Protests against the ‘Zero Covid’ policy spread to several Chinese cities

Hundreds of protesters protest in China against the ‘Zero Covid’ policy implemented by Xi Jinping in the country and the Communist Party after ten people died in the fire of an apparently confined building in Urumqui last Thursday. Some say that the emergency personnel could not access in time due to sanitary restrictions.

The protests spread this weekend to major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai or Nanjing.

Although the Chinese authorities were quick to deny it, there have been protests throughout Saturday and early Sunday. In Shanghai, hundreds of university students lit candles to mourn the deceased and held up blank sheets of paper, a common symbol in protests against censorship.

Several videos broadcast on social networks show how some inhabitants are challenging the strict policy against the coronavirus, movements that some witnesses interviewed by CNN describe it as “unprecedented”.

The American chain reports that in the images you can hear groups of students chanting slogans such as “Resign, Xi Jinping! Stand down, Communist Party!” “I don’t want the Covid test, I want freedom!” and “I don’t want a dictatorship, I want democracy!”

In other videos, groups of people sing the Chinese national anthem and ‘The Internationale’ of the socialist movement, while carrying banners protesting Beijing’s strict measures.

Some recordings showed how dozens of people the fences were torn down yesterday with which the authorities close the colonies confined in the vast residential complex of Tiantongyuan, in the north of Beijing, sometimes described by the Chinese media as the largest in Asia, with some 700,000 residents.

The Chinese capital, especially shielded against outbreaks since 2020, is now experiencing its highest levels of infections: according to the latest official report, this Saturday more than 4 thousand new cases were detected, of which 82% are asymptomatic according to the standards of the health authorities.

Also in the eastern city of Nanjing, dozens of students from the University of Communication gathered to commemorate the deceased, holding blank sheets of paper. In the videos, translated by the North American chain, an official threatens: “They will pay for what they have done today.”

According to data from the National Health Commission, China broke its record for Covid infections for the fourth consecutive day by detect almost 40,000 new infections this Saturday, although more than 90% of them are considered asymptomatic and do not add to the official balances of confirmed cases.

The institution’s figures show that about 1.8 million people currently remain under quarantinesince the guideline involves transferring those infected -including those who are asymptomatic- to hospitals or isolation centers and also, although separately, to people who have had contact with them.

(With information from Europe Press Y EFE)