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Scenes of Protest Persist Amid 'Zero-COVID' Lockdowns in China

With businesses shuttered, residents have reportedly struggled to secure food, water, and medication

On Thursday, disturbing videos of COVID protests and extreme police actions involving China’s massive lockdowns circulated on social media. 

China has seen multiple large cities experience a surge in COVID-19 infection over the previous six weeks. The surge poses a threat to China’s Zero-COVID policy and, as a result, large metropolitan areas, such as Shanghai, have enacted complete lockdowns. 

Shanghai, a city of roughly 26 million residents, has experienced the most extensive lockdown mandated by the Chinese government. Residents have not been allowed to leave their homes, and those confirmed COVID positive have been moved into quarantine centers throughout the city. 

The local economy has been shut down, which has impacted residents across the massive city. With many businesses shuttered, residents have struggled to secure items such as food, toiletries, and medications. Some reports claim residents have run out of food and water. 

On Thursday, videos appeared on social media displayed the tensions boiling over as residents clashed with police over the city’s extreme conditions. 

In one video, police are seen using excessive force to contain protestors. It shows residents scuffling with hazmat-suited police, who have pinned them to the ground as bystanders weep and scream in disbelief.  

A report by the Bangkok Post stated that the protest centered around 39 residents in the Nashi community of Shanghai who were forced to give up their homes for use as an additional quarantine location. 

According to Bloomberg, Zhangjiang Group, the state-owned company that manages the community, said “relevant departments” handled the matter. The company noted that it had acted on government orders to carry out COVID-19 control work. They also said the residents were compensated for moving.

On Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China would stick to its dynamic zero-COVID policy, saying: “Victory comes from perseverance.”

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