in order to cover up the fact that many people in Baibuting are infected with the virus, Baibuting only gives one place for nucleic acid detection in a grid every day” to reduce the number of infected people.

Soon on February 13, Wuhan Internet and information office issued a “rumor refutation”, saying that “no one has been confirmed or suspected cases of NCP among the people who attended the banquet.” At the same time, it said, by February 8, “87 cases confirmed and 113 cases suspected”. After Dr. Li Wenliang was falsely accused of “rumor maker”, we know who, the official of Wuhan or the resident of Baibuting, is more credible. It is worth noting that it is obviously an untrue word to say that “no one who participated in the banquet has been diagnosed”. If it was true, this abnormal phenomenon seems to need the explanation of the banquet organizers: what’s the panacea on the banquet which could avoid the infection of the new coronavirus. Officials say 87 cases were confirmed on February 8, apparently a cunning trick to delay the diagnosis and keep the cases number down.

Until now, we are shocked that in the mobile phone version of the epidemic area map, most provinces and cities have real-time information publicity specific to communities, only Wuhan, the center of the outbreak, has not, and   in Hubei Province, only Huangshi has the epidemic information of communities. From the point of view that Wuhan municipal government has never apologized for its insistence on holding ten thousand banquets, it also wants to cover up its own mistakes and continue to insist on the mistakes by suppressing the information disclosure of epidemic situation in all communities in Wuhan, including Baibuting community.

It seems that the former leaders of Wuhan municipal government have become obsessed with the wrong idea of suppressing information dissemination. They really think that if they continue to suppress Baibuting’s information, they can cover up his mistakes. The virus will not stop spreading because of illegal deletion or shut WeChat accounts down by government officials. As long as there is close contact between people, it will spread. People outside Baibuting will also make an estimate of the spread of the virus at a banquet and its subsequent impact according to the spread rule.

As for Baibuting, I mentioned in the article “We need transactions while  epidemic prevention”, holding a banquet of ten thousand families makes the number or possibility of infection 2-4 times that of not holding. Now we use the “ten dimensional perspective spatial economics and institutional economics planning model” (SIEM) to make a more detailed simulation of the situation of the ten-thousand-family banquet. Baibuting covers an area of about three square kilometers, with a population of about 130000 and a population density of about 42000 people / square kilometers. We assume that the banquets are held in a 30 hectare area. At this time, the dynamic population density is about 430000 people / km2, and the average distance between people is about 1.5m. The assumed infection rate is 1.19. After the closure of Wuhan, the probability of transaction decreased to 1% of the original, and the transaction cost increased by 36% of the average price.

Figure 1 Comparison between the number or possibility of infection in Baibuting community and the surrounding areas百步亭3.jpgNote: the part of the picture that is significantly higher than the surrounding area is the number or possibility of infection when Baibuting held the banquet of ten thousand families.

The results are as follows.

I. A simulation of the banquet of the ten thousand families held in Baibuting on January 18, 2020

Simulation shows that the number of people or possibility of the novel coronavirus pneumonia infection in the banquet will be 340% as much as if the banquet did not hold. If the number of people infected is 25 when the banquet is not held, it will increase to 85 after holding. See below.

Figure 2 Comparison of the number of infected people when hold or did not hold ten thousand families banquet on January 18, 2020Baibuting

II. A comparative simulation of the number of people infected by Baibuting before the closure of Wuhan on January 22, 2020 and the number of people infected without holding ten-thousand-family banquet

From January 19 to January 22, before the closure of the city, the residents who had participated in ten-thousand-family banquet returned to their homes for normal life, but the infected people who had increased ten-thousand-family banquet would also “normally” infect other people, making the number of infected people in Baibuting community higher than that when no ten-thousand-family banquet were held. However, because there is no longer the dynamic population density as high as that in banquet, the infection intensity is lower than that of banquet.

Figure 3 Comparison of the number of infected people when held or did not hold ten-thousand-family banquet on January 22, 2020Baibuting2

According to the simulation, by January 22, 2020, the number of infected people in Baibuting community that had hosted ten thousand banquets was 270% of those who did not. That is, if there is no ten thousand banquets, the number of people infected at this time is 60, and the number of people infected after the holding is 163.

