China’s Elderly Protest Against Health Insurance Cuts, Suppressed by Police

Alex Wu
By Alex Wu
February 19, 2023China News
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The elderly in the megacity of Wuhan in central China launched another large-scale protest in a week against the Chinese communist regime’s cuts to health benefits in its recent medical insurance reform. Meanwhile, in the northeastern megacity of Dalian, a similar protest broke out. Elderly protesters call for international attention and support.

The protest in Wuhan on Feb. 15 has been suppressed by the regime with elderly citizens being beaten, arrested, and dispersed.

Dafei (pseudonym), a resident in Wuhan, told The Epoch Times on Feb. 16 that the situation in the city is terrifying.

“Several friends who went to the protest were all interviewed and threatened by the police today. Now there’s terror in the country everywhere. It is really scary,” he said.

An Ming (pseudonym), an elderly citizen in Wuhan who was at the protest told The Epoch Times on Feb. 16, about how the Chinese regime dispersed the protesters.

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A protest of retirees over health benefit cuts in front of Wuhan city hall, China, on Feb. 1, 2023. (Online image)

“Yesterday at around two o’clock in the afternoon, the police began to clear the scene. There were a lot of riot police and policemen in groups separating the elderly protesters. There were also people sent by the authorities there persuading the elderly and leading them to a building behind Zhongshan Park (the protest scene) and telling the elderly people to go inside. There were some officials standing outside the building.”

Some elderly people were taken away when they went in, but An Ming didn’t go in. “At about 3 p.m., Jiefang Avenue was cleared without any protesters.”

An online video captured the scene of the Wuhan elderly’s protest on Feb. 15.

On the day of the protest, many people who wanted to join were unable to go. Yang Wei (pseudonym), a retiree in Wuhan, told The Epoch Times on Feb. 16 that he was forced to stay at home yesterday by police.

“Yesterday morning, I received at least five or six calls from the local police and the community office, asking if I was at home, and wanted to bring me something. They just want to know if I was at home or at the scene of the protest. It was to keep us under control.”

“In mainland China, there are cameras and mobile phone positioning everywhere. We are all under strict control. Wherever we go, mobile phone positioning will locate us,” he said.

Yang said that there were at least 50,000 people protesting yesterday, and that place is the most central area of Wuhan.

Police Rough Up Elderly Protesters

Ms. Liang (pseudonym), a resident in Wuhan, told The Epoch Times on Feb. 16 that tens of thousands of people stood up to protest against the tyranny of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It was the first time she had seen that the Chinese people were so awakened and united in more than 70 years.

Ms. Liang said that she saw policemen beating the elderly at the scene. “Most of the policemen did not wear their police numbers, and many were riot police, fully armed, but without guns. They didn’t dare to beat the elderly up in public. If they beat the elderly to death, it would be harder for them to deal with. But they roughed the elderly up and caused some elderly to pass out. I saw with my own eyes 3 elderly people fainted and fell on the ground, one woman and two men. They were dragged away by the police,” she said.

She said that she got COVID-19 and was hospitalized twice and the CCP’s new health insurance won’t pay for it, as it has reduced the individual benefit allowances for medical care, and retired people are affected by it the most. “We have experienced the COVID epidemic for three years, and we can’t bear it anymore. … This new medical insurance policy is a daylight robbery of people,” she said.

Chinese People Are Awakening

Liang added that the CCP has completely lost people’s support, and the protest against the health insurance cuts will awaken more ordinary people and young people across the country and the communist regime is about to collapse. “I hope that the international community will not underestimate the awareness of ordinary Chinese people. Although some people are not yet awakened, a large part of the Chinese people are standing up, they have backbone, and their understanding is also quite advanced. They are a very powerful force.”

Yang believes that there will be another protest soon. “The video of the protests at Zhongshan Park is spreading on the Internet and will definitely influence other cities. It will definitely have a considerable impact. The medical insurance reform in other cities will meet with resistance as well.”

Another viral video shows the protest scene in Wuhan on Feb. 15.

“This matter [protest to defend their rights] will definitely not stop, because there are many people like us who have seen through the CCP, are awakened, and love democracy and freedom. These people will try to continue it and won’t be suppressed. But it’s very difficult in communist China,” he said.

He hopes to get attention and help from international media. “The CCP’s suppression of rights protection and the truth is too severe. We can only rely on foreign media. I hope that overseas media can help us to pass on our voice and appeals to the international community, so that the international community would pay attention and care about the real situation in mainland China,” he told The Epoch Times.

Ning Haizhong, Hong Ning, Yi Ru, Zhao Fenghua, and Hong Ning contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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