27 Nov 2022

China: Protests Against Strict Covid Restrictions Intensify

Beijing: On one hand the cases of corona are increasing in China, on the other hand people are protesting against the zero Covid policy. People are demanding the resignation of President Xi Jinping while raising slogans against him.

Protests turned violent after death of 10 people in fire

These demonstrations turned violent on 25 November following a fire at an apartment in Urumqi. Actually, due to the lockdown imposed under the Zero Covid policy, the firefighters could not reach here to extinguish the fire in time. 10 people died due to this.
Protests erupted in Shanghai with people calling to relax curbs across the country.
Expressing anger over the stringent Covid policy, Chinese citizens took to the streets in large numbers.
A video posted on Twitter showed people at 'Urumqi Road' hold a protest against Xi Jinping-led Chinese Communist Party (CCP), chanting slogans like 'Step down the Communist Party' and 'The Communist Party, Step down', 'Xi Jinping step down'.

Has government underestimated growing discontent

But analysts say the government appears to have drastically underestimated growing discontent towards the zero-Covid approach, a policy inextricably linked to Xi Jinping who recently pledged there would be no swerving from it.
One protester in Shanghai said he felt shocked and a bit excited to see people out on the streets, calling it the first time he'd seen such large-scale dissent in China.
He said the lockdowns made him feel sad, angry and hopeless, and had left him unable to see his unwell mother, who was undergoing cancer treatment.
Others gave accounts of violence, with one protester claiming one of his friends had been beaten by police at the scene, while two others had been pepper sprayed.

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