Sun, 29 Jan 2023

Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) [India], December 2 (ANI): The Tibetan govt in exile on Friday extended solidarity to people impacted due to the 'Zero Covid' policy, resulting in widespread protest across China.

"The Central Tibetan Administration expresses its deep concern and stands in Solidarity. The Kashag reiterates its statement regarding the Covid situation in Tibet: China's mismanaged zero-covid policy endangers Tibetan lives in Tibet dated 26 September 2022," read a CTA statement.

Since the end of August this year, over 300 million people in China have been placed under severe lockdown over several months, including in Lhasa and Urumqi, where the lockdown exceeded continuously for over 100 days.

This has caused immeasurable hardship as people faced extreme restrictions on movement, inadequate access to food and medicine, loss of livelihood and mental anguish, the statement added.

The unforgiving Covid curbs have resulted in widespread protests in various cities and universities in China , with the protesters also calling for freedom and democracy.

From Shanghai to Beijing, Guangzhou to Chengdu, the protests have grown massive, with thousands of people gathering on the streets and university campuses of major cities, demanding to put a period to the strict 'Zero Covid' policy.

"The devastation caused by the pandemic has resulted in innumerable deaths, casualties and economic hardship across the world. The world has taken measures based on sound scientific findings to contain the spread of Covid-19, which has brought about a relative state of normalcy," read the statement.

"This is evident from the fact that millions of unmasked people have gathered in the Middle East to celebrate the FIFA World Cup in great fervour," it said.

Meanwhile, about 150 Tibetan exiles holding blank pieces of paper rallied in India's capital, New Delhi, to express solidarity with people in China protesting its "zero COVID" policy.

The blank paper is a symbol of defiance used by some protesters in China against the ruling Communist Party's widespread censorship.

Being part of the global community, China cannot sever its ties with the rest of humanity. The pandemic must be faced as a collective challenge and the spread of the pandemic does not discriminate between different forms of governance, added the statement.

The CTA urged Beijing's leadership to enforce a humane approach in dealing with these public outbursts, adding that immediate course correction should be initiated by modelling on measures undertaken by international communities and governments.

"We strongly urge that no one should be subjected to any reprisal for taking part in any form of protests against the zero-Covid policy and those who have called for Freedom and Democracy. We hope that China will soon transcend to normalcy from the pandemic," read the statement.

The fast-evolding situation in China has put the global spotlight on Premier Xi Jinping and his administration for all the wrong reasons. According to reports, these protests are detracting from his and the CCP's efforts to portray China's advancements under Xi's leadership at a time when the Chinese leader has just taken over as CCP's chairman for the third term.

Although China has in the past effectively put an end to peaceful rallies, a crackdown on current protesters will rapidly bring back memories of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest crackdown. As a result, these protests will have a considerably greater overall effect, in the long run, the Global Strat View reported.

The ongoing demonstrations are one of the largest uprisings the communist country has seen since the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement. Additionally, the response intended to disperse the ongoing protesters is probably going to make matters worse, the report said.

China is in the middle of some of its fiercest protests against stringent Covid curbs in the country, with many memes, chants and catchphrases going viral. (ANI)

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