04/08/2020, 10.14
CHINA
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Xi Jinping 'liberates' Wuhan and imprisons his critics

For the first time since January 23, residents of the pandemic epicenter can move freely. Quarantine remains for some city neighborhoods. Restrictions in Beijing. The Party investigates Ren Zhiqiang, the billionaire who called the Chinese president a "clown". The drama of the dissidents.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Wuhan is now "free". The capital of Hubei, where the coronavirus pandemic exploded, is no longer in quarantine, which was first imposed (with delay) by the Chinese government on January 23. But while local residents savor freedom, the regime continues to target its critics, such as the well-known billionaire Ren Zhiqiang.

In order to leave the city, the inhabitants of Wuhan must display a green code: it is accessed through a smartphone app and certifies that they are not infected. The precaution is necessary because some neighborhoods, where asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 have been identified, are still in isolation.

The municipal public transport system, including airports, are no active but schools are still closed. Circulation-restrictive measures are also still applied in other parts of China, including Beijing, where 31 cases of infection were found on Monday. Those who enter the country's capital are placed in quarantine and subjected to strict health checks.

There were 62 new cases of infection in China yesterday, almost double that of the day before. Of these, 59 are imported from abroad. Two deaths were also recorded. There are almost 83 thousand infected in the country; 3333 the dead.

The pandemic crisis, however, has not halted the regime's repressive machine. The Disciplinary Commission of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) announced yesterday that Ren Zhiqiang is being investigated for seriously violating state laws and CCP discipline.

Ren is a member of the Party, and has previously led an important state-owned construction company (Huayuan Real Estate Group). Having disappeared from circulation on March 12, he had risen to the fore for calling the President Xi Jinping a "power hungry clown". Ren criticized the regime for its mismanagement of the epidemic crisis, commercial relations with the United States and those with Taiwan.

There is a long list of people who raised their voices against the regime during the epidemic crisis, and who have since disappeared or been placed under arrest. Since mid-March, there has been no news of Ai Fen, the Wuhan doctor who launched the alarm on the coronavirus.

Many intellectuals have also disappeared after attacking the government’s inaction. Human rights activist Xu Zhiyong is imprisoned in a secret prison for "inciting subversion against state power." He advised Xi to resign over his failures. Xu was arrested on February 15 in Guangzhou (Guangdong). Since February, there has been no news of Xu Zhangrun and He Weifang, who denounced that the lack of press freedom favored the spread of the coronavirus.

A Shandong university student, Zhang Wenbin, disappeared on March 30 after posting a video asking for Xi to resign. Wang Quanzhang, a well-known Chinese human rights lawyer, was released from prison on April 5, and immediately put under isolation for the coronavirus away from his family.

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