January 27, 2023

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Policing and Censorship in China After Historic Protests | Corona virus

On Sunday, crowds of demonstrators, responding to calls on social networks, took to the streets, particularly in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan, to arrest police.

In unison chants: No covid tests, we’re hungry!, Xi Jinping resigns! CCP [Parti communiste chinois, NDLR]go out! Where We don’t want lockdowns, we want freedom.

In its scope in the region, mobilization appears to be the most important since the 1989 pro-democracy riots.

It is the culmination of growing public discontent in recent months in China, one of the world’s only countries to follow a strict policy. Zero covidRepeated captivity and almost daily PCR tests of the population.

Terrible fire in UrumqiThe capital of Xinjiang province (northwest), has angered many Chinese, with some accusing health restrictions of holding back relief efforts.

A health worker tests a woman for Covid-19 in Shanghai’s Jing’an district.

Photo: Getty Images / Hector Retamol

Restrictions have been eased in the capital of 4 million people: residents will be able to travel by bus to shop on Tuesday and parcel deliveries will resume. Shops in the areas Low risk They may also be asked to continue their activities to some extent.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has accused Powers with ulterior motives Establish a link between this fire and Local response to Covid-19According to its spokesperson Zhao Lijian.

under The Chinese Communist Party leadership and [avec] With the support of the Chinese people, our fight against Covid-19 will be successfulHe made the pledge in response to a wave of protests over the weekend.

But the protests have sparked calls for more political freedoms, even leading to the resignation of President Xi Jinping, who has been re-elected for an unprecedented third term as the country’s leader.

On Monday morning, journalists noted a police presence in Beijing and Shanghai near the previous day’s gatherings.AFP.

In Shanghai, two people were arrested near Urumqi Street, where Sunday’s protest took place. One in two doesn’t Not obeying our rulesA policeman explainedAFP.

Authorities also removed others from the scene and ordered them to delete images from their phones, a reporter said.AFP.

Shanghai police, despite repeated inquiries, had yet to respond Monday to the number of people detained over the weekend.

A journalist from BBC In China, including Shanghai, he was arrested and Beaten by the police, according to British media. UK Business Minister Grand Shops has ruled Unacceptable And worry These violences.

Wuhan has been a scene of protest against the strict restrictions imposed on Chinese people under the “zero COVID-19” policy imposed by the authorities. As Samuel Runcourt explains, a protest movement spread to China and other countries.

In Shanghai, one of the streets occupied by crowds at night is now surrounded by palisades to prevent new gatherings.

On Sunday, clashes pitted police and demonstrators, some carrying flowers or white sheets of paper as symbols of censorship. Many of them were arrested.

By the Liangma River in Beijing, more than 400 young Chinese gathered and cried for hours on Sunday evening. We are all the people of Xinjiang!Police cars were parked and officers patrolled the canal.

This demonstration is a good thinghanding overAFP A 20-year-old woman who was jogging in the neighborhood said she was followed through social media.

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It sent a signal that people were tired of these excessive restrictionsAdds the young woman, on condition of anonymity.

I hope the government will take this message and ease their policy to come out of itShe believes.

Unable to continue auditAccording to her, when demonstrations broke out in various places in the territory.

But censorship has since caught on: on Chinese social networks, all information related to these demonstrations appears to have been deleted on Monday.

Searching on the Weibo platform, a kind of Chinese Twitter Liangma River And Urumpi Street No decision regarding mobilization was given.

Information control and health controls

Chinese authorities’ tight control over information and health restrictions on travel into the country have made it difficult to verify the total number of protesters over the weekend.

But such widespread uprisings are rare in China, suppressing any kind of opposition to the government.

Demonstrations also took place in Guangzhou, Chengdu and Hong Kong, but also in the heart of the country, Wuhan, where the world’s first case of COVID-19 was detected nearly three years ago.

Demonstration in Beijing.

Protesters and police at a rally against China’s strict “zero COVID” measures in Beijing on Monday.

Photo: Getty Images/Kevin Frayer

The People’s Daily issued a warning on Monday against Paralysis And this Fatigue In the face of politics Zero covidHowever, without putting an end to it.

People are now at boiling point as there is no clear direction to end the zero covid policyexplains toAFP Alfred Wu Muluan is a China policy expert at the National University of Singapore.

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The party underestimated public angerHe adds.

The struggle has worried investors. And Asian stock markets opened sharply lower on Monday.