III. Simulation of the number of people infected between January 23, 2020 and February 16, 2020

After the closure of Wuhan City, the growth of the number of infected people slowed down significantly compared with that of the city without closure. However, the growth of the number of infected people in Baibuting community still cannot eliminate the situation that the number of infected people increased several times due to the holding the ten-thousand-family banquet.

Figure 4  Comparison of the number of infected people who have held or have not held the ten-thousand-family banquet on February 16, 2020Baibuting3

Simulation shows that after the closure of Wuhan City, although the rate of spread of new coronavirus to slow down, the number of people infected in Baibuting community which has held ten-thousand-family banquet is still 270% of the number of people infected if the banquet have not held. If there were 470 people infected after February 16, the number of people infected in Baibuting increased to 1269 after holding ten-thousand-family banquet.

The infection of novel coronavirus pneumonia is exponential growth. Although Baibuting community held a ten-thousand-family banquet only for one day on January 18, 2020, it changed the initial value of Baibuting community on this day, which is equivalent to 340% of the ten thousand family banquet not held on this day. Although the residents scattered back to their homes after ten-thousand family banquet, the change of the initial value of January 18 caused by ten-thousand-family banquet continued to affect the number of infected people in Baibuting community in the future, making the number of infected people 170% more than that without ten-thousand-family banquet.

For Wuhan municipal government’s wrong behavior of persisting in holding this activity on the premise of knowing the epidemic information, and continuing to suppress the disclosure of Baibuting’s epidemic information in the afterward to cover up its previous wrong behavior, of course, it should be liquidated; but more importantly, we should learn general lessons from it, resolutely implement Article 35 of the constitution, and analyze the ten-thousand-family banquet of in Baibuting under the condition of sufficient information, so as to make it clear to people that, in the case that the nature of “human to human” transmission has been basically clear, it is absolutely prohibited to continue to organize and carry out the extremely wrong nature of the behavior that leads to a high concentration of people.

This model is based on poor data conditions, and the conclusion is only a general judgment, which cannot be accurate to the specific number of people. However, the basic conclusion of this simulation should be undoubted, that is to say, holding large-scale gathering activities during the outbreak will certainly aggravate the infection of the virus, and the probability of “no one was diagnosed” is almost zero.

Lies can be exposed by the truth, sometimes by logic and models.

(In Fivewoods Studio on February 17, 2020)

Visit to Musium of Han Picture Stone / Sheng Hong

Blood sweat horses reduced a half of people,
Then the Emperor Wu of Han in Luntai apologized ;
Until now cherishing good governance of the Wen-Jing period,
Not dare to impose tax over one thirtyth on people.

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Note: English is not my mother language. As a practice, this poem is translated from my poem in Chinese: 观览汉画像石艺术馆。 I hope the experts who master both English and Chinese to offer me some suggestions.

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September 9, 2019

[ Spatial Economics] We need Transactions while Epidemic Prevention / Sheng Hong

It looks that many countries face the same dilemma, epidemic prevention or transactions, the latter is the main way to earn livehood. What I emphasize is that we should prevent the novel coronavirus while maintain the transactions through no-face-to-face transations or non-contact transations. 


We need Transactions while Epidemic Prevention

——Analysis and suggestion of simulating virus infection and transaction restriction based on spatial economics model

Sheng Hong

In fact, the debate about “closing the city” reflects the dilemma faced by human beings. The development of human civilization depends on what Smith called “division of labor”, and the premise of division of labor is “transaction”. Without transaction, division of labor cannot be realized and deepened. On the other hand, the reason why infectious diseases can spread rapidly among people also depends on the interaction between people. In a broad sense, both of the two kinds of actions are transaction, that is, the interaction between people. Human beings have ancient wisdom about unknown infectious diseases. This is isolation. In the Torah, the Jews let the sick “live outside the camp alone” and their clothes would be burned. Since the 3rd century BC, there has been an official “Illness house” in China. However, if there is a large-scale isolation, there will be no transactions. Especially today, the economy relies on a global system with a high degree of division of labor, and the transaction frequency is unprecedented. If we seal up a big city with a population of 11 million like Wuhan, what kind of great impact will it have on its economy, and whether it has achieved the goal of isolation? This is to make quantitative analysis based on empirical data, so as to judge the advantages and disadvantages of “closing up the city”, and put forward a proposal to solve the dilemma of epidemic prevention and trade at the same time.

