Several people clashed at the Hubei border with Jiangxi province after the latter set up a checkpoint to prevent Hubei residents from entering.
The clashes started on Friday morning, March 27, and lasted till about 5pm in the evening.
According to Global Times, the incident happened on a bridge over the Yangtze River that connects Jiujiang city in Jiangxi and Huangmei county in Hubei.
Conflict started when Hubei residents not allowed to enter Jiangxi
The conflict had reportedly started when Jiangxi province set up a blockade at the bridge, and policemen from both sides disagreed on how to verify if people were allowed to enter Jiangxi, according to Duowei News.
Videos captured of the incident show angry crowds of people marching to the Hubei border with Jiangxi while chanting "Hubei, keep fighting."
As the argument intensified, tensions boiled over, and a man was even seen using a police riot shield to hit the police.
Some climbed on top of police vehicles, damaging them.
A police car was even overturned by the angry crowd.
2/ pretty intense— 巴丢草 Badiucao (@badiucao) March 27, 2020
how it eventually evolves to this mess is still covered.
rumor says it started because Jiangxi police dont want to lift the border to Hubei province where most #COVID19 infection reported.
No one trust official numbers even for police
Video clips spread on WeChat appear to show about 10 people dressed in police uniform crossing over to Huangmei and beating up the traffic police in the latter county, sparking anger.
Hubei resident had also demanded an apology from the police at Jiujiang station.
Communist Party chief of Huangmei urged calm
As the chaos persisted, Ma Yanzhou, Huangmei's Communist Party chief, spoke to the crowd using a loud hailer, urging them to calm down and disperse from the scene.
The clip was posted by the Huanggang city government that oversees Huangmei.
According to a joint statement issued by Jiujiang city and Huanggang city under Huangmei county, any checkpoint at the border would be removed, and that no special documentation is required to cross.
Exodus from Hubei
After the two-month lockdown in Hubei was lifted on Wednesday, March 25, many had rushed to get out of the cities where they were at, after having their movement restricted to curb the spread of the virus.
Most of them were migrant workers rushing to get home or to their workplace.
The city of Wuhan -- once the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak -- was included as well.
According to The Beijing News, after the lockdown was lifted, many Huangmei residents had to go to the train station in Jiujiang in order to travel to their workplace as there was no train station in their county.
People's Daily, the official paper of the Chinese Communist Party, had called out the conflict, saying that regardless of the reason, the clashes should not have happened as the two counties are deeply connected since "ancient times".
The commentary urged people not to believe rumours, and to wait for authorities to finish conducting their investigation.
It also urged residents from both sides not to allow the "unfortunate" conflict to cause further friction between them.
People still discriminating against Hubei residents
While health professionals fighting the virus in Hubei have been lauded as heroes nationwide, Hubei residents still face discrimination from other Chinese who fear the former might carry the pathogen with them to other places.
New infections have dropped to zero in China, which now fears a second wave of infections from Chinese returning from overseas.
In an effort to stem infections through imported cases, China has banned most foreigners from entering the country, starting from midnight on Friday, March 27.
Top image adapted via Weibo