Some women were demanded to have a “relationship” in exchange for a pass… What was happening in “Xinjiang Uyghur” under the Zero Corona Policy?
On December 8, 2010, the zero-corona policy that has been enforced in China for almost three years was greatly relaxed. For a time, the number of infected people soared and the medical system was said to be on the verge of collapse, but the city has come back to life and citizens are beginning to return to their daily routines.
The people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region are the most pleased with this policy shift, as they have been under “too strict” restrictions for about four months since last August. The approximately 25 million people living in the autonomous region have finally been freed from “life in confinement” by the relaxation of the zero-corona policy.
They have to live in squares even though they have houses. ……
In order to prevent the spread of infection, China has implemented lockdowns in areas with rapidly increasing numbers of infected people on multiple occasions. But the one implemented in Xinjiang was exceptional.
Xinjiang is a very special region of China. The region continues to be politically unstable, with separatist movements by the ethnic Uighur minority. Until now, regulations that are unthinkable in other regions have been implemented in the name of ‘anti-terrorism,’ such as requiring the registration of real names when selling kitchen knives and restricting the issuance of passports to Uyghurs. These have been further escalated by the Zero Corona Policy.
This is how Wang Zhi’an, 54, a Chinese journalist who has been doing investigative reporting on Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, describes the situation. After leaving CCTV, he worked as a freelance journalist exposing the dark side of business and society, but in June 2007, his SNS account was suddenly closed. In China, it is said that the authorities were alarmed by Wang’s undisciplined reporting stance.
Having lost his place of activity, Mr. Wang moved across the sea to Tokyo to continue reporting. Although YouTube cannot be accessed directly from China, Wang’s channel enjoys tremendous support both inside and outside of China, with more than 600,000 subscribers.
Wang has been covering and making videos of the hidden lockdowns that have taken place in Xinjiang.
Wang Zhiyan says, “There was a severe lockdown in Xinjiang, and after the transportation network was cut off on October 4, it became almost impossible to get out of the autonomous region. When the train suspension was announced, 86 people were waiting to board at the station. They were all people who lived outside Xinjiang, including those who were traveling or visiting relatives.
The sudden announcement of the train suspension suddenly made these people “homeless. In Xinjiang, where PCR tests are conducted several times a day and people infected with the new coronavirus are strictly controlled, it is not enough to just get a hotel room. We can’t just accept them out of the blue. The government has ordered these “homeless” to live in a square near the train station,” said Wang.
It is hard to believe that they would just let people with homes live in the square, but it didn’t end there.
With winter approaching and the temperature dropping, the government thought it couldn’t keep people living in the square forever, and came up with this idea: “People who can cook and do construction work can live in the square. The government came up with this idea: ‘We can offer part-time jobs to those who can cook and do civil engineering work on a priority basis,’ they announced. As expected, there was a firestorm on the Internet, saying, ‘It’s impossible to make innocent people work in addition to not sending them home,’ and ‘It’s like putting them in jail and forcing them to pay rent.
An international journalist familiar with China’s Internet situation spoke about the case of the homeless refugees who returned home.
The fact that an event in Xinjiang has come under fire on the Internet is unusual in itself,” said Wang. This is because all tragic events caused by the Zero Corona policy are not allowed to be transmitted or discussed on social networking sites. This case came to light because the source of the information was the government in the first place. The Chinese government mistakenly thought that “offering jobs” would be viewed favorably by the public, and thought, “We’re offering jobs to people who are having trouble making ends meet because they don’t have jobs. They must have thought, ‘We’re going to provide jobs to people who don’t have jobs and are in need, and they should be happy about it. The idea that they would be willing to restrict people’s physical freedom in order to achieve zero corona is extremely frightening.
The cause of death was not corona, but ……
Under the Zero Corona policy, people in Xinjiang were not even allowed to leave their apartments. They could not go to work, school, or shopping, and they had to buy groceries online. …… Even if someone suddenly became ill, they could not get medical attention immediately, and this tragedy also occurred.
One of my children, who was one year old, became suddenly ill, but none of the hospitals would accept him because of the coronary measures. In the end, we forced our way through and got him to a hospital, but the child died. The doctor told him, ‘If you had been 10 minutes earlier, he would have survived. Moreover, the body was not left at the hospital mortuary, but was taken directly to the crematorium. A father who had lost his child posted a criticism of the situation on the Internet, which attracted attention, but the post was soon deleted by the authorities.
An international journalist commented on the situation.
It is said that there are many others who have died because they were not accepted by hospitals, but because of the restrictions on speech, they do not make the news. It is said that just by complaining, one can be arrested for ‘spreading false rumors.
The passage to get out is traded on the black market. Physical relations are sometimes demanded.
In order to leave Xinjiang, a pass called a “certificate of leaving Xinjiang” was required. The reason for leaving Xinjiang, the destination, and the method of travel (flight number for transportation and license plate number for cars) must be written down in detail on the form. However, the screening criteria for these passes were also unclear, and it was said that if one did not have connections, he or she would basically be denied permission to apply. Mr. Wang explains the procedure for leaving Xinjiang.
In addition to the documents for the pass, you are also required to prove that you are negative for PCR. At its most severe, we had to have a PCR-negative result for seven consecutive days or spend seven days in an intensive observation facility. Meanwhile, the officials of the concerned departments were black trading the permission to apply for a pass. This fact was uncovered by the recorded data of a call made public by one woman.
The woman was negotiating a price with a man who said he could get her a pass application approved. The man offered her a deal to have physical relations with him four times in exchange for 3,000 yuan (about $58,000), a discount from the usual 8,000 yuan (about $156,000). After the recording was made public, the police immediately announced that they had ‘arrested a man posing as a person of interest,’ but I don’t believe the man is a fake. The man said over the phone, ‘It’s okay when you come back,’ in anticipation that the woman, who has a home in Xinjiang, would eventually return. If he was a scammer looking for a body, he would not have said such a long time.
Why was something so out of the ordinary happening in Xinjiang? Wang believes that the problem lies in the social management system.
China’s social management system is not based on law. For example, the entire process of government policy is opaque: what criteria are used to lock down a community, how many people must test positive before a lockdown is implemented, what conditions must be met before a pass is granted, and so on. As a result, connections, bribes, and black market deals are created. Those without money or power are inevitably in a vulnerable position, and their attempts to sue are conveniently rubbed out. This is nothing new; the Corona measures made the problem visible.”
Although the zero-corona policy has been eased, it appears that nothing has yet been done about the essential problem.
Click here to visit Mr. Wang Zhi’an’s youtube channel.