Chinese universities are sending students away from school as the ruling Communist Party attempts to stop protests after crowds infuriated by its draconian “zero-COVID” restrictions called for dictator Xi Jinping to step down in what is the biggest show of public dissent in decades, according to the New York Post.
Some of these harsh measures were eased Monday in what the Post described as a possible effort to lessen public angst following a weekend of protests in at least eight cities.
Numerous videos of protests against Chinese Covid-19 measures have been shared on social media:
Protests are erupting across China as people have had enough of the draconian zero Covid lockdowns. This is what eventually happens when people power mobilises against oppressive governments that take away freedoms and human dignity. pic.twitter.com/NsZgZTxEYT
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) November 27, 2022
Tsinghua University, the Alma mater of Xi Jinping, argued their actions are protecting students from Covid-19. The Post noted that shuffling students throughout distanced hometowns will likely result in fewer protests against the Chinese government.
It is worth noting that many will likely never know to what extent China has brutalized its citizens in wake of these protests. The country’s regime engages in routine censorship, banning social media platforms such as Facebook while promoting applications that assist in its agenda of controlling information flow such as the infamous largely Chinese-controlled WeChat.
A spectacle was made by the government last Sunday after a journalist working for BBC was arrested and beaten by Chinese police as he covered protests against the country’s zero-Covid policy.
“It is very worrying that one of our journalists was attacked in this way whilst carrying out his duties,” the BBC said when making a statement on the matter.
“We have had no official explanation or apology from the Chinese authorities, beyond a claim by the officials who later released him that they had arrested him for his own good in case he caught COVID from the crowd,” added the statement.
“We do not consider this a credible explanation.”
According to the Post, the Chinese government’s decision to disperse students was unusual given that many cities are instructing the public to avoid movement and imposing controls on travel.
Universities throughout the country have called in buses to take students to train stations, reports the Post. Classes and final exams are planned to be held online.
“We will arrange for willing students to return to their hometowns,” Beijing Forestry University wrote on its website.