China’s Covid protests intensify

China’s Covid protests intensify
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Islam News – Protests erupted in cities and college campuses across China this weekend, as public anger at the country’s draconian Covid controls spilled onto the streets.

Yesterday, hundreds of students gathered at Tsinghua University, in Beijing, where they have been largely prohibited from leaving for weeks. “Democracy and rule of law,” the crowd chanted. In Chengdu, video showed people shouting: “We want freedom, we want democracy.”

One of the biggest protests happened in Shanghai on Saturday, when a chanting crowd called for the Communist Party and its leader, Xi Jinping, to step down. The police looked on as the shouting grew before eventually dispersing the hundreds of protesters, mostly in their twenties. Some now fear an official response. Here’s a video.

The defiance followed an apartment fire in Urumqi, the regional capital of Xinjiang, where at least 10 people died and nine others were injured.

Many people think that Covid restrictions prevented the residents in the building from fleeing, or hampered rescue efforts, though the government has rejected that claim. But after nearly three years of restrictions, many Chinese have stories of being quarantined at home, occasionally with their doors wired or welded shut or emergency exits blockaded.

Shanghai: The city endured a taxing lockdown this spring. In recent days, many neighborhoods have begun ordering frequent Covid tests again — only days after announcing that they would be seldom needed.

Background: For a long time, many Chinese have accepted restrictions as a price to pay for avoiding widespread illness and deaths. But public patience has eroded as other nations have returned to something resembling normal life, partially because of access to more effective vaccines.

Politics: The outpouring has created new pressures on Xi only a month after he secured a third term as party head. Censors have moved quickly to scrub photos and video footage of the protests.

Source: The New York Times

Islam News