If the time seems to be for a slow and very gradual reopening, the daily life of hundreds of millions of Chinese continues to be marked by health constraints. Students demonstrated against the confinement of their university in eastern China, according to videos published Tuesday, December 6 on Chinese social networks.
These videos geolocated by Agence France-Presse (AFP) show a crowd of students from Nanking University of Technology demonstrating in order to be able to leave the campus. “Your power comes from the students, not from yourselves”shouts a participant to a manager. “Be at the service of the students!” » A third-year student, wishing to remain anonymous, told AFP the protest erupted after the school announced that the campus would be sealed off for five days following the discovery of a positive case.
In the video, students are seen arguing with university officials. “If you touch us, it will become a new Foxconn here! »shouts a young person in reference to the violent demonstrations of workers last month in the Chinese factory of the Taiwanese giant, which manufactures the iPhone for Apple.
Many cities are gradually easing their zero Covid strategy after large protests in late November, while many Chinese universities are locked down under health policy. Their students must apply to leave and visitors are prohibited.
According to calculations by Nomura Bank, 53 cities, representing about a third of China’s 1.4 billion people, were still enforcing some form of travel restrictions as of Monday.
Following the large demonstrations at the end of November in a dozen cities against the zero Covid policy, the authorities reinforced the police presence and the surveillance of social networks. During the rallies at the end of November, the protesters, mostly young, demanded the lifting of the restrictions that have affected their lives and their projects since 2020. Several hundred, if not thousands, of students have since demonstrated on their campuses, from the prestigious university from Tsinghua to establishments in Xi’an (Center), Canton (South) or Wuhan (Center).
In parallel with the repressive component, the authorities have since relaxed certain restrictions. The City of Beijing announced Tuesday that office buildings and businesses, including supermarkets, will no longer require the presentation of a negative PCR test. Several other major cities, such as Shanghai or Hangzhou, have also reduced their testing requirements.