To fight the omicron variant, China closed Shanghai in March. Currently, the number of cities under lockdown has reached dozens.
With many shutdowns happening across Beijing, some people are now worried about a possible total lockdown in Beijing.
Beijing authorities assure that they have enough supplies to meet people’s needs and continue quick delivery. Even so, the reality is a far cry from the assurances given by the authorities.
On May 13, the YouTube account Zaiye Shuo uploaded a video of Beijingers cramming into supermarkets, urgently picking up products. People were even lining up outside stores waiting for their turn to shop. Empty shelves were also recorded.
In addition, Wudaokou Metro Station in Haidian District, Beijing was temporarily closed on May 16, making travel more difficult for Beijing residents. So far, Beijing Subway has halted 18 lines and 92 stations.
Beijing has yet to face lockdowns, as has Shanghai. However, Shinohara, an expatriate in the IT industry, said that their family is separated. Because of China’s strict curbs on traveling, family members are stuck and cannot return to the city.
Since March, Shanghai has entered city lockdown, and secondary disasters have occurred frequently.
In Shanghai, which has the title of an international metropolis, people have not been able to get enough food for weeks. Patients cannot seek medical treatment. Children are forcibly separated from their parents, and elder people living alone have died unexpectedly.
According to China’s seventh national census, Shanghai’s population is about 25 million. Since the government locked down such a large city with millions of people, until now, people are screaming that there was a shortage of supplies. In a series of short clips shared online on April 12, people in Jiufuyuan, Yufeng Shangdu, Panjing Road, Baoshan District, Shanghai shouted they need supplies. There are even people who volunteered to go to jail to have food.
Apart from Shanghai, Dongxing city in Guangxi has been sealed since February 24. The city enters a state of home isolation.
Compared with other regions, the outbreak in Dongxing city hasn’t received much attention. As a border city and an important commercial port for trade with ASEAN countries, Dongxing is under pressure for COVID prevention and control.
Xu, a supermarket owner in Dongxing, said to Chinese-language media Da Ji Yuan that over 40 nucleic acid tests had been done. Supermarkets were not open. There was no income, and the rent had to be paid.
The city of Ruili in Yunnan is even worse than Dongxing, which has been closed nine times in three years. With confirmed cases still emerging and people living in misery, work is halted.
Ruili is a border city between China and Myanmar. It is connected to Myanmar in the northwest, southwest, and southeast.
Ruili has suspended workplaces, schools, logistics, and stores for three years. To prevent the spread of the epidemic, people from Ruili couldn’t move freely. Not a single positive case has flowed out of Ruili, but their daily life isn’t any better.
The article ‘Ruili needs the care of the Motherland’ attracted people all over the country. One of many paragraphs in the article told others to save and pay attention to this beautiful border town and give this city a promising future.
Some videos went viral on Twitter, exposing the situation in Suzhou.
The user @iPaulCanada posted a video on Twitter on April 22. He said the people in the clip were in Kunshan Zhonghua Park, Suzhou. Most of them are migrant workers.
According to the post, they have been stuck there for more than a month because of the new epidemic and are not allowed to go out. There is no food available and, also, no food is provided. If the situation continues, they will starve to death.
The epidemic continues to spread in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province; the authorities upgraded the “zero COVID” policy, leaving many residents in a difficult situation.
Mr. Chen, a resident of Shangsha East village, Shenzhen said no one cared about them; they were fenced off and could not get out. Also, many people were shouting: “hungry, hungry…” however, no one delivered meals.
Ms. Li, a resident of Shenzhen, said that many areas had been sealed off again. In areas that were not sealed off, people needed a 48-hour proof of nucleic acid when entering and leaving on all occasions.
She added that people had to go to the nucleic acid test once every two days. The queue looked scary, and it took two hours to queue up. However, they could not go out if they did not have a health code.
A loudspeaker played on a loop in a small area of Shekou Street in Shenzhen’s Nanshan District, urging residents to have their nucleic acid tested with the slogan, “If you don’t test for three days, the code will automatically turn black. If you don’t test today, you won’t be able to go to work tomorrow.”
Many Chinese cities have been brutally controlled. It makes people become increasingly discontent. In the past few days, social media users have shared many videos on the Internet. Those videos show the Chinese fighting against the regime’s employees.
According to a video circulating on the Internet, students living in Peking University, Wanliu Park, gathered at midnight on May 15 to protest the school’s fence-up of a wall to constrain the pandemic.
Radio France International reported that the university built the wall without soliciting students’ opinions. The wall left students unable to go to eat in the student dormitory’s cafeteria or even order the take-away.
