Not long after a rare citizen beating-up police incident burst the internet, the lengthly lockdown in Dandong city, Liaoning province, saw some relief from restrictions. 

Last week, some footage was widely shared. It featured a woman who was confronting a person in a police uniform. She spoke angrily to the officer who tried to block her way. After a brief moment of struggle, she fell down. Her elderly companion immediately appeared to strike the officer in response. He plummeted to the ground, holding one side of his face.

According to China Digital Times, the clash occurred on June 21. The couple in the clip were a father and daughter. They were heading for a hospital but were stopped by the police.

Both had negative COVID-test results and a certificate to travel issued by the local community. However, because their health code was yellow, the officials refused to let them go.

Another angle of the incident showed that the police pushed the woman down, the elderly man barely touched the officer as he struck back. 

Nonetheless, a subsequent police announcement said the woman had been placed in administrative detention for ten days for refusing to cooperate with the pandemic procedure. Her father was accused of assaulting a police officer and would be subject to criminal coercive measures.

As more people learned of the conflict, the limelight was directed to a less noisy lockdown in Dandong. Online users claimed that the city of more than 2.3 million had been closed for 57-59 days as of June 21, which was nearly the same period as Shanghai experienced.

On June 24, Xin Tang Ren reported that Dandong finally announced an eased reopening. The notice said that except for the closed and controlled areas, residents from other places could enter the streets. That is, they are allowed out on the condition that they have a 48-hour negative Covid-test result and a certificate issued by the local authorities.

The timing of the announcement left some critics wondering what would have happened if the father-daughter striking police incident never broke out. Some people mocked that Dandong waited for someone to slap the police until they unblocked the city.

Still, according to Xin Tang Ren, shopping malls, wholesale markets, supermarkets, barber shops, and other public places remain shut in Dandong. Schools are suspended and only available online. Dine-in is not allowed for all kinds of catering establishments. Taxis are permitted to run in the main metropolitan area, but other public transportation will not resume there for the time being. Work-from-home is still encouraged.

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