The Hubei province is no longer cordoned off, but nothing is normal here. Many Chinese see Hubei compatriots as potential virus carriers. Steffen root about turmoil at the provincial borders.
By Steffen Wurzel, ARD Studio Shanghai
After the relaxation of movement and travel restrictions in the Chinese province of Hubei, there was violent turmoil at the border to one of the neighboring provinces at the weekend.
The scene of the unrest is a bridge that connects the two provinces of Hubei and Jiangxi. Various online videos from eyewitnesses show how hundreds of people stand closely together, yell at each other and sometimes use violence. Angry people overturn a police van, others damage patrol cars with kicks.
Police officers also involved
According to reports by the Hong Kong newspaper “South China Morning Post”, not only ordinary citizens were involved in the turmoil, but also police officers from the two neighboring provinces. The background was a dispute over the opening of the provincial border. According to eyewitness accounts, Jiangxi police officers tried to block the bridge. In this way, they apparently wanted to prevent people from the province of Hubei, which was sealed off for weeks, from crossing the border river unchecked and uncontrolled.
In the meantime, the authorities on both sides are said to have found a solution. It is remarkable that Chinese state media also report on the clashes. The ruling Communist Party newspaper “Renmin Ribao” admits that there are still problems with the return to normal. She called on residents of other parts of the country not to discriminate against people from Hubei province.
No trust in Beijing
However, that should be a pious wish: in many places in China, distrust of people from the central Chinese province is deep. Citizens from Hubei are still considered to be an alleged coronavirus infection. The new corona lung virus spread from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, at the end of December: first in China and then worldwide.
China’s state and party leadership has reported low infection rates for days. The majority of the new Corona cases were brought in from abroad. However, numerous experts consider the official figures of the communist leadership to be wrong and down-fashioned. Because there is no opposition, no real civil society and no free press in China, there is no open debate about the statistics. The numbers cannot be checked.