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Relentless protests in Xi-Jinping's China amid Covid scare

India Today logo India Today 22-12-2022 Bidisha Saha
Relentless protests in Xi-Jinping's China amid Covid scare © Provided by India Today Relentless protests in Xi-Jinping's China amid Covid scare

People in China continue to register their protests unceasingly over a month even as covid numbers have reached a record high in the past few days. Last night, the government reported that there have been no deaths in the country on Wednesday but the videos on social media suggest otherwise. The crematorium in Beijing was seen crowded with dozens of vehicles carrying corpses waiting to be cremated.

Scores of Chinese people have been hit with the latest variant of Covid over the last few days. Amid the dire situation, cities have scrambled to provide medical aid to covid positive people and international concerns have been on the meteoric rise about inadequate vaccination of people in a nation with over 1.4 billion people. The rapid rise in cases was the result of people moving from extremely rigid control to complete relaxation of policies.


Date: December 22 Location: Huqiao village, Huixian, Xinxiang, Henan

The protest resulted from the forced demolition of a building at Huqiao Township in Xinxiang, Henan province. Villagers demanded to hold a meeting to standardize the compensation structure.


Date: December 22 Location: Qingchengshan Town, Dujiangyan City, Chengdu

On the morning of Thursday, the government unexpectedly demolished a building in Qingcheng Farm were elderly people resided. There were armed police officers at the location to combat "unarmed, elderly, and sick" protesters.

Date: December 21 Location: Wuhan

Property owners were unwilling to install a magnetic alarm on their doors for people who tested positive for covid at Wuhan's Emerald Riverside Community. Following this a dispute broke out with the police officials after some residents blocked police vehicles, some lay on the streets while others removed the isolation barricades. The magnetic alarm was designed to lock the house doors of covid positive people for 14 days by default. Several residents tried to negotiate with the police, however, the situation escalated soon after.

Date: December 21 Location: Banan District, Chongqing

People returning from the isolation center near Banan District in Chongqing protested at the gate. They tried to negotiate with the police but returnees were not allowed to live with their families and were quarantined in isolation centers. Videos show hundreds of people lifting barricades and shouting.

Date: December 19  Location: Changsha, Hunan

Students from The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University in Changsha, Hunan paraded after they were not allowed to return homes unless they tested negative on the covid nucleic test.

Date: December 14  Location: Jinda Road, Huiji District, Zhengzhou, Henan

Salary demands from people led to a violent burst out at a construction site on Jinda Road in Zhengzhou. A bulldozer was seen damaging multiple vehicles in the videos posted on Twitter. Police fired shots to control the aggression of the protestors which led to one casualty, others were evacuated from the site. The dispute continued for an hour and the excavator could be seen making circles with its robotic arm. Workers were not paid a salary for not being able to report to work on account of Covid restrictions.

Date: December 14  Location: Taiyuan, Shanxi Province

Dozens of people queued up at midnight for nucleic acid testing as private business owners and other administrative offices mandated the requirement of a 48-hour covid test report to attend work.

Date: December 13  Location: Yunlong District, Xuzhou

A student from Xuzhou Medical University rallied as he was dissatisfied with the administration for not being allowed to take a vacation.


Recent social media chats suggest that people are now suspecting the government of allegedly spreading the "poison" after being unable to undermine the dissent over the last month that led to scrapping away the stringent 'zero covid' policies of Xi-Jinping. The recent buzz of dissent calls for the resignation of President Xi Jinping.

In Xi-Jinping's autocratic China, dissent was once a far cry than reality. However, the recent turn of events over the last month suggests the deepening of the fault lines against the repressive rule of the Chinese Communist Party. Recent developments saw a crackdown on the administration and the government giving in to people's demand for liberation from the rigorous zero-covid policies.

But the victory of the citizens was short-lived as China quickly witnessed an abrupt spike in covid numbers after the biggest metropolis like Beijing, Shanghai etc were opened up and restrictions were scrapped away practically overnight - a shift from one extreme to the other.

Chinese people are now suspecting that the sudden spike in the disease is a result of the government "deliberately releasing the poison." However, the claim is yet to be verified. Social media chats reveal that people are stunned about the virus spreading even in the remote villages which did not witness any covid cases in the last three years.

Since the start of the pandemic, there were instances in which some virologists revealed that covid-19 was a man-made virus that escaped the laboratories of Wuhan. But there were limited pieces of evidence to hold the validity of the claim.


Rahul Reddy, who is a Scholar from Organisation for Research on China and Asia (ORCA), spoke to India Today about what angered the people of China. He said, "While the implementation of the zero-COVID policy has majorly influenced public anger across China, the latest protests are a function of several factors. The public anger is a result of several social pressures, like the high youth unemployment rate and struggling economy, factors that have merged with Zero-COVID policies and snowballed into a wave of discontent."

He goes on to further say that CCP rolled back the zero covid measures majorly because the situation was "delicate" and the government recognized the potential of such protests in gathering momentum quickly and also incorporated sensitive issues like political rights and democracy.

Speaking more on the sentiments of the citizens, he added "The death of Jiang Zemin on November 30th brings to mind the of the people of Hu Yaobang in 1989, whose death sparked public mourning that eventually morphed into the 1989 protests at Tiananmen. Although the situation then and now is not the same, the 'white paper' protests are partly indicative of public sentiment surrounding Xi Jinping's rule of the Party and country."

Also Read | As China causes fright, a look at 5 things India did right in its Covid fight

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