• By The Financial District

University Students Protest vs China's COVID Policy

Administrators at an elite Beijing university have backed down from plans to further tighten pandemic restrictions on students as part of China’s “zero-COVID” strategy after a weekend protest at the school, according to students, Ken Moritsugu and David Rising reported for the Associated Press (AP).


Photo Insert: A screenshot from the video of Peking University students gathered to protest against China's zero-COVID policy before the aforementioned was taken down.



Graduate students at Peking University staged the rare, but peaceful protest Sunday, May 15, over the school’s decision to erect a sheet-metal wall to keep them further sequestered on campus, while allowing faculty to come and go freely.


Discontent had already been simmering over regulations prohibiting them from ordering in food or having visitors, and daily COVID-19 testing.



A citywide lockdown of Shanghai and expanded restrictions in Beijing in recent weeks have raised questions about the economic and human costs of China’s strict virus controls, which the ruling Communist Party has trumpeted as a success compared to other major nations with much higher death tolls.


While most people have grumbled privately or online, some Shanghai residents have clashed with police, volunteers, and others trying to enforce lockdowns and take infected people to quarantine centers.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

Many of the Peking University students protesting Sunday outside a dormitory took cellphone videos as Chen Baojian, the deputy secretary of the university’s Communist Party committee, admonished them through a megaphone to end the protest and talk with him one-on-one.


“Please put down your mobile phones, protect Peking University,” he said, to which one student yelled: “Is that protection? How about our rights and interests?” The crowd of about 200 clapped and cheered as a half dozen protesters broke through the sheet metal barrier behind Chen.


Government & politics: Politicians, government officials and delegates standing in front of their country flags in a political event in the financial district.

The phone videos were quickly shared over social media, but just as quickly removed by government censors. Some supportive comments remained, though many were also taken down, while some videos remain on Twitter, which is blocked in China.


“Peking University students are great!” wrote one person on the popular social media platform Weibo. “Fight for rights. A single spark can start a prairie fire.”



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