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Youth Shun Xi Jinping’s Covid Zero As Students Stage Protest In Beijing’s Peking University

. Hundreds of students at an elite Beijing university protested on May 15 against strict Covid-19 curbs, in a rare show of defiance as anger mounts over virus control measures (Image and Caption: AFP)

. Hundreds of students at an elite Beijing university protested on May 15 against strict Covid-19 curbs, in a rare show of defiance as anger mounts over virus control measures (Image and Caption: AFP)

The protest took place in China’s prestigious Peking University. The dissent will worry the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Students of Beijing’s famous Peking University have expressed their frustration with China’s Covid Zero policy.

A video which went viral on Twitter showed students protesting pandemic restrictions in Beijing which is likely to spoil Chinese president Xi Jinping’s aims to curb dissent and Covid as he aims a smooth transition into his second term.

Students were gathered in a dormitory compound in Peking University chanting – ‘Same accommodation! Same rights!’.

The video was posted on Twitter by John Alekna, who works as an assistant professor at Peking University as per his Twitter and LinkedIn profiles.
He said that there was deep unhappiness among students in the Wanliu compound.

The residential area is popular among the students and the staff at Peking University.

“Deep unhappiness at Beida’s Wanliu campus where students have been locked up for weeks. More walls being built brought out a crowd—the construction may have been stopped,” Alekna tweeted.

According to a report by Bloomberg, alumni members of Peking University while discussing Monday night’s event said that students were annoyed as Covid restrictions stopped them from leaving the residential area, accessing the library and laboratories.

They were also cut off from the social life on the main campus.

Student demonstrations are likely to scare Xi Jinping as it must remind him and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of the Tiananmen Square protest of 1989 when the Chinese government used the military to crush the student uprising who were demanding democratic reforms.

The students who protested that year were also from Peking University. The university is known for important demonstrations and political movements in China.

The scenes are also reminiscent of the unrest seen in Shanghai when Covid lockdowns paralysed the global financial hub.

People expressed their dissent and protested against excesses committed by authorities showing a significant change in their tolerance towards the CCP which is ruthless in curbing dissent.

Shanghai residents were angered as food shortages also contributed to deaths in the city and led to a feeling of helplessness among the city’s residents.
Beijing stepped up restrictions to curb the Covid outbreak.

Beijing recorded 39 new Covid-19 cases and the authorities will conduct another three rounds of mass testing as new infections are reported.

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first published:May 17, 2022, 12:27 IST