At least three were arrested according to a notice issued by Jining Municipal Public Security on Tuesday, September 13. 

On the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, a resident named Wu from Jining shared a link to the live broadcast of the CCTV Mid-Autumn Festival Party in the community owner group and appealed to everyone to “ask for support.”

According to screenshots posted by local media, “Shandong Jining asks for support,” soon triggered more citizens to respond. Many community members also left messages simultaneously, saying that the local isolation environment is very harsh, and the food supplies cannot meet basic needs.

This led to rapid official retaliation. The local police said that Wu’s behavior disrupted social order and detained him for five days.

The Jining police announcement on the incident

One netizen commented: “Is it illegal for the masses in Jining to “ask for support”? When people call for support, can they disturb public order? Is our public order too fragile? or Does it mean it’s time for the world to gather to respond whenever someone raises their arms and shouts?”

According to local state media, the live commentary incident may have led to the arrest of at least three people. In addition to Wu, citizens surnamed Li and Wang were reported.

The Chinese media Abulowang could not contact the parties and their relatives for comment.

So far, the Jining police have only reported that Wu Moumou was arrested but refused to be interviewed.

Silence raising voice is a national norm

Chen Hongtao told Radio Free Asia that the evidence on the internet shows that Jining authorities have severely controlled its residents and caused a lack of supplies during the lockdown. 

While they often arrest people who complain, they do not pay attention to pandemic prevention itself.

He also pointed out that the current practice of arresting people is a common phenomenon across the country, not an exception in Jining. He believes that before the 20th National Congress, this kind of strict social control in the name of pandemic prevention is unlikely to be relaxed.

Officials rent hotels in the city to eat and drink 

According to RFA, some people claim on social media that the local official COVID assistance is weak, but the officials spend huge sums of money to eat and stay at luxury hotels.

A local high-end hotel has become a base for the pandemic prevention command and officials to eat and drink with public funds under the name of pandemic prevention.

According to reports from local citizens, Jining has been under lockdown for ten days. Because of the strict lockdown, many people are experiencing a shortage of food and necessities, especially in the central urban area of Rencheng District. However, the so-called local government agencies have planned to package many hotels for these public officials to eat and stay in.

Among them, the Municipal Epidemic prevention Command occupies high-end hotels where the daily price of each room may exceed 500 yuan.

One Aboluowang reporter specifically called a local hotel. It confirmed this situation and revealed that no one outside could stay except for the official staff.

The reporter also found that phones at the Jining Pandemic Prevention Command and luxury hotels rented by high-level local officials were no longer accessible. Even if connected occasionally, they were cut off.

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