China-wide protests turn violent over lockdowns: Xinjiang, Shanghai, Wuhan

by WorldTribune Staff, November 27, 2022

Chinese citizens fed up with communist leader Xi Jinping’s zero-Covid lockdowns have taken to the streets in major cities throughout China.

Over the weekend, violent protests erupted in Beijing, Shanghai and the eastern city of Nanjing, according to witness accounts.

Citizens protest against China’s strict ‘zero-Covid’ policy in central Shanghai on Nov. 27. / Kyodo

Video footage and photos which made it through China’s infamous Internet firewall show protests broke out in several other cities, including Wuhan, the original epicenter of the pandemic.

People in locked-down areas are banned from leaving their homes and often find it difficult to procure adequate food and daily necessities.

In Wuhan, anti-lockdown protesters tore down barricades, shouting: “It started in Wuhan and it ends in Wuhan!”

On Friday, protesters in Urumqi, capital of the remote region of Xinjiang, said that a fire killed 10 people because Covid restrictions prevented firefighters from quickly reaching the scene.

Related: Tibet and the other ‘national’ threats to the Chinese regime , March 21, 2008

“Having protests over the same issue break out in multiple Chinese cities is almost unheard of, outside of nationalist outpourings, such as anti-Japanese protests. Since the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, the ruling party has allowed some local demonstrations but made it a priority to prevent nationwide protests,” the Wall Street Journal noted.

Video out of Shanghai showed one man chanting, “The Communist Party,” with others responding, “Step down.”

“Xi Jinping,” one protester shouted. “Step down,” as others responded in kind.

Conservative commentator Jack Posobiec noted in a Telegram post that the protests in Shanghai were taking place “right down the street from the U.S. Consulate. Not a single official or member of the Biden Admin has said a word about them.”

“A lot of people are reaching the breaking point,” said Yanzhong Huang, a public-health expert at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Huang and several other analysts compared the waves of Covid-related protests with the public sentiment around the 1989 Tiananmen protests.

“If mishandled by the government, the highly volatile situation could quickly evolve into the most severe political crisis since Tiananmen,” said Huang.

While protesters in China highlight the rising toll on society from Xi’s Covid strategy built around mass testing and confinement to quash even minor outbreaks, major media in the U.S., which often praise Xi’s handling of the pandemic, rush to point out that China’s infection rate remains lower than the U.S.’s.

Conservative commentator Jack Posobiec noted: “How long before CNN/NYT/WAPO attack the Chinese protesters as anti-science?”

Not long, actually.

The Washington Post’s Taylor Lorenz slammed her own newspaper’s reporting on opposition in China to Covid lockdowns.

The Post on Saturday tweeted: “A coronavirus outbreak on the verge of being China’s biggest of the pandemic has exposed a critical flaw in Beijing’s ‘zero Covid’ strategy: a vast population without natural immunity.”

Lorenz, within hours, responded: “There is no lasting ‘natural immunity’ to Covid. You can get Covid over and over and over again bc there are so many endlessly evolving strains and antibodies wane. Also, choosing not to kill off millions of vulnerable people (as the U.S. is doing) isn’t a ‘critical flaw'” Lorenz wrote.

The responses ripping Lorenz came quickly:

“Sickening. Washington Post ‘journalist’ and obsessive Covid maximalist Taylor Lorenz is now full-on defending the Chinese Communist Party’s massive human rights violations… just days after civilians burned to death in a locked-down apartment block in Urumqi,” Christina Pushaw wrote.

“Nothing to see here, just @TaylorLorenz (I’m blocked) of the Washington Post defending China’s insane, authoritarian ‘zero-covid’ strategy. Hundreds of millions of people living like slaves, testing every single day and having no personal freedom, i.e. Taylor Lorenz’s dream,” Maxwell Meyer tweeted.

“It is common knowledge at WaPo that Taylor Lorenz uses the paper to settle personal & political scores but they do nothing because the misinformation she spreads creates epic levels of controversy that deliver epic numbers of clicks. WaPo IS #fakenews,” stated one user.

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