10/13/2022, 13.34
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Twentieth Communist Party Congress: As Xi awaits coronation, dissidents languish in jail

The zero-COVID policy has strengthened the police state and social control, especially in Tibet and Xinjiang. Many human rights activists and lawyers remain in prison awaiting trial or sentencing. In China, Xi's "two cornerstones" are a must.


Beijing (AsiaNews) – As the Communist Party of China (CPC) gets ready to hold its 20th Congress, the regime intensifies its repression and social control.

To secure a third, historic mandate, Xi Jinping has strengthened his police state with the "zero-COVID" policy, even at the expense of the country’s economic performance.

The goal of "zero" COVID is being used for political purposes, especially in Tibet and Xinjiang, where Beijing says it is fighting separatism and terrorism.

As Chinese human rights advocates report, scores of human rights activists are languishing in prison, on trial or awaiting trial.

Xu Zhiyong and Ding Jiaxi are among the best known. Both have already been convicted and are just waiting for sentencing. The same goes for Chang Weiping, who was tried on July 26.

There are concerns for Li Qiaochu, Xu's girlfriend. She is not in good health and her lawyer is saying that prison authorities are forcing her to take drugs that have made her lose a lot of weight.

Activist Xu Qin is in worse condition. On a visit in July to the Yangzhou detention centre, her lawyer found her in a wheelchair. Despite her physical situation, Xu refused to plead guilty.

Well-known human rights lawyer Li Yuhan has been in prison for more than five years. Convicted a year ago, she is waiting for her sentence. For some time her family and defenders have asked for her release on medical grounds.

On the eve of the Congress, the party machine is committed to promoting Xi's "two cornerstones”, namely the CPC’s central role and Xi’s thoughts to guide the country.

In today’s China, there is no room for dissidents.

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