The full name of the model I adopted is “ten dimensional perspective spatial economics and institutional economics planning model”, which is abbreviated as SIEM. This is a model that we have developed and applied to three planning. It is characterized by “transaction” as the basic unit. We refer to Krugman’s theory, but using transaction induced agglomeration to replace production induced agglomeration. Transaction will bring transaction bonus, people gather for transactions, which will produce “market network externality”, that is, the increase of transaction opportunities between people is faster than the increase of the number of people. This is the basic driving force of urban development. In institutional economics, the basic unit of analysis is just “transaction”. So these two theories are connected here. We know that the infection of infectious diseases is also related to agglomeration. Although we don’t fully know how the new coronavirus is transmitted, whether it is contagious by contact, by flying foam or by air, there is no doubt that it is all “close range”. Only when people gather together, can they get close to each other and be able to infect each other; the higher the degree of agglomeration, the more likely they are to infect each other. Therefore, we can use this model to simulate the infection of viruses.

Because of the limited time, we made a very simple model. We assume that Wuhan is a single central city with 11.13 million people, a monthly GDP of 123.7 billion yuan and an area of 8494 square kilometers. As a reference, we assume that the infection rate of new coronavirus is 1.3. We use the number of confirmed cases published publicly as the basis, and know that a large number of infected people are not included in the official statistics, so it is assumed that the number of infected people will be 10 times the number of confirmed cases as the calculation parameter. In our simulation, we assume that the probability of transaction if closing the city is reduced to 1% of the opening the city, and the average increase of transaction cost is equivalent to 36% of the average price. The effect of Wuhan City closure on epidemic prevention is shown in the figure below. As a result, on January 23, the closure of the city reduced the number of people infected by the disease by 58% compared with that of the city without closure. More importantly, the closure of the city prevented the rapid rise of the number of people infected. First of all, we ignore the mistakes made before. If we had taken measures earlier, we would not have closed the city. It seems that on this day, “closing the city” is a measure that has to be taken.

Figure 1 Simulation of the number of people infected before and after the closure of WuhanTransaction and provention

Then look at the influence of “closing the city” on Wuhan economy. According to last year’s figures, the average monthly GDP of Wuhan is about 123.7 billion yuan under normal circumstances, but only 800 million yuan under the circumstances of closure and basic suspension of transactions and exchanges in the city. According to the per capita consumption level of China’s cities and towns, Wuhan people need to consume 21.3 billion yuan per month. Obviously, during the period of the closure of the city, the people of Wuhan did not actually create wealth to meet their consumption quantity, but only consumed their own savings. If the enterprise stops production and continues to pay wages, the enterprise will lose money. If the closure lasts for two months, it will bring a loss of 245.8 billion yuan, about 99.4% of the normal GDP. Compare the reduction of the number of people infected by the closure with the loss of economic income, as shown in the following figure.

Figure 2  Simulation of the impact of Wuhan closure on the number of people infected and GDPTransaction and provention2

Note: Assuming the index of the number of people infected on January 23, 2020 is 100, and that of the normal GDP / month is 100. The left axis is the coordinate axis of the index of the number of infected people, and the right axis is the coordinate axis of the GDP (monthly) index. Closing the city day is an important milestone. After that, the rise of the index of people infected slowed down significantly, while the GDP index dropped sharply.

It can be seen that the closure of the city will reduce the number of infected people by 58%, at the cost of reducing the GDP by 99.4%. The reality the digital based is that a large number of people have no income and livelihood, while enterprises cannot produce and operate but spend the money in vain. The first ones that can’t bear are those who rely on the income flow of the market and the vulnerable groups who depend on their wages. For enterprises, this is equivalent to a major market depression and financial crisis. As a result, many enterprises will close down, which will have a chain reaction. The more economic pressure people have, the more they feel the adverse consequences of the closure. A lot of microcosmic pressure will produce macroscopical consequence finally. Therefore, the cost of this kind of forced closure is huge, and with the passage of time, the cost is more and more big, and it may be unbearable at last.

