China is reeling under unprecedented pressure from civil disobedience against President Xi JInping’s signature “zero-Covid” policy. The domino-effect of the protests reached some major cities as hundreds of demonstrators clashed with police expressing their anger over China’s stringent Covid norms. The flare up is, as experts feel, a safety-valve eruption of people’s mounting frustration since Jinping assumed power a decade ago.
Covid rules eased
Sensing the groundswell of protests that went with a wider strategy, Chinese mandarins took decisions to ease anti-virus guidelines, aiming at quelling people’s anger. However, the zero-Covid strategy will remain in force. The government has not made any official comment on the people’s utterance of stepping down of XI. Analysts are of the view that the government will not back down on its zero-Covid restrictions.
Hundreds of workers started protesting at Foxconn’s flagship iPhone plant in China a week ago. They smashed surveillance cameras and windows, as a viral video on social media showed. The workers were discontent over strict quarantine rules coupled with shortage of food and poor conditions. Many workers fled the factory campus since Apple supplier clamped a closed loop system at the world’s biggest iPhone plant in October. Closed-loop operations were implemented owing to checking Covid cases. Under a closed-loop system staffers have to live and work isolated from the outer world.
China is trying hard to keep Covid cases close to zero. In order to achieve it, China authorities clamped strict guidelines amidst world lifting most restrictions. They are working hard on the implementation of mass testing, quarantine and imposing strict lockdowns for longer spells.
China says that the zero-Covid strategy could be life-saving and is necessary to checkmat the patients’ burdens on the healthcare system. China seems to be firm on continuing of zero-Covid norms despite the growing public outrage and mounting economic jolt. Low by global standards though, China’s Covid cases have gone record highs for days, with nearly 40,000 new infections on Saturday, reported The Indian Express.
Here’s what people are saying about the unrest in China, reported Reuters:
“The pandemic and the codes have caused so much torture to us. Also more people are becoming unemployed owing to the strict Covid guidelines. This has become an ordeal for kids and the elderly to get medical attention,” says Summer Kay, 24, Internet industry, Beijing.
“I want to see Beijing going back to normal. I want to see people safe, free and happy again.I want people to feel hope instead of feeling numb everyday,” Kay Huang, working in the entertainment sector, Beijing, told Reuters.
Taiwan premier Su Tseng-Chang said to Reuters: “China is an autocratic and totalitarian country and close to us, so we will keep an eye on any changes and moves in China and respond immediately.”