Since the Shanghai lockdown in April, its 25 million residents have tasted how the Chinese regime’s repression of Xinjiang feels. The lockdown is considered a stress test of social control.

In an article on May 6, Columnist Li Yuan at The New York Times described that Shanghai’s strict lockdown has a lot of similarities to the fretful crackdown in Xinjiang.

According to the article, residents in Shanghai have been lining up for Covid-19 tests to prove they are virus-free. It looks just like the Uighurs lining up at checkpoints to prove they don’t pose a security threat.

Residents in both places are subject to social control and surveillance. About half a million Shanghai residents were sent to quarantine camps after testing positive for the coronavirus. It looks as though Xinjiang people were sent to re-education camps.

The slogan in the Chinese regime’s zero-Covid policy echoes its political campaign in the Xinjiang crackdown.

The crackdown by the Chinese authorities repeated an order to detain Uighur people in large numbers. They used the slogan, “Round up everyone who should be rounded up.”

In their lockdown in Shanghai, authorities demonstrated their determination by sending half a million people to quarantine camps. They used the slogan, “Take in all who should be taken in.”

According to the article’s author, both the crackdown and the lockdown are political campaigns. They can be explained through the rationale of the ruling
Chinese Communist Party: Do whatever it takes to achieve the leadership’s goal.

The crackdown campaign sent about one million Xinjiang Muslims to re-education camps. The regime labeled them as those with problematic behavior. They were interrogated, beaten up, and forced into indoctrination sessions.

In Shanghai, the authorities sent the Covid-infected people to makeshift quarantine camps. It doesn’t matter that some people have recovered from the disease or have tested negative. It also doesn’t matter whether they are two months old or 90 years old. Some camps are so abysmal that they are called refugee camps or gulags.

Like the Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, residents in Shanghai also lost their rights and the protection of the law in the lockdowns.

Author Li Yuan said that a lawyer in Shenzhen told her that a surveillance camera was installed in front of his apartment door when his building was locked after a neighbor tested positive this year.

According to the article, some lawyers and scholars voiced their concerns that some control measures violate the law.

Zhao Hong, a law professor in Beijing, said, “The destruction of the rule of law is a far worse social pandemic than a biological pandemic.”

The article pointed out, “No one in the leadership has listened. Nor have they listened to medical experts who have said the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is much milder, though more infectious, than previous versions and that China should recalibrate its zero-Covid policy. Nor did they listen to economists and entrepreneurs worried about a potential recession. Many articles with professional opinions were censored.”

As the Shanghai residents lost their rights, other parts of China also lost their rights.
As more cities impose strict lockdowns, people are seriously discussing whether they will be able to take back the little individual liberty they had before surrendering it to the communist regime.

Li Yuan citing Wang Lixiong, an author of some books on Xinjiang, Tibet, and surveillance, commented, “Shanghai lockdown is a stress test of social control.”
Wang said, “If the authority can control a complex society like Shanghai, it can control any place in China.”

Sun Zhe, an editorial director of a fashion magazine in Shanghai, described the prosperity in Shanghai as just for embellishment.

Sun wrote on his Weibo account, “Prosperity is only for decoration.”

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.