Sound Of Hope reported that Chen Baojian, the Party Committee’s deputy secretary and Peking University’s vice president, showed up at the demonstration scene shortly later. He asked the students to disperse and return to the dormitory.
He promised to solve the problem, but the students responded to Chen’s remarks with boos. Then they shouted to tear down the wall together, followed by the banging sound.
In response, Chen walked over to look at the situation before shouting to the gathering students. He asked them to put down their phones and protect Peking University. Following the remarks, Chen immediately received a strong reaction from the students.
Some students questioned in loud voices, “who protects us? Does the wall protect Peking University?”
According to RFI, the vice-president finally joined the students in dismantling the wall.
China authorities are arousing public anger and outrage in the name of epidemic prevention.
“Rise, hungry slaves! Rise, afflicted people of the world!”
Many versions of The Internationale, originally the ant hem of the international communist movement, have been sung everywhere to resist the Chinese government’s tyranny.
Citizens can also be heard singing the song at night from their apartments.
In addition, netizens have recently shared anti-violence videos, saying that it was the best way to oppose the Chinese government’s tyranny. Some videos show scenes of people chasing and fighting with public security officials.
A video on Twitter shows a scene of starving residents in Shanghai starting a rebellion and fighting with the police because they have no food. Half of the residents participated with significant momentum, according to the video owner.
In another video, two disabled men were prevented by one authority from selling art. One of them got kicked after he begged for permission to continue working.
According to a netizen, these are real disabled people. He said it was no longer easy to live in China.
The Chinese government’s stiff anti-COVID policy not only stirs young people’s emotions.
A video on May 1 shows a scene of a crowd throwing stones at the public security officials, and there were some middle-aged women among them. According to the video owner, Chinese authorities and public security will be afraid if people unite and resist.
Earlier, other Shanghai residents stood up.
Residents of many communities in Shanghai’s Pudong New Area reportedly broke through the blockade on April 14. Then, they gathered to protest at Xiangnan Road, Zhangjiang Town, Pudong New Area. The footage shows large crowds at the location while some people shouted, “Down with the Communist Party.”
Shortly after that, a number of armed police officers dressed in protective clothing came to the location to drive out the crowd.
Another social media user said that the authorities turned Pudong into isolation facilities. It was sparking widespread protests and disputes.
According to Bloomberg, as the number of COVID cases increased, officials had to expand isolation facilities. In mid-March, five buildings were requisitioned as isolation points. Officials returned to the compound on Tuesday, April 12, informing residents that a further nine buildings would be converted.
Outside a housing compound, about 30 people wearing hazmat suits with the word “police” arrived and scuffled with other people, taking at least one person.
Shenzhen people also voiced their displeasure.
In Block C of Jiabaorun Gold Building in Futian District, Shenzhen, a group of residents shouted slogans protesting the epidemic lockdown.
On March 5, Mr. Wang, a Shenzhen resident, told Chinese Xin Tang Ren media that since the entire building of Jiabaorun was closed on February 16, the residents’ lives were in trouble, so they shouted slogans to protest.
As worsening Covid outbreaks cut demand, undermined production, and disrupted logistics in China. Hence, China’s exports and imports struggled in April. They are the mainstays of the Chinese economy.
Imports remained flat in April after falling 0.1 percent in March.
China’s trade sector accounts for about a third of gross domestic product (GDP). The weak figures show it is losing momentum due to lockdowns imposed across the country.
Nomura, a Japanese bank, estimated that 23 Chinese cities in China had implemented total or partial lockdowns. Those cities have a combined population of 193 million people and contribute 22% of China’s GDP.
According to Forbes, the American Chamber of Commerce in China released a joint survey in April. The survey showed that 99% of the members had suffered the impact of the recent Covid outbreaks. They said that the measures had affected supply chains, manufacturing, revenue, investment, and staffing.
Jörg Wuttke, President of the European Chamber of Commerce in China, said in an interview on April 28 that China’s economic growth will not reach 5.5% in 2022 as expected. He added that “it will be below 4%” because of the zero COVID policy.
On May 2, the Milken Institute, an independent U.S. economic think tank, hosted a symposium titled “Insiders’ View on China.” At the meeting, Wenchi Yu of Harvard’s Kennedy School noted that the current epidemic control in Shanghai has added to the uncertainty of China’s economic outlook.
Jason Tan from Jeneration Capital said that the Chinese market is “very volatile.” Meanwhile, other experts shared that investors should consider risks and be selective when investing in China.
Frédéric Lemaître, a Beijing correspondent for the French newspaper Le Monde, said that “China is struggling.”
Frédéric cited Shan Weijian, CEO of private equity firm PAG, who explained that China is undergoing “a deep economic crisis.” Weijian said that China’s economy is in the worst shape in 30 years.