THE nationwide protests in China against COVID restrictions in the past few days have assumed an anti-Xi-Jinping hue. Protesters have now begun asking President Mr. Xi Jinping to step down since he has not been able to handle the COVID crisis well. While the world has been experiencing a relief from the pandemic proportions of coronavirus, China appears to be heading deeper into the mess having been unable to contain the spread of the ugly virus. Obviously, this is the outcome of a failed management of the pandemic challenge by the Communist regime. That is also the reason why protesters are decrying the Communist Party of China. By any standard, China is in a serious internal trouble whose solution is beyond reach.
The biggest problem is that there is almost no connect between the Government and people of China. The Communist regime does not consider the people as sovereigns, and treats them as sort of a liability, so to say. So, when the Government imposed countrywide lock-down, it did not give a scant thought to the people’s convenience and comfort. The lock-down management is so tough that the people have begun describing it as brutal.
This can be demonstrated from one example of a housing complex on fire. The fire-fighters could not enter the place to extinguish fire because they were bound by COVID’s lock-down restrictions. As a result, a few people died in that fire, sending shock-waves across the country -- and subsequently leading to popular protests of most severe nature. The picture, thus, available from inside China is that of an utter chaos with no prospects of immediate control of angry responses of countless lakhs of people pouring into the streets defying COVID restrictions.
The Chinese police are doing what they know best in such situations -- hammer the protesters without mercy. Though the media is not allowed to cover any such incidents that may paint the regime in a negative light, the world is coming to know of the internal disturbance of the worst nature. Protesters, however, do not appear to take any beating. They are bouncing back in full flow of emotion and are attacking Police -- which has been reported from several places across China. At least on the surface, the internal situation in China appears to have gone beyond control.
In Shanghai, one of China’s most important and biggest cities, the protests have assumed a more serious proportion. Being a commercial hub, Shanghai is suffering from lock-down restrictions far more seriously than other cities. This has led to widespread protests in Shanghai and nearby areas, thus heightening the anxieties of the administration.
All these developments have established that the Chinese administration has failed totally in controlling not just the coronavirus pandemic but also its ill-effects. Thousands of new COVID cases are being reported across China on a daily basis, with a good number of deaths from all areas. Because the administration has launched the Zero-COVID programme, the restrictions are tough and their implementation brutal. This is the only way the Chinese know to control popular agitation.
There is another angle, too, to this situation -- that of handling of the Tibetan people across the country. The visible impact is seen in Tibetan capital of Lhasa and other areas of the region occupied by China. The Chinese authorities are acting so brutally that the Tibetans feel harassed and traumatised and numb as they are not allowed to enquire about their relatives spread across the country. The Chinese military and Police just hammer the Tibetans down is they tried to protest or even ask questions.
The economic implications of all these developments are terrible, in the sense the Chinese economy has been facing a downturn of an unprecedented nature -- though the Chinese Government would not ever admit that. Thousands of factories have gone defunct under lockdown and generation of surplus has become a matter of the past.
This is simply because the Chinese administration has not known any other way that oppression of the masses as a way to douse the protests. The country is suffering directly from its Communistic repression in which fundamental rights are the first casualty.