Since the end of August this year, over 300 million people in China have been placed under severe lockdown over several months, including in Lhasa and Urumqi, where the lockdown exceeded continuously for over 100 days. This has caused immeasurable hardship as people faced extreme restrictions on movement, inadequate access to food and medicine, loss of livelihood and mental anguish. These have resulted in widespread protests in various cities and universities in China against the zero-Covid policy and the protestors also called for freedom and democracy. The Central Tibetan Administration expresses its deep concern and stands in Solidarity.
The Kashag reiterates its statement regarding Covid situation in Tibet: China’s mismanaged zero-Covid policy endangers Tibetan lives in Tibet dated 26 September 2022.
The devastation caused by the pandemic has resulted in innumerable deaths, casualties and economic hardship across the world. The world has taken measures based on sound scientific findings to contain the spread of Covid-19, which has brought about relative state of normalcy. This is evident from the fact that millions of unmasked people have gathered in the Middle East to celebrate the FIFA World Cup in great fervour.
Being part of the global community, China cannot sever its ties with the rest of the humanity. The pandemic must be faced as a collective challenge and the spread of pandemic does not discriminate between different forms of governance. The Beijing leadership must enforce humane approach in dealing with these public outbursts. Immediate course correction should be initiated by modelling on measures undertaken by international communities and governments.
We strongly urge that no one should be subjected to any reprisal for taking part in any form of protests against the zero-Covid policy and those who have called for Freedom and Democracy.
We hope that China will soon transcend to normalcy from the pandemic.