Covid Lockdown Protests




deploy crack (2) crackdown
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protest common stand down
fire (2) evidence stand/stood/stood
rumor lockdown pandemic
accept rule (2) go back to
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policy remove combat (2)
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search constrain current (3)
spread available quarantine
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hope indefinite rise/rose/risen
censor speculate hopelessness
appear mindful drive/drove/driven
cup (2) mention account (3)
effort mask (2) discontent
protest note (2) mean/meant/meant






There’s a Crackdown taking place in China; police are being deployed in many cities because at the weekend widespread protests erupted over strict covid rules.

Protester, One: “I think we should go back to normal — we should go back to normal lives.”

That was in Beijing. This footage is Shanghai it was filmed by the BBC’s Edward Lawrence who later was beaten by police and held for several hours. There were also protests in Chengdu, Xi’an, Wuhan and Urumchi where the first protest was seen.

And there have been rare calls for the president to stand down. These protesters are saying, “Down with the Chinese Communist Party. Down with Xi Jinping.

Now localized protests aren’t uncommon in China — widespread ones are.

But as the world has opened up after the pandemic, mass testing, quarantines and lockdowns are all still used in China. And when 10 people died in a fire in a room sheet last week some said lockdown rules had slowed the response.

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Not that the government accepts this.

Government Spokesperson: “Forces with ulterior motives have used social media to link the fire to the zero covered policy. But the local government has combated these rumors and smears.”

The Chinese state is certainly seeking to exert control online: the social media platform Weibo has removed nearly all footage of the protests. The authorities also want to stop the footage ever getting online.

This video also from the BBC’s Edward Lawrence shows a woman being forced to delete photos.

Journalist, BBC: “We’re getting reports of police using cell phone data for example to track people who are at protests. We’re starting to see them use that system to to exercise control.”

The surveillance and censorship doesn’t stop there: white pieces of paper have become a symbol of the protests and online searches for them are being restricted.

And while the government restricts the protesters its allies are getting their message out nationalist accounts on _Weibo_ is speculating that the discontent is being instigated by foreign forces.

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There’s no publicly available evidence of that, there is no evidence that covid is spreading. Zero covid has kept numbers low in China but as you can see they’re rising now. And on zero-covid, there’s no end in sight.

Journalist, Two: “This seems to be indefinite and that sense of no hope and hopelessness is what’s driving the current protest.”

The government censors appear mindful of this: Chinese State Media is not mentioning the protests and on coverage of the World Cup as the BBC Stephen McDonald notes it’s being edited, so Chinese viewers don’t see thousands of fans without masks.

Zero-covid has meant the Chinese State constraining the virus and its own people and as covid spreads and protesters call for change the government continues its efforts to control both.

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China. At the moment, there is social harmony in China. True or false? Are Chinese people only protesting in Beijing, the capital?

Japan. Are ordinary citizens protesting because of inflation and energy costs?

Korea. People love lockdowns and protesting. Is this right or wrong?

Thailand. Are protests normal or extremely rare in China?

Vietnam. What was the trigger or fuse for the current wave of protests?

Mongolia. The government (spokesperson) says it will investigate the apartment block fire. Is this correct or incorrect?

Nepal. Is there lots of news, reports and first hand accounts of the covid measures and protests on Chinese media?

Bhutan. The government has accepted responsibility for public anger and protests. Do you agree?
Laos. What do you think will happen in China?

Cambodia. Why are China, Iran, Russia, Turkey different from UK, US, Canada?

Myanmar. Is there complete freedom of speech, freedom of expression, the press, the right to assemble peacefully in your country?

Malaysia. What might happen in the future for the world as a whole?

Singapore. What could or should people do?

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