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Protests erupt in China over Zero COVID policy

By Tatsuya Uemoto, Staff Writer

China is one of the countries that is strictly regulated for COVID 19, and they have a Zero Covid policy to limit behavior. However, recent actions caused a huge protest against the Zero Covid policy in China. 

It is extremely unusual for protests against the government to occur in various parts of China. In the protest, many people attended to seek freedom. In Shanghai, which is the biggest city in China, protests were held on both Nov. 26 and 27, with protesters being seized by police. 

Many protests were also held at colleges and other institutions throughout China. According to the Chinese government, this is the fifth consecutive day with a record number of COVID cases cases, so it will be interesting to see how the Chinese government responds to the Zero Covid policy.

Many police officers and police vehicles were deployed in central Beijing, where hundreds of people gathered to protest. Near the location where the protest took place is the U.S. Embassy, where people usually take a walk. However, on that day the protest took place, the atmosphere was completely different from usual. 

In addition, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) issued a statement saying that a correspondent covering the protests in Shanghai was temporarily detained for several hours. The correspondent claims that he was beaten and kicked by police officers, and he blames the authorities for the incident.

Most people who attended the protest were young people. Then, they stated that the government was silencing the words and actions of the citizens, and they protested that and held up white papers to show their protest.

“This protest that happened in China is something that I believe should have happened. As the people who participated in the protest said, in other countries, restrictions against Covid have been eased and the symptoms of Covid are less severe than before. So I don’t think it is necessary to restrict it as strictly as in China,” senior Western Oregon University communication major Hibiki Ouchi said.

Also, senior University of Hawaii at Hilo business management Erick Shinjo commented.

“Recently, the number of infected people in China is increasing. The government has implemented the Zero Covid Policy as a countermeasure, but I do not think it is working. Therefore, I think this protest is fair,” Shinjo said.

On the other hand, junior Fresno Pacific University business management Koutarou Matsumaru sees the policy in a different light.

“I can agree with people who participated in the protest, but I think that the Zero Covid policy is a good idea. In fact, as the Chinese government has said, the number of Covid cases in China is still increasing. If the number of infections is still increasing, even now that Covid has become less infectious, then I think it is the right decision to take that policy,” Matsumaru said.

In these ways, there are several opinions on this protest. In China, the number of confirmed cases reached a record high on Nov. 26. In China, the number of people infected with Covid has not been reduced. Some people have an opinion that the government’s Zero Covid Policy against it may not be working, thus, the Chinese government views their response as urgent.

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