Students at Xi Jinping's alma mater Tsinghua University show up in mass protest

In defiance against censorship and the country's continued zero-Covid policy.

Adelene Wee | November 28, 2022, 11:16 AM

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Hundreds of students from the prestigious Tsinghua University came out in protest against strict Covid-19 lockdown rules, on Sunday, Nov. 27.

The protest at Chinese President Xi Jinping's alma mater follows a similar overnight gathering at Peking University, AFP reported

"At 11:30 am, students started holding up signs at the entrance of the canteen, then more and more people joined. Now there are 200 to 300 people", a Tsinghua student shared.

The protesters gathered in a courtyard outside Tsinghua’s Zijingyuan canteen, with some raising sheets of paper in the air.

They also sang China's national anthem, and socialist anthem "The Internationale", and chanted slogans like "freedom will prevail", "no nucleic acid tests, we want food", and "no to lockdowns, we want freedom".

A female student said, "If we don't voice out just because we're afraid of getting arrested, I think our own people will be disappointed in us. As a Tsinghua student, I will regret it for the rest of my life (if I don't do this now)."

Multiple videos allegedly showing the protest were shared on Twitter.

Two female students were filmed holding up a piece of blank white paper by themselves separately, in protest against censorship. The blank pieces of paper were also supposedly held up in defiance against the university which forbids materials that have not received prior approval to be printed.

A few more female students followed suit after.

In another video, students gathered at Tsinghua University could be heard chanting: “We need democracy, we need rule of law, we need freedom of expression!"

A Twitter user later posted an update on Nov. 27, sharing that the Deputy Secretary of Communist Party of China Tsinghua University Committee was speaking to the students.

The students later left after he promised them that he would hold a school-wide discussion.

The universities are not the only places where people are showing their anger against the country's continued adherence to strict Covid measures. Hundreds of demonstrators in major cities including Shanghai and Chengdu have taken to civil disobedience to voice their anger, Reuters reported.

The latest wave of protests followed news of the fire in the city of Urumqi in Xinjiang, which killed 10 people. Speculations were rife that the victims ended up dying as they were trapped in the building and could not escape due to the stringent lockdown restrictions.

Reuters reported a 26-year-old man as saying that he came to give his respects to the victims of the fire. He added that he hoped to see an end to the drastic Covid measures so they can return to normal lives again.

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Top image via @wodanggangqiang/Twitter.