Foreigners Are Struggling to Survive Shanghai Lockdown

Alex Wu
By Alex Wu
April 14, 2022Chinashare
Foreigners Are Struggling to Survive Shanghai Lockdown
Workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) next to food delivered by the local government for residents in a compound during a Covid-19 lockdown in the Jing'an district in Shanghai on April 10, 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

Large numbers of foreign citizens have been caught up in Shanghai’s extended COVID-19 lockdown that has been in place for more than two weeks in some parts of the city.

Like Chinese residents, foreigners face a difficult situation as they struggle for food and to gain access to medical care.

Various parts of the city went into lockdown last month until a city-wide lockdown was announced on April 3.

Since then there have been reports that some residents in the city of 25 million have run out of food and water.

A Shanghai resident surnamed Mr. Luo, told The Epoch Times that he is familiar with the life of foreigners in the city. He said that if they don’t know Chinese it’s difficult for them to find goods, including online.

“Even Xu Xin, the Shanghai investment tycoon, has to go ask help to get bread online, what about foreigners?” Luo said.

Residents wait in a line to be tested for the Covid-19 coronavirus during the second stage of a pandemic lockdown in Jing’ a district in Shanghai on April 4, 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

A South Korean by the name of Mr. Ryu was a sales executive of Samsung Group in China and went to Shanghai to start his own business. He is one of the relatively lucky ones under lockdown as he understands Chinese well, so he can sometimes “exchange goods” with neighbors in the community.

“I recently said in a group chat on social media that I need some garlic, and the neighbor asked me to bring some white rice for exchange,” he said.

He said that on some social platforms, many employees of South Korean companies in China were “very angry” and complain about the Chinese authorities’ lockdown policy.

Students Isolated

South Korean media YTN reported on April 11, that there are some 400,000 foreigners in the city. Among them, an estimated 150 to 300 South Korean students live alone outside their school.

They said they feel isolated and helpless and added that it is difficult for them to find food.

The students said local food delivery services were almost paralyzed, the report said. Local authorities distributed some public emergency supplies, such as uncooked vegetables, for a fee, but the students could not cook in the rental housing. The students said they resorted to exchanging the vegetables they’d been given for water or instant noodles with Chinese neighbors as they were taken to do mass COVID-19 tests.

Ryu said that he felt that their situation was very difficult.

“They cry every day and have nothing to eat,” Ryu said.

“When they come to Shanghai, they usually don’t speak Chinese, and they don’t usually cook by themselves. So the Chinese government’s rationed food supply is useless to them, as it’s all raw vegetables,” he said.

On April 10, it was announced that Shanghai will implement differentiated control measures with lockdowns continuing but varying for each community ranging from seven days to 21 days.

On April 12, at least 15 million residents were still being locked in their homes.

The French Consulate General in Shanghai and 24 other countries recently jointly sent letters to the Shanghai Municipal Government, putting forward six requests to ensure their citizens’ basic rights were respected under lockdown.

U.S. State Department on April 11 told all non-essential staff and their family members at U.S. Consulate in Shanghai to evacuate due to the COVID outbreak and the lockdown.

Yi Ru and Lin Cenxin contributed to the report.

From The Epoch Times

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