WorldWill citizen protests in China cause Xi to relax...

Will citizen protests in China cause Xi to relax the Zero Covid policy?


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There are protests in China and they all point against politics covid zerothe way in which the Government of Xi Jinping ensures that the coronavirus does not spread. The situation does not seem to be so serious, but it does begin to confirm that extreme measures -which consist of strict quarantines for entire communities- are not entirely efficient. There are 40,000 daily infections, of which about 90% are asymptomatic, according to the National Health Commission.

READ ALSO: China takes police to the streets, censors online information after historic protests

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The public annoyance overflowed due to a fire in urumqicapital of xinjiang, an area that has been in quarantine for more than two months. On Thursday the 24th, 10 people lost their lives and on social networks, despite the censorship, it was seen how a fire truck could not get close enough as it was a confined area. “Raise the measures!”, the neighbors shouted, claiming that after moving to the social networks, ended up on the streets. On Sunday the 27th, in Beijing, Shanghai Y wuhan was heard: Xi Jinping, quit! and “We want freedom”.

The Chinese government definitely underestimated the population -he thinks analyst Francisco Belaúnde-. The party position prevailed without anticipating that people could get fed up. This is something common in this type of regime: Xi himself said that this policy should be continued, so local leaders do not want to risk contagion”.

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For the moment, the state reaction was to deploy the police in large numbers. Last Sunday, for example, the police hit, kicked Y arrest to the correspondent of the BBC, Ed Lawrencewho covered the protests in Shanghai. And, this Monday the 28th, the patrols dispersed the protesters and forced them to delete the photos from their cell phones.

Even so, Belaúnde does not believe that the annoyance of the citizenry will become so important as to put the China. The first thing he points out is that the demonstrations were spontaneous, and without clear leaders there is no way to suppress them. In addition to the fact that the Governmentwould be measuring”, so that there are no deaths. “But let’s not forget that when these kinds of regimes decide massacre, it does. Remember what happened in tiananmen in 1989″.

Need for change

The comparison has been one of the main triggers -write down the Sinologist Marco Carrasco-. During her first year, the policy covid zero was effective, but now China was relegated in terms of openness when confronted with the rest of the countries”.

For Carrasco it is not that the Government has underestimated the population. In any case, he believes that he did not pay enough attention to possible scenarios that would trigger the latent disagreements in the country. For example, the transmission of the matches of Qatar 2022: Being a soccer nation, they were slow to censor the images from the stands. “In the social networks Chinese women began to wonder what was happening and if Qatar I was on another planet. It is clear that this policy is trapped, it is no longer in sync with what is happening in other nations”.

LOOK: Chinese police beat and arrest BBC journalist covering anti-lockdown protests

According to the expert, the Government of Xi It has not ruled on the demonstrations in the official media. In parallel, there is censorship on social networks, and police blockades, a way of attacking the problem without having to pour gasoline on the underlying problem. In any case, after the fire in xinjiangcertain restrictions were relaxed: the AP agency reported that last Saturday, some neighborhoods were opened, as well as their businesses.

Regarding what is coming, Carrasco does not believe that they have political repercussions. While it is true that protests are rare in China and which were used by some to express discontent with the Government and to ask for liberties, there is also a large majority that thinks the same as the regime. For those, this would be a sign of the foreign intervention.

In any case, he notes, it is necessary to be attentive to the modifications that will be implemented to the policy covid zero. “There’s a certain level of jadedness, so I think some adjustments are likely.”.

Nevertheless, Belaunde adds that becoming more flexible could be a major inconvenience for China. “The Government is between discontent and relaxing the measures, which would generate a deadly wave of infections. And it’s not the only thing. Concessions are frowned upon: some analysts say that when Mikhail Gorbachev wanted to do them in the USSR, everything fell. In this sense, these types of regimes do not want to give up anything because it means opening a dangerous door.”.

Source: Elcomercio

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