One of most unfortunate COVID-19 events in recent months is DHS’s (Department of Homeland Security) unearthing of 10 million counterfeit, made-in-China 3M N95 face masks, some of which might have been distributed to as many as 6,000 medical facilities.

Two months ago, a woman in SiChuan Province uploaded a viral video—unrelated to COVID-19 but just as appalling—via Weibo – China’s leading social media platform.  She boiled squid bought at a local market; after a few minutes the squid melted and clouded the water in the pot!

Unlawful operations in China strive to perfect the art of counterfeit teas, infuriating tea communities. Some argue there are only mislabeled teas, not “fake” teas per se. One tea enthusiast observed that too much of the marketplace’s HuangShan MaoFeng, his home province AnHui’s most celebrated tea, was in reality cheap, inferior green tea from SiChuan Province. Another forum member lamented FuJian Province’s premium JinJunMei manipulated and altered to the extreme – blended with other teas, sold as finest grades, offenses both imaginable and unimaginable.

True Tea Crimes - Photo of tea field

Another class of tea crimes, more complex in scale and severity, seems to be on the rise. It’s deforestation for tea plantation (毀林種茶).

From 2003 to 2018, bandits destroyed hundreds of acres of forests inside the majestic Mount Wuyi National Park in FuJian Province, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, aiming to profit from tea cultivation.

These manmade disasters occur elsewhere, notably in YunNan Province’s tea-growing regions. In 2019, a task force with more than 1,000 government officials was established in XiShuangBanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture to assess related environmental damages and bring those who transgressed to justice.

Avarice is indeed the root of all evil. What deters crimes in a communist regime like China? Clearly not the stringent enforcement of “presumption of guilt” (“guilty until proven innocent”) or the implementation of cruel and unusual punishments – they only infringe upon human rights.

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