Protests Erupt In China Over COVID Lockdown

(Photo Source: PEXELS)

(Photo Source: PEXELS)

Thomas Sunkenberg, Writer

For many Americans, the COVID lockdown only lasted for around a year. During the lockdown, Americans still had access to the essentials and necessities. However, in China, this is not the case. 


Ever since January 2020, China’s COVID restrictions have been in place. These restrictions are called the Zero Tolerance Policy.  

The Zero Tolerance Policy is stringent and restrictive. The policy consists of extreme lockdowns of entire regions, counties, and buildings. The policy has led to major shortages of necessities, especially food. 

In October 2022, the entire city of Shanghai was shut down. This wasn’t the city’s first shutdown due to COVID. The city had been shut down nearly every few months since the pandemic started. 

During the lockdown, food shortages were common, and the economy was devastated. Nearly 26 million people live in Shanghai.  Every bar, restaurant, and grocery store was shut down. During these lockdowns, every aspect of Chinese daily lives were affected greatly.

The spark that ignited the flame of the country-wide protests was a tragic story in western China. In the city of Urumqi, a fire began which killed 10 people in an apartment building. The city was under a strict COVID lockdown during the fire, restricting firefighters from helping the people in time. 

Because of the fire, city-wide protests began in Urumqi. These protests were spread on Chinese social media and soon cities all around China began to protest the strict lockdowns. 

The protests have spread to 19 major cities around China. The protesters are a majority of students and young adults. 

History of Protests in China

China is known for its strict and brutal tactics with protests. In 1989, there were massive student protests in Tiananmen Square, a major area of Beijing. 

The Chinese Government commanded the military to suppress the protest by any means necessary. 300,000 troops entered the city and it is estimated that several thousand protesters were killed. 

The COVID protests have been one of the largest in China since the Tiananmen Square protest. How China responds to them could affect the lives of thousands.  


The protests have spread to about every major city in the country. Protests of this size in China are very uncommon, therefore, it is very significant. 

Protests in China are important because they threaten the part of China that makes every decision, the Authoritative Chinese Communist Party. 

Public upheaval puts the government in the spotlight. The Chinese people are taking a stand for their rights. The people are fed up with control over their human rights and everyday actions.     

(Photo Source: PEXELS)


On social media, there have been viral videos spreading around of protests chanting the words “Want Freedom” which has become the slogan for the movement. 

The Chinese people are taking a stand for democracy. A stand that could cost the lives of many, but help flourish the lives of many more.