Under lockdown in China 2022-04-29 06:36:31


At the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, authorities in Shanghai took control of gleaming high-rise office buildings and turned them into mass isolation centers. Floor after floor, room after room, the buildings were full of people, their beds arranged in tight rows.

Those buildings, and the broader lockdown of Shanghai, have bolstered the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s power to mobilize resources in its quest to eradicate Covid. But they also fueled deep frustration with and over the government’s failures.

In eastern Shanghai, clashed with police officers in white protective suits Angry residents who protest They were evicted from their homes when their buildings were being used as isolation sites.

Within these centers, there was a lack of silence, privacy and even showers. Shanghai resident Yolanda Chu said her 86-year-old grandfather cried while being sent to a high-rise office building. “There were a lot of people in that environment, so he was very afraid,” Ms. Zhou said.

The weeks-long lockdown in Shanghai, China’s largest city of 25 million people, is the widest the country has imposed in more than two years. Companies and factories closed and left The streets of the financial capital are empty, A daily reminder of the high costs of the party’s “zero COVID” policy.

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“ Understand all who must be received .

Chinese leaders have imposed mass quarantines, urging officials to “accommodate everyone who should be received.” This means that anyone who tests positive for the virus will be sent to hospitals or isolation facilities set up in schools, exhibition centers and other public places.

in the west of Shanghai, Mraw from 100 Persons he slept on cots They are crammed together in a converted office building. There were only four bathrooms, no showers, and only one choice for breakfast: plain bread.

Another location, in a conference center, contained thousands of beds arranged in areas that were located Marked with purple. The floodlights were kept on around the clock, forcing residents to use them cardboard to prevent their harsh glare.

Leona Cheng

Leona Cheng, a student in her early twenties, said the nurses and doctors were so busy that it was hard to get any help. The staff shortage has also created miserable living conditions.

The portable toilet stalls It quickly filled up with so much human excrement that Ms. Cheng said she stopped drinking the water for several days so she wouldn’t have to use it frequently.

Leona Cheng

Conditions were similar at an isolated middle school site in Shanghai’s Baoshan District.

inside gym, The people were lying on beds lined up about an arm’s length away. in the hallway Garbage was piling up Next to a busy bed.

u/1859404834 via Storyful

Across the city, barricades kept residents inside and forced others to stay outside.

Many delivery drivers were sleeping in tents On the street, they are unable to return to their apartment complexes because they were locked down.

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These drivers have been a lifeline to millions of residents confined to their homes, transporting much-needed food, supplies and medicine at risk to their health and for very little.

“We want to eat, we want to work!”

The hastily closed order has caused widespread shortages of food and necessities and disrupted medical care for people with other illnesses. Residents responded with rare floods of anger.

Videos of the protests rarely appear on the Chinese internet, where government monitors work around the clock to crack down on dissent. But during the lockdown, a number of these videos were shared and viewed widely by Chinese social media users.

The Times found and analyzed three different angles of the videos, which captured a demonstration in late March in a community called Datang Huayuan, in Shanghai’s Baoshan district. In one of the videos, a large group of people gathered outside. “We want supplies!” A woman shrieked in a trumpet. “We want to live!” Videos of the incident have since been deleted from the popular Twitter-like website Weibo.

In some neighborhoods, government grants have been inconsistent and sporadic. Even the wealthiest residents scramble for groceries. Many older residents who do not use smartphones or online shopping apps suddenly find themselves cut off from daily life and food sources.

Others protested restrictions that prevented them from working despite having to keep paying rent in one of the world’s most expensive cities. The Times analyzed and verified the location of another protest video, originally posted on Weibo, where residents of Luoyang Sancun, a middle-class community in southwest Shanghai, gathered outside and chanted in unison: “We want to eat, we want to work, we want the right to information!”

Sometimes, quarrels broke out between residents and government employees who blocked the entrances to some apartment complexes green metal fences.

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People have pushed with increasing force against what they see as authoritarian excess.

When Shanghai separated children from their families, parents organized online petitions, forcing officials to make concessions. When health workers fatally beat a corgi they thought might be infected, residents complained, leading community workers to admit the killing was excessive.

One night, four banners were hung on a normally busy road, giving the sound of the city’s fatigue, sadness and anger. One banner mentioned people who died after being denied care, and hinted at a broader crackdown. Another criticized Chinese censorship.

Pictures of banners It was widely circulated on Weibo and in private groups on WeChat, the Chinese messaging app, but was soon censored. Gao Ming, a podcast editor in Shanghai, said he was asked by Chinese police to delete a tweet containing images of banners. Refusal.

Opposition to indefinite closure

“Wuhan, Shanghai, Fengxian, Ukraine, you and me”

“This content violates the rules and cannot be viewed.”

By morning, the signs were gone.

The biggest human rights deficit

To eliminate signs of resentment, authorities have turned to proven evidence, flooding the Internet with feel-good propaganda while erasing critical content.

State media have released videos highlighting the dedication of health care volunteers in China and showing patients at quarantine sites dancing to keep their spirits up. Moderators raced to remove videos and online discussions about food shortages.

But some Chinese netizens were able to stay ahead, turning the propaganda on its head. Users started using the hashtag The United States is the country with the greatest human rights shortfall. To express their criticism of the actions of the government in Shanghai.

@ 用 名 用 名 user: # 美国 是 最大 的 人权 赤字 国 # 嗯嗯 , 虽然 给 人家 门口 贴 封条 , , , 医疗 资源 让 更多 患者 患者 但 死亡 数字 数字 数字 0 呢!

@ 用 名 用 名 user: The United States is the country with the largest human rights deficit. OK, so we close people’s front doors, kill pets, and waste medical resources so critically ill patients can’t get treatment, but our death toll seems to be zero!

The Times has hidden the usernames.

Whac-A-Mole has escalated among censors and netizens with the advent of last week “April Voices”, A six-minute video that covered the voices of residents questioning help from officials and community workers against black and white aerial footage of Shanghai.

One man says, “This virus will not kill you, but hunger will.”

“I am frustrated that I cannot help you,” a neighborhood worker told a resident. “If anything, I’m even more saddened by you.”

Translation by China Digital Times, via YouTube

The censors went over speed to demolish the video. But the users persisted. Keep posting the video, over and over, Reverse, rotate, and embed in other videos.

For a brief moment, the wave of censorship sparked heated debates about freedom of expression.

Soon those were also censored.