This model can also tell us the distribution characteristics of virus infection. Since the mode of virus infection is close range infection, that is, clustering is easy to infect, the degree of clustering is related to the possibility of infection. In spatial economics, the parameter reflecting the degree of agglomeration is “population density”. We usually use “people / km2” to express the density of people, such as 20000 people / km2, which can also be regarded as the average distance between people. 20000 people / km2 means 50 square meters per capita, and the average distance between people is about 7 meters. It can be imagined that the higher the population density, the smaller the average distance between people, the more likely it is to be infected. Generally speaking, the infection rate is an average concept. In different population density places, the infection rate is different. The closer to the city center, the higher the infection rate. The reason is very simple. Because the new coronavirus is a close infection, the closer people are to each other, the more people around an individual, the more likely they are to be infected.

Figure 3 the number or probability of infection increases with population density既要防疫又要交易3

However, the traditional “population density” generally refers to “static density”, that is, the number of residents, employment and foreign consumers in a city or community. What is related to the actual transaction and virus infection is the “dynamic density”, that is, the high density of population gathering in a period of time. For example, watching movies or dramas, waiting or queuing at railway stations or airports, shopping in business centers, attending classes in classrooms, meetings of governments or enterprises, business promotion activities, factory work, attending banquets, etc. These agglomerations are not only necessary for productive exchanges, but also make population density increase dynamically, or promote temporary proximity between people. For example, Baibuting community in Wuhan held a “ten thousand family banquet” on January 19, which was to gather about 130000 people into a smaller area than the normal area in a certain period of time. Assuming that the static population density of Baibuting community is 70000 people / km2, 130000 people will be concentrated in a space of about 30 hectares during the “ten thousand family banquet”. The dynamic population density is about 450000 people / km2, and the average distance between people is about 1.5m. Our model estimates that a person’s probability of being infected is 2-4 times that of not holding “ten thousand family banquet”. This has been confirmed by the facts. According to the report of economic observer, there are 91 buildings in two communities of Baibuting, and 50 buildings have the symptoms of residents’ fever (“Baibuting has more than people’s fever after a banquet”, February 7, 2020).

Figure 4  Number or possibility of virus infection during banquets in Baibuting


Note: The place in the picture is obviously higher than the surrounding part, that is, the number or possibility of infection when Baibuting banquets.

More broadly, the face-to-face contact of any two people is equivalent to a high density of 1 million people / km2, which seems quite dangerous. However, if the possibility of that they each carry the virus is 1%, and they meet by chance, the probability of their mutual infection is 1 / 10000. However, if someone deals with other people on a full-time basis, they will have “continuous close contact” and their probability of infection will increase dramatically. Such as supermarket cashiers, community gatekeepers, commercial or administrative window receptionists, checkpoint inspectors, police, and so on. According to the above assumption, the probability of carrying the virus of them with the citizens they meet is still 1%, and these full-time personnel are 100% likely to be infected in 100 times of dealing with others. What’s more, when they get infected, they have a higher probability of infecting all the people they deal with. This kind of “continuous close contact” is 100 times more likely to infect than the aforementioned “accidental encounter”. From this point of view, we can also make a judgment on the way of government and market. The market approach is similar to “accidental encounter”, while the government approach is similar to “continuous close contact”. The latter is 100 times more likely to infect than the former.

If we discuss the issue of closing Wuhan in this way, we will understand that our problem is not to close or not to close the city, but to take what measures to reduce the virus infection, and at the same time to maintain the transaction between people as much as possible. Therefore, at this time, the word “Closing the city” cannot be simply used. In theory, “Closing the city” is to cut off the connection between a city and other cities, but there are many different ways under the concept of closing the city. Such as, no closing within the city, sealing communities or villages, or even sealing buildings or houses. Different practices will have different effects on virus infection and economic transactions, so different “closure” will have different results.

