The Chinese regime confiscates the citizens’ passports
According to CNN, the Chinese National Immigration Administration (NIA) announced on May 12 that it would tighten its process for issuing passports. Besides, it placed rigorous restrictions on individuals seeking to depart.
Travel will only be permitted for essential purposes, such as resuming work, study, business, and scientific research, and seeking medical care. The NIA justified the measures as necessary to reduce the risk of infection.
Radio Free Asia reported that on March 31, the Baisha police department in Hunan asked residents to hand over their passports. Also, their family members had to do so, and the police promised that they would return the documents after the pandemic.
A Baisha officer confirmed this news with Radio Free Asia. He also said that this measure would apply nationwide.
On the other hand, Visa application centers of multiple countries have been closed recently in China over the COVID-19 policy
Visa application centers of multiple countries have been closed recently in Beijing. That includes England, Canada, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, among others.
According to VFS Global, a firm that provides real-time information on application centers offering visa services, the British Visa Application Center in Beijing was closed from May 23 until further notice.
The U.K. has also suspended priority and super-priority visa services for new study, work, and family visa applications.
China visa centers for Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa also said they would close buildings and services from May 23 onward.
Canada and Italy have already closed offices since May 9.
Italy would continue to close its other centers in Xi’an, Shenyang, Jinan, and Wuhan. It is not clear when they were first closed.
No resumption date has been specified for either office. But all cited orders were received from the Beijing COVID-19 Pandemic Prevention and Control Emergency Command.
Many Chinese have homes but cannot return.
Under the harsh zero-covid policy, around 45 Chinese cities have been closed in whole or part, affecting over 370 million people.
Beijing authorities decided to seal off the Haidian district on May 22.
Beijing residents are concerned over the unusual things and extreme measures that they’re going through.
Ye Jinghuan is a resident of Beijing’s Chaoyang district. On May 23, she told Radio Free Asia that she could not believe the authorities had closed many residential areas, though all residents tested negative for Covid.
The resident said that there is no positive case in Shibalidian Township and even the community next to it, but the residents have been locked up for 20 days. Though district officials lifted the ban just two days ago, they still restrict residents from going out.
She said: “When you go out of Shibalidian Township, you need to get an authorized exit permit, nucleic acid test certificate.”
The resident also said that her community had been locked up for weeks. During this period, residents must work from home. Schools, restaurants, and buses are suspended.
Residents also criticized the government’s blocking method. A video shows workers sealing off a residential building in Beidatun, Chaoyang District.
A resident told Radio Free Asia: “More than 100 households and hundreds of people live on this 26-floor building. Now that the door is completely sealed, what about the safety hazards? What if there is a fire in the building, and what should I do if an elderly get sick? I really don’t know what to do right now. Does this kind of thing make sense?”
In Shanghai, on May 25, subways, buses, and other public transportation partially resumed operations.
As of May 22, the operation of 4 rail transit lines and 273 ground bus lines returned to normal.
But Li, who lives in Huangpu District, Shanghai, told Sound of Hope that they had not lifted the lockdown at all there. All stores are closed. It is impossible to do anything without a 48-hour nucleic acid test result. People are stuck at home and have yet to start work and school.
She doesn’t understand the government’s “clearing” policy of keeping people at home, shutting down their work and production, and taking daily nucleic acid tests. She even thinks that it’s ridiculous.
In Tianjin city
Tianjin has three target areas: closed area, control area, and prevention area.
On May 24, District changed Yuejieli, Hongshunli Street into a closed area. People here must stay at home and use delivery services. Officials regularly conduct nucleic acid testing.
On May 26, Tianjin also issued a notice of “peaceful pause,” saying that they had just added a new demarcation control area in Heping District. This district will split a closed area from a control area.
A local citizen says it is 2:20 a.m., and it’s being sealed off. Special police and staff are busy here.
A female nurse at the Tianjin Eye Hospital in Heping District said she had not been notified in advance. Everything was normal at work in the morning, but the medical staff was subsequently locked in the hospital, not knowing what to do. She heard from patients who came to the hospital in the morning that the outside had been shut down. However, she couldn’t go out, and thus, she didn’t know what was going on outside.
Li Hongzhong, Secretary of the Municipal Party Committee, says that it is necessary to adhere to a rapid system and efficiency to help control the epidemic. Therefore, the province can achieve “encirclement, screening, drying, and extinguishing.”
