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Demonstrations in China Halted as Cops Curb Dissent, Silence Masses Protesting Covid Zero

By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar

News18.com

Last Updated: November 29, 2022, 12:04 IST

Shanghai/Beijing, China

A protester reacts as he is arrested by policemen during a protest on a street in Shanghai, China (Image: AP Photo)

A protester reacts as he is arrested by policemen during a protest on a street in Shanghai, China (Image: AP Photo)

The government is now tracking those who participated in the protests and carrying out random checks to find out those who protested in order to jail them

Police officers and in some cases the Chinese military has stepped in to quell protests and track protest leaders across Chinese cities.

China since the weekend has seen a large number of protesters gather in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Wuhan protesting against Covid Zero regime and in some cases, demanding Chinese President Xi Jinping to step down from his role.

The Chinese citizens since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic have lived under Covid Zero but following a fire in an apartment in Xinjiang’s Urumqi which led to the deaths of at least 10 people.

The incident acted as a catalyst for Chinese citizens who took out candlelight vigil to mourn the victims while also using the event to lodge their protest.

Chinese students from Peking University and the Tsinghua University held blank A4 sheets of paper and papers with the Friedmann equation.

However, Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China are no fans of dissent and have launched police probes to find out the leaders of the protests and curb any other gatherings which may criticise the government’s policy.

Videos on social media, which News18 could not independently verify, showed protesters being detained and people being forced to delete any photo they may have shot on their phones.

In Hangzhou, police officers congregated in one of the central areas of the city to prevent protesters from gathering for protest, news agency the Guardian reported.

In Shanghai and Beijing, police patrolling was heavy in areas where protests were held earlier after messages surfaced on social media urging people to congregate once more.

People were stopped by the police and their phones were checked for Virtual Private Network (VPN) applications.

Few Beijing residents, speaking to news agency AFP, said they received phone calls from the police regarding their activities over the weekend. These residents attended the candlelight vigil and the protests.

Passengers embarking and disembarking from People’s Square subway station in Shanghai were also subjected to random checks.

In another video, tweeted by OSINTDefender, armed personnel carriers and tanks were seen in Xuzhou and the account claimed citing local residents that the tanks were headed to Shanghai.

There were no new protests on Monday or Tuesday as temperatures fell well below freezing and most online calls to gather for protests went unanswered.

(with inputs from Reuters, Associated Press, AFP and the Guardian)

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first published:November 29, 2022, 11:30 IST
last updated:November 29, 2022, 12:04 IST
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