China is experiencing an unprecedented outbreak of zero covid policy

In the Ouigoure region of Xinjiang, a fire killed several people who could not be saved by the emergency services, blocked due to health restrictions. The drama has relaunched the dispute in several cities in the country.

by Frédéric Lemaître (Beijing, correspondent)

from Urumqi (Xinjiang) to Shanghai, from Canton to Zhengzhou (Henan), from Beijing to Nankin (Jiangsu), tens of thousands of people have, in a form or another participated in recent days in demonstrations collective in China.

In Beijing just before the Communist Party Congress, a man had staged his anger, brandishing a banner hostile to Xi Jinping, knowing full well that he was going to be arrested a few minutes later. On November 24, it is the turn of a resident of Chongqing to publicly denounce the policy followed by claiming in the street: “There is only one illness in the world: lack of freedom and poverty” . These anger movements have, despite the censorship, relayed by tens of millions of Internet users. Unheard of since the occupation of the Tiananmen square in June 1989.

Even if they take very diverse forms, these manifestations are all linked to the policy of zero covid. While the Xinjiang region (where a large Uigne population has been living in the rest of China for about three months and millions of inhabitants have been confined to it, death in the Urumqi capital of ten people on Thursday, November 24 A fire building to which the firefighters were unable to reach several hundred inhabitants to protest in front of the town hall against the excesses of confinement.

“A spark can set fire to the whole plain”

While the Chinese generally concerns themselves quite little about the fate of the Uighurs, this news item scandalizes the whole country. It was to pay tribute to the victims, Saturday, November 26, that dozens of young Shanghais gathered, before being quickly joined by hundreds of people in what has become a very political demonstration. In Nankin, communication students have brandished simple white leaves on Saturday, in tribute to the victims of the fire, drawing the wrath of a university official, who threatened: “You will pay For what you have done today. ” In Beijing, this Sunday, hundreds of students from Tsinghua University – where Xi Jinping studied – sang the International and claimed more freedom.

In Shanghai, dozens of young people gathered to pay tribute to the victims of Urumqi’s fire, Saturday, November 26. Ap

These movements are very angry with the workers of Foxconn, the famous subcontractor of Apple who protested both the absence of premiums that had been promised to them but also Against the company’s anti-Cavid policy. A social movement which has not led to a political demand.

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/Media reports cited above.