On Thursday, police increased their street patrols, and more Chinese towns relaxed anti-virus rules as the government attempted to quell public outrage over some of the strictest COVID regulations in the world and prevent further demonstrations.
The streets of major cities have been quiet following the weekend demonstrations, where some audiences made the politically explosive demand that leader Xi Jinping resign.
This is despite a crackdown that has been virtually invisible.
Major cities include Chengdu in the southwest, Guangzhou in the south, and Shijiazhuang in the north, and others stated they were lowering testing requirements and movement limitations.
Markets and transport services have resumed in several regions.
However, many of the regulations that caused people to go to the streets in Shanghai, Beijing, and at least six other cities are still in place.
This week’s passing of the former leader Jiang Zemin would present another occasion for people to congregate and possibly protest.
There was no mention of last weekend’s demonstrations against the human cost of anti-virus measures that keep millions of people inside their homes in the statements loosening restrictions.
However, the timing and attention suggested that Xi’s administration was attempting to appease the populace.
Although analysts claim Beijing’s rules are unsustainable, they caution that until tens of millions of older adults are immunized,
Beijing cannot loosen the restrictions that keep the majority of travelers out of China.
They claim that “zero COVID” may be in effect for an extended period.
There were numerous police officers present.
Thus, there were no signs of protesters on Thursday.
Social media users expressed outrage that random stops by police to search people’s devices for potentially illegal programs like Twitter were a violation of China’s Constitution.
According to a post by Qi Xiaojin on the well-known Sina Weibo platform, “I am terrified of becoming the ‘Xinjiang model’ and being searched on the pretext of walking around.”
Qi was referring to the northwest region where Uyghur and other Muslim minorities are subject to heightened surveillance.
While videos and images are removed from services within China, protesters have announced protests on Twitter and other overseas social media platforms that the Communist Party attempts to ban access to.
In the past 24 hours, the authorities reported 36,061 new coronavirus cases, 31,911 of which had no symptoms.
The northeastern industrial hubs of Shenyang and Harbin stated that the once-daily virus tests conducted on persons who attend school online and those who have little contact with others would no longer be required.
The publication Yicai claimed on its website that some communities in Beijing have started allowing residents with moderate or asymptomatic COVID-19 illnesses to isolate at home.
To inquiries faxed to the anti-epidemic agency’s office, no response was received.