China deploys police in force to prevent protests | DW News


DW News

China is witnessing its biggest wave of public dissent in a decade. Chinese universities are now sending students home in a bid to tighten COVID restrictions.

An increased number of Chinese police personnel were seen patrolling the streets of cities like Beijing and Shanghai on Tuesday. The deployment comes as more people called for protests against lockdowns.

The pushback marks the biggest wave of civil disobedience since Chinese President Xi Jinping came to power over a decade ago. Citizens have taken to the streets across China to protest against the draconian COVID curbs which have affected the lives of millions, damaged the economy and disrupted global supply chains.

Protesters are now asking President Xi to step down. Chinese universities are now sending students home in an attempt to tighten COVID restrictions and prevent further protests.

Residents told several media outlets that the police are going through their phones to check for suspicious content, usage of virtual private networks (VPN) or the Telegram app, which is being used to coordinate protests.

In China, using VPNs is illegal and the Telegram app is blocked from the internet.

“We are all desperately deleting our chat history,” a protester in Beijing told the Reuters news agency.

“There are just too many police. Police came to check the ID of one of my friends and then took her away. We don’t know why. A few hours later they released her.”

In Beijing, the police particularly patrolled across the Liangma river promenade near the diplomatic quarter where hundreds of protesters had gathered on Sunday evening.

On Sunday night, a busload of demonstrators were reportedly taken away by the police in Shanghai. On Monday, a planned protest did not take place as dozens of police officers choked the crossroad near the assembly point in the city.

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