Take Wuhan as an example again. After closure of the city, a large number of novel coronavirus pneumonia suspects in Wuhan are flocking to hospitals. However, due to the limited diagnosis and treatment capacity of the hospital and the limited beds, patients and their families line up in a long line. Some people even queue up in multiple hospitals but still cannot get treatment. Each queue lasted for several hours. It’s amazing. Many hospitals have already used WeChat or APP as the registering way in the era of mobile Internet. Under the condition of new contagious pneumonia, the queuing function online should be quickly activated, so that patients and their families can register in the hospital without leaving home, and the queuing information can be scrolled online in real time. Hospitals can arrange according to queuing information. If the non-governmental organizations or public organizations can organize teams to pick up patients according to the computer, and it can also avoid the hard work of patients and their families, and reduce the increased infection or aggravation of illness caused by fatigue. What’s more, this practice will bring obvious effect of reducing infection. Because queuing is a kind of dynamic gathering of people, the distance between people is almost zero. If calculated by one meter, it is equivalent to a population density of 1 million people / square kilometer, which is obviously “super close”, and the probability of virus carried by the queuing population is higher than that of other people, the probability of human to human transmission will increase significantly.

The second advantage of online registration queuing is that it can quickly collect information about suspected patients. Those who suspect novel coronavirus pneumonia are more likely to be infected than those who are not suspected, so they will voluntarily register in the hospital, and in fact provide most information about the infected population. If hospitals or public health organizations make use of this, they can collect more detailed information of patients, such as age, gender, address, etc., which can not only let doctors know the condition in advance, but also let public health institutions know the approximate number and distribution of suspected patients, which in turn can reduce the suspicion of other people to be infected. When people don’t know which individual is infected, they suspect the whole population. For example, if we assume that 5% of the people in Wuhan are infected, but we don’t know which specific individuals are infected, we can only regard each Wuhanese as a person with a “5% probability of carrying the virus”. If we know which 5% of the people are, we can effectively isolate these people, and at the same time, we can eliminate the infection suspicion of other 95% of people, so that they can resume normal trading.

What is related to obtaining information is to completely stop the suppression on  the release of epidemic information by citizens, so as to obtain more sufficient epidemic information. A typical example we saw is that Mr. Fang, a citizen of Wuhan, recorded videos of several dead bodies in a hospital in Wuhan and put them on the Internet. This was a normal thing, and also provided information for Wuhan public health institutions. Unexpectedly, Wuhan government made a mistake again. It called Mr. Fang to the police station to inquire and threatened him in the following days. This approach not only continues to suppress the spread of decentralized individual information, but also fails to solve the problem. The problem is that in this period of high mortality, the government should take the responsibility of removing hospital corpses. Instead of sending people to suppress Mr. Fang who reflects the problem, it is better to send these people to move the bodies. We also note that a large number of WeChat accounts and groups have recently blocked. In this dangerous time, it is equivalent to blocking the information outlet of residents and depriving them of the means to ask for help in an emergency. In fact, the more timely and sufficient the public reflects the epidemic, the more effective treatment information can be provided for the society; the more problems the public spontaneously reflects, the more relevant government departments can deal with the problems. To continue to suppress the free release and dissemination of information is to keep the overall face of Wuhan unclear, which will continue to provide reasons for the overall closure of the city.

Let’s take another look at the practice of closing villages, communities and even houses. Take Wenzhou for example. The most extreme form is to restrict every household to send one person to buy foods every two days. This practice has obviously greatly hindered the normal urban trade of the people, especially in Wenzhou, a market-oriented society, which is even worse for the economy. As mentioned before, this practice just encourages the spread of the virus. Because to block the community, we need to set up checkpoints, and need gatekeepers to guard them, and the gatekeepers will have “continuous close contact” with many residents; in order to implement this blocking system, all regions, communities and villages have printed their own “passes”, so governments at all levels have to gather together to distribute “passes”, which means a possible virus transmission. Obviously, this kind of blockade is the worst way, which not only worsens the economy further, but also increases the risk of infection. Needless to say, the practice of keeping residents indoors for a long time will seriously damage their physical and mental health. Many cases have shown that patients’ psychological state plays an important role in overcoming the virus. The more in the epidemic prevention period, the more attention should be paid to exercise, go for a walk or exercise outdoors. Now I hear that Wuhan is going to block the residential area again. It seems that this wrong “experience” is spreading.

