By Nicole Hao
The Chinese regime has begun placing tight restrictions on citizens’ activities in order to prevent any kind of dissent or disruption during celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s takeover.
Beijing has planned a large-scale military parade and other activities in the capital for Oct. 1, also known as “National Day.”
Since August, the city government has forbidden all shops to sell kitchen knives, hammers, axes, and scissors. Any consumer who needs one of these tools must order them from a store website. The store will then arrange for delivery to the customer’s house after checking their ID.
Meanwhile, every package mailed to Beijing must go through an additional X-ray check before it can be delivered to its destination. Typically, packages only go through one security screening. In addition, any package that contains drone or drone parts; remote-controlled toy mines; toy planes, and other similar toys won’t be delivered to Beijing addresses before Oct. 2.
Beijing Party boss Cai Qi also told city officials on Aug. 30 that the 70th-anniversary celebrations must be “perfect and without any losses.”
At a meeting for staff workers in charge of the celebration activities, Cai spoke about newly installed surveillance cameras that would ensure the city’s “security.” He also “broadly encouraged residents in Chaoyang district, retired women in Xicheng District, and other groups to join the city’s security team,” according to a state media report. Both districts are busy hubs in the capital.
By getting these ordinary citizens to work with police, Cai hopes to arrange for at least one security person to be stationed every meter (3.3 feet) along the city’s streets during the National Day period, although he didn’t specify the exact dates.
On Sept. 7 and 8, Beijing staged a traffic control operation to allow for rehearsals to take place for National Day celebrations. During the rehearsals, no vehicles or individuals without a rehearsal permit were allowed to enter the Tiananmen Square area, or the “second traffic zone” of Beijing that makes up the city’s most central districts.
Rehearsals will take place two more times in September.
The government has also forced all clubs, bars, karaoke spots, and restaurants in the neighborhood near the Beijing Workers’ Stadium to close temporarily, according to RFI reports. They were closed by Sept. 5 and can’t reopen before Oct. 2.
Each local government also has its own set of restrictions in the lead-up to Oct. 1.
In Shaanxi Province in central China, Hu Minglang, the vice governor and head of public security, ordered police within the entire province to follow a “wartime” alcohol ban from Sept. 15 to Oct. 4. Police can’t drink any alcohol during this period, whether they are at home, on vacation, or at a family gathering, according to the ban announced on Sept. 5.
As is usually the case during politically sensitive dates, petitioners, dissidents, human rights lawyers, and activists across China have been told by local authorities to stay at home or stay in rural areas—in order to not make trouble for authorities.
Xu Wanping, a pro-democracy activist in the southwestern city of Chongqing, told Radio Free Asia: “To maintain stability in all aspects, [officials] don’t take care about the law, nor people’s freedom of speech, and freedom of movement. Their only purpose is to make sure that the military parade can be done. ”
Authorities recently have stepped up monitoring and harassment of mainland Chinese who show support for the ongoing Hong Kong protests, which Beijing hopes will be resolved before Oct. 1.