When two people are pulling a rope, how come the force at the center of mass of the system(the tension on some specific point at the rope) is not 0?

Imagine two people of equal mass are pulling a rope in different directions. At the midpoint on the rope, why is the force acting not equal to 0? Its the same issue if I hold two newtonmeters, attach them to each other, then I pull. I receive the same force readings on both. Could someone please explain this phenomenon? I am very confused.

• Tension has a bi-directional character to it (based on the so-called stress tensor). So, on either side of the center, the pulls are of the same magnitude, but in opposite directions. The net force on the center is zero. – Chet Miller Sep 21 '19 at 12:36

The net force acting on every part of a stationary rope under tension is indeed 0. It must be, because it's not moving and $$F_\text{net}=ma$$ always holds.