Another is that the government establishes unnecessary control matters. We have already said that in the case of “close transmission”, unnecessary contact between any person and human increases the possibility of transmission, let alone “sustained”. For example, the entrance of the car in my community is automatically recognized. The license plate number and the owner’s information are stored in the computer, and are automatically recorded every time they enter or leave. However, since the epidemic prevention, artificial check-up has been arranged at the gate, which increases the direct contact between people and the “continuous close contact” of the check-up personnel, but increases the risk of infection. It’s a similar problem that we don’t allow express delivery into the community. Originally, there were Cainiao or Fengchao express cabinets in the community that could pick up items automatically. Now, the courier can only contact and hand over with the receiver outside the community. In addition, I find there are some places where people who don’t wear masks are intervened by force. In one video, a subway passenger was pushed off the subway because he didn’t wear a mask; in another video, a woman was physically attacked by an inspector because she didn’t wear a mask. This is obviously beyond the scope of epidemic prevention and directly violates the personal freedom of citizens. Even from the perspective of epidemic prevention effect, this kind of direct antagonistic contact is more likely to increase infection than “continuous close contact”.

Moreover, the restrictions on private cars in Wuhan are also wrong. In fact, private cars are the best dynamic isolation facilities. This is not only much safer than subway and public transportation, but also better than taxi, online car hailing and 120. I think infectious disease experts will agree that a car with its doors and windows closed is far less likely to infect nearby cars or individuals than when people meet. The restrictions on private cars not only bring inconvenience to doctors and all kinds of necessary occupations, but also create a risk of contact between suspected patients and others. On the other hand, if private cars are not restricted and dynamic isolation is relatively safe, it can meet the needs of citizens in the epidemic prevention period, and it will also make the trade in Wuhan more active, which is conducive to alleviate the negative results of the closure.

In short, with the closure of the city, a better way can also effectively isolate the infected population, and at the same time prevent the transaction from completely stopping. However, improper government control methods, such as suppressing the release of epidemic information, not using online registration, forcing patients to queue up in the hospital, the public sector not only can’t grasp the epidemic in time, but also suppress the release of epidemic information, restrict the use of private cars, even seal off areas and buildings, and issue “passes”, significantly increase the risk of infection, and pay economic At the same time, there are more infected people in the closed city than in the absence of these measures.

Therefore, how to resolve the dilemma of closing or unsealing, epidemic prevention or transaction? As mentioned above, we should not only avoid virus infection, but also keep trading. Can this be done? At least it should have the potential to do it in part. Specifically, there are the following five suggestions.

First, take advantage of “non face to face transactions”, that is, online transactions. In fact, the e-commerce developed in recent years is a typical non face-to-face transaction. Modern technology has enabled us to trade without contagion. Wuhan is a city with a very developed service industry, accounting for 58% of GDP, of which more than 60% are production-oriented services, such as education, finance, information technology, law, scientific research, consulting, etc. The characteristics of these services are mainly relying on information exchange rather than goods exchange, and the current technology has been able to make information exchange online quickly without face-to-face. For example, online long-distance transaction, bank online transfer, video and audio teaching through the Internet, online meeting, business negotiation, legal consultation and academic discussion can be carried out for financial products. If all these production-oriented service industries can be restored to operation through the network, according to last year’s level, 43.5 billion yuan of added value can be created in one month. What’s more, this kind of online transaction can also be used for medical treatment. Doctors from other places do not have to go to Wuhan in person. They can make up for the shortage of medical resources in Wuhan through remote facilities for medical consultation and auxiliary diagnosis. Through the Internet, Wuhan can also mobilize the resources of other provinces and even foreign producer services, such as scientific research exchange and think tank consultation.

Second, promote “non-contact transactions”. Other service industries, especially commodity retail and catering industries, must also go to physical stores for transactions. However, in recent years, the emergence of unmanned stores, drone express and so on now seems to be able to come into use. In fact, many supermarkets have already realized the self-checkout of customers with app, which is close to the realization of “unmanned store”. Even many small shops, grocery stores, convenience stores, etc., all use WeChat or Alipay checkout. With a little improvement, they can quickly turn into a self-help small supermarket. In many restaurants, it is also a person who orders food with a tablet computer without direct service. Even better, you can use robots to deliver meals. Therefore, as long as we improve the existing service mode and form norms and habits, most of the service industry stores can basically do not touch the service. In fact, e-commerce has expanded to the field of food and daily necessities. Online ordering has become popular. What needs to be improved is the non-contact form of express delivery and meal delivery. The logistics industry is similar. Although physical goods need to be transported and distributed, non-contact transactions can be adopted in the aspect of handover. If this kind of service industry can partially restore services, even if only 50%, with reference to last year’s level, it can achieve a monthly added value of about 14.5 billion yuan. Together with the former producer services industry, Wuhan’s economy can be restored to 47% of the normal state.

