"Xi, Step Down": As Rare China Covid Protests Spread, Moves To Censor It

China Covid Protest: The protests have been fuelled by frustration at the government's zero-Covid policy, which sees authorities impose snap lockdowns, lengthy quarantines.

'Xi, Step Down': As Rare China Covid Protests Spread, Moves To Censor It

China Covid Protest: China reported 40,052 domestic Covid-19 cases Monday

Beijing/Shanghai: As protests over China's draconian 'Zero Covid' policy flared up in several cities, authorities moved to censor online content on the rare demonstrations.

Here are 10 points on the protests raging in China:

  1. The protests have been fuelled by frustration at the central government's zero-Covid policy, which sees authorities impose snap lockdowns, lengthy quarantines and mass testing campaigns over just a handful of cases.

  2. A deadly fire on Thursday in Urumqi, the capital of northwest China's Xinjiang region, has become a fresh catalyst for public anger, with many blaming Covid lockdowns for hampering rescue efforts. Authorities deny the claims.

  3. Hundreds of people massed outside Urumqi's government offices after the deadly fire, chanting: "Lift lockdowns!"

  4. China has blamed "forces with ulterior motives" for linking the deadly fire to strict Covid measures in the country. The foreign ministry said the government's "fight against Covid-19 will be successful". 

  5. On Sunday night, at least 400 people gathered on the banks of a river in the capital Beijing for several hours, with some shouting: "We are all Xinjiang people! Go Chinese people!"

  6. In downtown Shanghai, China's biggest metropolis, police clashed with groups of protesters, as officers tried to move people away from the site. Some of them were seen chanting "Xi Jinping, step down! CCP, step down!". Three people were arrested from a protest site in the city early this morning.

  7. A BBC journalist in China was arrested, handcuffed and beaten by police while covering protests in Shanghai on Sunday. China's foreign ministry, following the uproar over the journalist's arrest, said that Lawrence had not identified himself as a journalist.

  8. Protests also occurred in Wuhan, the central city where Covid-19 first emerged, while there were reports of demonstrations in Guangzhou, Chengdu and Hong Kong.

  9. State censors appeared to have scrubbed Chinese social media of any news about the rallies, with the search terms "Liangma River", "Urumqi Road" -- sites of protests in Beijing and Shanghai -- scrubbed of any references to the rallies on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.

  10. China reported 40,052 domestic Covid-19 cases Monday, a record high but tiny compared to caseloads in the West at the height of the pandemic.



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