The record floods in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in July this year not only caused severe damage to the local people, but also saw heavy losses for the communist regime’s garrisons in Baoding and Zhuozhou, with damage to its military tanks and aircraft. Internal documents of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) obtained by The Epoch Times show that the regime had secretly planned ahead to use the populated Zhuozhou and Baoding areas as flood waters discharge zones to save the newly planned political center of Xiong’an. When it came time to act on the secret plan, the authorities didn’t send out notification of the discharge in time, which caused devastating losses to the people, businesses, and the CCP’s own military assets in the region. At least 78 people died due to the floodwaters.
Zhao Lanjian, a former mainland Chinese investigative reporter who currently lives in the United States, told The Epoch Times that he learned from his contacts in China that in order to implement the CCP’s instructions of “protecting the Xiong’an new area,” the new political hub planned by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, the authorities proposed an on-site flood discharge plan which would open the river banks in the midstream areas of Hebei. But Mr. Xi did not make any comment on it.
“[Premier] Li Qiang thought that the situation was urgent,” Zhao said. “Since Xi previously made the instruction to ‘protect Xiong’an’, Qiang followed the [on-site flood discharge] plan. Unexpectedly, the troops stationed there were also flooded. Xi was furious when he learned that the CCP’s elite troops had been flooded.”
Wang Hua (pseudonym), a local resident who witnessed the devastation, also told The Epoch Times, “The unit that was flooded this time in Zhuozhou is troop 66289. It’s located next to the Zhuozhou branch of the China Institute of Labor Relations and the experimental field of China Agricultural University. It’s now called The XX Group Army Tank Brigade, which is the unit that defends Beijing. Because of this flood, their tanks were almost all destroyed.”
A flooded street after heavy rains in Zhuozhou, in northern China’s Hebei province. (AFP via Getty Images)
Mr. Wang said, “There is also an aviation brigade in Zhuozhou, and the flooding there was the worst. It was like a swimming pool. The water poured directly into it, and the terrain is very low. Those aircraft have been flooded and have to be replaced.”
There is also a Baoding Aviation School in the main urban area of Baoding, and the entire military compound was basically flooded,” he added.
It’s been reported on social media that due to the flooding of military facilities in Zhuozhou and Mr. Xi’s discontent, Premier Li gave his resignation.
CCP Internal Documents
According to the CCP’s internal documents, in order to protect Beijing and Xiong’an, Hebei Province had already deployed the flood storage area in Baoding and Zhuozhou before the flood.
Zhuozhou City Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters and the Zhuozhou City River Chief System Leading Group jointly issued an urgent document on July 29, titled “Notice on the Implementation of the Work on Cleaning Up and Remediating Problems that Obstruct Flood Discharge.” It emphasized that to ensure the safety of river floods, water-blocking obstacles in all towns and villages must be totally cleared immediately to be ready for floods.
At 3:10 a.m. on July 30, the Hebei Provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters issued a “Special Notice” level document titled “Emergency Notice on the Transfer of Personnel in Flood Storage and Detention Areas” for evaluation. The document was simultaneously distributed to the Langfang, Baoding, Xingtai municipal governments, and the Xiong’an New District Management Committee in Hebei.
Half an hour later, at 3:40 a.m., the Zhuozhou Municipal Government received this emergency notice from Hebei Provincial government through the Baoding municipal government.
However, in the Hebei provincial government’s video conference on province-wide flood control at 9 a.m. on the same day, the authorities required all meeting participants to strictly keep the information confidential.
Local residents, some in a makeshift boat, talk in front of their house in an area inundated with floodwaters near Zhuozhou, Hebei Province, south of Beijing on Aug. 3, 2023. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
As a result, except for a few villages that received evacuation orders 2 hours before the floodwater release, people in most places in Hebei were not warned about it.
A CCP official in Hebei who knows about the internal meetings and notices took the risk to inform the former mainland Chinese investigative reporter Zhao Lanjian in the United States two days before the flood waters were discharged. Mr. Zhao posted a warning on Twitter on July 28: “With verified internal information, the Hebei Provincial Department of Water Resources reported to Hebei Province to prepare for a flood greater than the record one in August 1996.”
Mr. Zhao told The Epoch Times that officials within the system already knew about the floodwater discharge plans, but that officials had no way to pass that information to the common people in the local area. So he hoped his warning message would be taken seriously on international media platforms.
A local resident gestures as he walks in chest deep floodwaters in an area near Zhuozhou, Hebei Province, south of Beijing, China, on Aug. 3, 2023. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
However, people in the Zhuozhou and Mentougou districts in Beijing revealed through various channels that the authorities released floodwaters without notification, causing many casualties and property loss.
The CCP hasn’t updated the death toll of the floods.
Luo Ya contributed to this report.