Third, the closure of roads and districts in the city will be cancelled, private cars will be resumed to drive and only major commercial and cultural centers will be closed. As mentioned above, the closure of communities, buildings or roads does not play a role in reducing infection, but will increase it. Regarding the private car as the best dynamic isolation facility, restoring the driving of the private car will quickly reduce the infection caused by renting the car and give people more space for activities. As long as we continue to close large-scale places where people gather, such as large comprehensive business centers, cinemas, theaters, museums, libraries, etc., there will be no high-density gathering. At the same time, people can drive to the supermarket which is far away and low density to buy goods. It also means evacuating people from densely populated areas. Some restrictions can be established if possible infectious situations such as supermarkets and convenience stores are taken into account. Such as limiting the dynamic number of people in the supermarket, automatic temperature measurement, and the establishment of non-contact self-service checkout mechanism. In this way, it can activate intra city transactions and create conditions for the gradual lifting the closure. The model shows that if the transaction probability returns to 5% of the normal situation, the GDP can be increased by 3.1 billion yuan.

Fourth, gradually resume low-density transactions. The so-called “low density” refers to areas with low population density, where the probability of virus infection is lower than that of high density areas, and most of them are suburban areas. There are small-scale and scattered businesses and services, and many industrial enterprises are also located here. After the number of infected people has been basically mastered and the number of confirmed cases has declined, if we want to resume production in the manufacturing industry, we can also give priority to return to work in this low-density area. We can gradually promote the recovery of transactions from low-density areas to high-density areas. Although it may lead to some increase in the number of infections. Low density trading also means that a city should open its suburban areas so that its residents can relax in the low-density areas in the suburbs. At the same time, it will reduce the pressure of parks in the city. Beijing has kept the city’s parks basically open, but closed almost all of its suburban parks. It’s weird logic. In fact, the country park has fresh air, wide area and low population density. It is a safe area for outdoor activities, and it can also reduce the population density pressure of the park in the urban area.

Fifth, “dynamic isolation” should be implemented. To trade, it is inevitable to take outdoor actions; keeping isolation, it is necessary to ensure the isolation effect of outdoor actions. If we know that the new coronavirus is a close range infection, if infectious disease experts can provide a safe distance for our reference to avoid infection, we can keep a certain safe distance with other people in the outdoor or on the street, without being infected. In addition to private cars, dynamic isolation can be achieved as long as people consciously keep a safe distance from each other. Furthermore, if infectious disease experts can give more detailed behavioral norms to avoid infection, people can avoid infection if they follow them, so that there will be a large space for activities to gradually resume trading while in a safe state of epidemic prevention.

In a word, if we want to trade while prevent epidemic, we need to do noninfectious transactions, or at least low infectious transactions. This can only be done when the characteristics of infection and transaction are known and all the truth is known. How to “know”? Confucius said, “Knowledge, benevolence and courage are the three virtues of the world.” This is particularly important during the viral epidemic. Here, “benevolence” is not condescending pity, but respectful love, that is, respect for human life, freedom, rights and personality, and love for all people by all people. Confucius said, “The benevolent must be brave.” With respect for all people’s love, be prepared to pay even the highest price for this love, just like Li Wenliang, will not fear and panic. “Knowledge” is the product of calm mind, without fear and panic, there can be “knowledge”. “Knowledge” includes information and wisdom. Information comes from expression, free expression needs to be protected by the constitution; wisdom does not refer to the wisdom of one person, but the wisdom of millions of people. In this time of social panic and national crisis, it is also a time of inspiriting their wisdom. As long as they will not be suppressed, as long as the clumsy government control will not impose on them, as long as we don’t assume that some person is wiser than them, they will use their wisdom to save themselves and save the Chinese civilization.

February 11, 2020 in Fivewoods Studio

First published in FT Chinese on Feb. 12, 2020