Rare protests, mass censorship, anger reaches boiling point over draconian lockdowns in Shanghai

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The COVID lockdown in China’s most populous city, Shanghai, has grown so draconian that some residents of the city have begun protesting in the likes of Americans, which is an extraordinarily rare occurrence in a country ruled by communists.

The protests come amid a recent drastic uptick in cases. Over 13,000 were reported just this Monday in the city, according to NPR, whereas a tad over 23,000 were reported in the entire United States that same day, according to Worldometers.

NPR notes however that the “vast majority” of cases in Shanghai have been “asymptomatic,” which is no surprise given the vaccination rate.

“Over 80 per cent of adults in Beijing and Shanghai have been fully vaccinated, meaning the population in both cities has technically reached herd immunity – the proportion of the community needed to be immunised to prevent spread of the virus,” the South China Morning Post reported back in August.

The vaccination rate is presumably even higher now months later.

Despite cases being mostly asymptomatic, the Chinese Communist Party has forced the residents of Shanghai into lockdown since mid-March.

“Shenzhen, a city bordering Hong Kong that is the hub of China’s tech sector and electronics manufacturing industries, announced on Sunday night a lockdown for the next seven days,” The New York Times reported on Monday, March 21st.

“All nonessential workers must stay home, adults must undergo three P.C.R. tests in the coming days, and buses and subway trains are being halted. Supermarkets, farmers’ markets, pharmacies, medical institutions and express delivery services will be allowed to stay open.”

But because of a continued uptick in cases, the CCP wound up extending the lockdown. And then this week they extended the lockdown yet again. Yet the penitentiary-like lockdown in Shanghai bears little resemblance to the inconvenient but mostly short-lived lockdowns experienced in the U.S. in early 2020.

And indeed, a CNN segment earlier this week pointed to residents in one neighborhood who “crowded at the gate inside their complex, asking why not put us all in prison — we’ve been locked in 26 days anyway.”


In the U.S., though those needing non-COVID-related medical care were sometimes denied treatment because of a lack of open beds, in Shanghai those needing medical treatment aren’t even allowed to try to get help.

“We spoke to the family of a man who is dealing with late-stage stomach cancer. He is supposed to be in the hospital now, hospitalized for chemotherapy, but he is unable to leave his apartment,” CNN’s Selina Wang reported in the clip above.

“The family tells us they’ve been trying to do everything to get him to the hospital because he is in such extreme pain. But they are telling us that they aren’t having any luck.”

“Anger is reaching a boiling point in Shanghai,” she added.

And it’s doing so in a way “rarely seen in China,” according to the Times, with Shanghai residents breaking out into chants, confronting the police and even criticizing the much-feared CCP.

The Times takes note of the case of Kristine Wu, “a 28-year-old employee of a tech company who was visited at home by two police officers after she criticized the city’s Communist Party leader on social media.”

She not only recorded her confrontation with them but then shared a photo of the confrontation to social media, despite the officers warning her against doing so.

“It was later censored,” according to the Times.

In this regard, some critics argue, China isn’t so different from the U.S. after all.

Shanghai residents have also faced the prospect of being shipped off to overcrowded camps, or watching helplessly as their children are shipped off to said camps.

“Under China’s unbending virus controls, anyone found positive — even if they are asymptomatic or have a mild infection — must be isolated from non-infected people. That includes children who test positive but whose family members do not,” according to CBS News.

The CCP reportedly finally relented on the child-separation policy in an announcement made Wednesday, but it remains unclear whether this tiny gesture will be enough to calm the tide of anger flowing through the city …


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Vivek Saxena


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