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China students protest against Covid restrictions using maths equation. Here’s why

Protests have erupted across Chinese cities in opposition to government Covid-19 restrictions that prevent public gatherings and enforced lockdowns over a single case.

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With almost near total vaccination against Covid-19, people in most parts of the world are now participating in everyday activities with minimum restrictions. However, these freedoms are not afforded to millions of Chinese citizens, who are still locked up due to Beijing’s zero Covid-19 policy.

While simmering resentment against the government’s strict restrictions has been there, the public’s patience was pushed off the edge after a deadly fire broke out in Urumqi. It is widely believed that the rescue response got delayed due to lockdown restrictions.


This tragedy acted as fuel against the government and on Sunday night people came out on the streets of Urumqi to protest. The now-viral videos of the impromptu protest demonstrations show people sloganeering against the Communist Party and demanding their President Xi Jinping steps down. Soon, protests erupted in other Chinese cities as well.


Reports said almost 200 to 300 students from the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing also protested against lockdown measures that limit public gatherings and still enforce lockdown-like bans in communities with even a single positive case.

A picture from the protest at the university is going viral in which the students are holding a banner with a mathematical equation instead of slogans. On Sunday, Hong Kong activist and lawmaker Nathan Law shared the photo and wrote, “Students from the elite school Tsinghua University protested with Friedmann equation. I have no idea what this equation means, but it does not matter. It’s the pronunciation: it’s similar to “free的man” (free man)—a spectacular and creative way to express, with intelligence.” Law’s tweet has over 27,900 likes.

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Commenting on the photo, a Twitter user wrote, “I lived for two years on this campus. These are the most clever and often humorous students I’ve ever met. This way of expressing solidarity doesn’t surprise me at all ”.

First published on: 28-11-2022 at 14:19 IST
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