Growing Defiance of China’s Coronavirus Restrictions Brings Wave of Arrests
( Breitbart )
Reuters on Friday noted the ostensible support of the Chinese public for draconian “zero-Covid” policies “seems to be wearing thin” amid “food shortages, family separations, lost wages, and economic pain.” Disobedience is on the rise, and so are arrests.
Resistance is not only found in the nightmare city of Shanghai, coming up on four weeks of a devastating lockdown. Reuters found Chinese in other cities staging protests and getting arrested or otherwise punished for their defiance, as in the case of 37-year-old college student Sun Jian, expelled for marching around his Yantai campus with a placard that called for ending its lockdown.
“The trouble brought by the virus can’t be compared with the disruption from some of the anti-Covid measures taken by our school,” said Sun, whom the regime also blocked from using social media.
Reuters noted videos of locked-down citizens brawling with police or literally howling in desperation from their apartment balconies are becoming common fare on Chinese social media. These disgruntled citizens were met with a five-fold increase in police arrests, plus stern public warnings that violation of coronavirus protocols will be punished.
According to Chinese public security reports, many of the arrests are for relatively minor infractions, such as failing to enter information into health tracking apps correctly, sneaking out of home quarantine, spreading “disinformation,” or using “inappropriate language” with officials.
Chinese censors are moving quickly to block videos of major clashes between police and the public. The biggest street battles seem to involve residents of apartment buildings objecting when the authorities try converting them into quarantine centers. Shanghai has seen a few scuffles over its dwindling food supply.
Another heavily censored viral post on social media included an audio recording of an elderly Shanghai man in deteriorating health pleading with a local official for medicine, only to be told he would have to settle for “traditional Chinese medicine.”
Radio Free Asia (RFA) on Thursday reported a growing number of Chinese are trying to flee the lockdowns by emigrating to other countries:
Keyword searches relating to emigration spiked more than 100-fold in recent days, according to publicly available data from the Baidu search engine for the week from March 28 to April 3. Canada, the United States and Australia were the top three countries shown in such searches, with searches for immigration to Canada showing a 28-fold increase compared with the previous week. “The number of immigration consultations has skyrocketed in the past few days,” an employee who answered the phone at the Beijing-based immigration consultancy Qiaowai told RFA on Wednesday. “We are very busy every day, and waiting times are relatively long, because we don’t have enough consultants.”
Interestingly, while a great many emigration inquiries are understandably coming from Shanghai, brisk business has been noticed from Beijing as well. This led observers of the Chinese political scene to conclude high-ranking Communist Party officials could be pulling strings to get out of the capital city before it locks down.
RFA quoted some Shanghai residents who said one of the most infamous practices from China’s 2020 lockdowns is returning: people are getting physically sealed inside their homes by the authorities, with everything from tape on their doorways to barbed wire around their buildings.