In Zhejiang province
Tokyo Sakura Video Group posted a video showing a border fence of barbed wire at the junction of Shanghai and Zhejiang on May 16. It serves as a protective wall for epidemic control.
The wall is all bayonet-like on top with sharp blades and a height of about 4 meters.
As described by the reporter, it is impossible for people to go over it. Even those walls built during the war against Japan were never so secure.
In Suzhou province
The community of Zhonghuayuan, around Kunshan city, 100 k.m. West of Shanghai, has been sealed off for a month.
Some citizens attempted to bypass the iron fences on April 25.
The person, who goes by the pseudonym Feng, said that those who tried to break out asked for exemption or reduction of rent fees and food supply.
Feng provided a clip that shows an official pointing to the crowd, telling them to be careful with their words and threatening to detain them. Other videos catch a handful of residents being taken away.
Feng said many non-locals, migrant workers, stay in his closed community. But because of the strict lockdown, they have no jobs, no income, and no government help.
Their living conditions became more complicated as the authorities only distributed vegetable packs to locals. At the same time, the lockdown is also making supplies more expensive.
In addition, localized Covid-19 lockdowns are proliferating across China. According to a survey by Nomura, as of April 11, Chinese authorities imposed complete or partial lockdowns on 45 cities. It accounts for more than a quarter of China’s population, about 370 million people.
Crowded railway stations, flights canceled, and subway stations closed
The local government has announced its plans to reopen gradually. The state media reported on May 16 that Shanghai would roll out the opening plan in phases, and “normal life” will resume on June 1.
After the regime’s announcement, a large number of people poured into Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station.
These people have endured various sufferings under the strict lockdown measures. They now gathered at the station and waited for their turn to leave this place.
In one video, the police stopped a large bus. The luggage compartment underneath was full of people.
Many of them wearing protective clothing, a long queue of people waited in line outside to slowly enter the station and get on the train. The man who filmed the video said he couldn’t see the end of the queue.
Notably, the train station’s waiting room was also full of people.
More footage captured scenes of many passengers who couldn’t buy tickets sleeping on the ground at the station entrance.
In Guangzhou city, Guangdong province
On April 28, Guangzhou City reported four cases of local positive infection of the new coronavirus in the city. Among them were three confirmed cases and one asymptomatic case. There were also 11 other cases of positive primary screening this time.
Guangzhou Baiyun Airport announced that they would cancel more than 1,100 flights on the day. Flight cancellation accounted for more than 90% of the total daily flights.
Guangzhou Metro Line 3 Airport South suspended its service due to a significantly reduced flight from Guangzhou Baiyun Airport.
Meanwhile, Beijing authorities are tightening restrictions as COVID cases surge. From 11:00 on May 17, Dwayao Station of Beijing Metro Line 14 and Qilizhuang Station of Line 9 and Line 14 will be closed. As of that day, the number of closed subway stations in Beijing reached 101.
Coming back home is even more challenging due to the stringent regulations
Many Shanghai residents are not allowed to return home after quarantine time. A resident alias Zhang Wei was in an isolation hotel with her daughter and grandfather since May 17.
After completing the quarantine on May 24, only her daughter and grandfather were allowed to return to Chaibai. The community declined Zhang’s entrance because she lives on Dinghai Street, not Changbai.
SO she went to Dinghai, but they did not allow her to enter her home either, because you can leave, but not enter again, they said. They finally let her enter Changbai after a long discussion. She was furious about the situation.
Zhang’s husband was in a similar circumstance. He was rejected to enter the community after doing volunteer work from April 2 to May 25. The reason was that ‘the community only accepts residents to go out, not enter.’
Zhang said that the authority’s reaction was too cold-blooded as they had spent nearly two months contributing to Shanghai and finally ended up with no home to return to.
Zhang and her husband are not the only cases experiencing difficulties on their way back home.
Net Ease News reported that many people from other provinces had been turned down from entering Shanghai’s communities, including the elderly.
The authority rejected a 60-year-old woman entering a community in Songnan, Baoshan District, after her trip from Hebei.
Her daughter even offered to cover the cost of a hotel room for her mother, but it was not accepted. After fleeing from the security guard’s chase, her mother had no choice but to break into her own home.
They further had to conduct a self-test at the community gate.
After the negative test result, residents can only return to their houses and are not allowed to leave for a short time. They are only allowed to go out for medical treatment.
A haven for the Chinese is hard to find now.