Home International China Vows To Crack Down On ‘Hostile Forces’ As Zero-Covid Protests Intensify

China Vows To Crack Down On ‘Hostile Forces’ As Zero-Covid Protests Intensify

The police have gathered in large numbers in squares and roads across China, where mass protests took place in decades, and have put barriers, including in Shanghai’s Urumqi road.

by News Desk
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University students were sent home and police flooded the streets in China after protests erupted over the weekend against the country’s tough zero-Covid policy, reported the Guardian. The move came after the country’s top security body called for a crackdown on “hostile forces”.

As per the report, the police have gathered in large numbers in squares and roads across China, where mass protests took place in decades, and have put barriers, including in Shanghai’s Urumqi road.

The widespread protests were sparked after 10 people were killed in a fire in Urumqi city amid claims that they had been locked in their homes under the zero-Covid policy.

China’s Zero-Covid Protests: 10 points

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  1. China’s domestic security chief vowed to “effectively maintain overall social stability” at a meeting on Tuesday in what appeared to be the first official response to the protests.
  2. Without mentioning the demonstrations, Chen Wenqing urged law enforcement officials to “resolutely strike hard against infiltration and sabotage activities by hostile forces, as well as illegal and criminal acts that disrupt social order,” reported CNN quoting state-run news agency Xinhua.
  3. After the protests, several universities have moved to online classes, officially on the grounds that there had been a covid outbreak.
  4. Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University, the alma mater of China’s leader, Xi Jinping, was among such universities to send students home and shift to online exams.
  5. The Chinese authorities have started to move swiftly to clampdown the mass protests with police patrolling streets, checking cell phones and in some instances calling some demonstrators to warn them against a repeat.
  6. Two protesters told news agency Reuters that callers identifying themselves as Beijing police officers asked them to report to a police station on Tuesday with written accounts of their activities on Sunday night.
  7. One student said he was asked by his college if he had been to an area where a protest was taking place and to provide a written report on his whereabouts.
  8. As per reports, the police is also checking if people have installed virtual private networks that can be used to circumvent China’s internet firewall.
  9. Protestors also said that the police checked the phones of passersby to see if they have Twitter or Telegram, apps that are banned in China, installed on their phones.
  10. Amid mass protests and its subsequent clampdown, the authorities have also announced plans to step up vaccination of older people in a bid to tackle the anger over its zero-Covid policy.

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