China: Uncommon gesture of defiance in Beijing in opposition to measures in opposition to Covid


Hundreds of Peking University students, an ultra-sensitive establishment in the eyes of Chinese power, protested on Sunday against strengthening measures against Covid.

More than 300 students, who were locked up in their dormitories for a week, demonstrated on Sunday evening at the Wanliu campus.


The Chinese capital has been the subject since early May strict anti-epidemic measureswith almost daily drug tests and strong motivation to work from home. Restaurants and other non-essential businesses are closed and many residences are imprisoned.

Although a metropolis with more than 20 million inhabitants has recorded only a thousand cases in recent weeks, the communist regime remains committed to its zero Covid policy, presented as a success given the millions of deaths. world.

Palisade installation

But more than 300 students, detained in their dormitories for the week, demonstrated Sunday night at the Wanliu campus, one of the sites of the vast Beijing University, saying several students had asked for anonymity for fear of punishment. In the videos, the content of which was verified by the AFP agency, we can see students repeating passwords and shouting at a university representative.

The students have just passed a palisade that the university has built to prevent them from leaving their homes and ordering food. “Everyone was very upset when the palisade was installed,” the student testified on Monday.

“Protest tradition”

The deputy director of the university finally spoke to the demonstrators using a megaphone and urged them to “rejoin (their) boarding school in peace,” according to a video uploaded by the student. The university authorities then promised to allow students to join the main educational campus and have their food delivered. “You have to do what the government tells you to do and have all your freedoms taken,” one student told AFP.


The management of “Beida”, the nickname of Peking University, rejected the qualification of “demonstration”, simply evoking “students who expressed their demands”.


The prestigious university was the cradle of the Tian’anmen Democracy demonstrations in 1989, which were to end in a bloodbath on the night of June 3-4, 1989. As such, it remains under surveillance like milk on fire. . “Today we have witnessed the protest tradition of Beida’s students rise from the ashes,” the Weibo social network user said in a commentary that was immediately censored.

“Jokes every day”

Dissatisfaction is also evident in Shanghai, the country’s most populous city, with a population of 25 million in quarantine since early April. In an effort to give the residents some hope, the authorities announced on Sunday and “Step by step” business reopening – a prospect that will not change anything for the millions of people who are still trapped in their homes or in quarantine centers.

“I have no hope of an early reopening,” the restaurant owner told AFP on condition of anonymity. “Why do people still believe in these things? They have been making fun of us every day since April 1st.

After exceeding 25,000 daily cases at the end of April, Shanghai cut its balance to less than a thousand new infections on Monday. China’s economic capital has also recorded nearly 600 deaths since mid-March.

Even if these numbers remain minimal compared to the rest of the world, the communist regime remains true to its zero Covid strategy, despite its economic costs and growing unpopularity.


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