Thursday, July 2, 2020

Wuhan residents voice their anger

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The video was taken from the floors of a comfortable Wuhan residence on Thursday, March 5. We hear several voices shouting: "It's wrong, it's wrong, everything is wrong. " Below, one of the deputy prime ministers, Sun Chunlan, known to be the only woman among the 25 members of the Communist Party's political bureau, is accompanied by a delegation to inspect the organization of quarantine in Wuhan. Other videos were posted on Chinese social media, filmed from several apartments, and even one apparently taken by members of the delegation or accompanying persons.

What the residents blame the authorities for in front of Mme Sun is the organization of food distributions for the residents who are no longer allowed to leave their homes. Since mid-February, Wuhan, the heart of the coronavirus epidemic, has further strengthened quarantine measures by closing homes. Under these conditions, the resident committees, the local organs of the Communist Party, organize the supply of food … more or less well.

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These videos suggest that the local authorities wanted to make the deputy minister believe that everything was perfectly organized. A Potemkin residence in a way. The Chinese state media even resumed the affair on Friday morning: the People's Daily released the video and, although the official media account in English quickly deleted the Tweet, the Chinese language version is still available.

Censorship remains strong

The nationalist daily Global Times also covered the event in a short article, stating that "The central government group has ordered the local government to investigate and resolve the problem immediately". Failed for the communication operation. Deputy Prime Minister Sun also ordered officials to"Improve their work and avoid bureaucracy", a spokesman for the State Council said at a daily press conference on Friday March 6.

Since the start of the epidemic, local authorities in Wuhan and Hubei have been heavily criticized by Chinese Internet users, but also by the state press, for having minimized the risk of the epidemic, thus losing precious weeks before launch the alert. Senior officials from Hubei Province and the city have been sacked.

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The authorities have shown relative flexibility in managing communication around the epidemic, sometimes letting citizens express their anger, as in the death of doctor Li Wenliang, who had tried to warn his colleagues of the danger of the virus, before being arrested and threatened by the local police.

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