Middle East

Shanghai hit by Covid protests as anger rises in China

Protests against draconian coronavirus measures have spread across Chinese cities after a deadly fire in a home in China’s far west.

Protesters claim the building was partially blocked off, preventing residents from catching fire from escaping in time. (Twitter/@brandhane)

Protests against China’s tough Covid-19 restrictions have spread to more cities, including financial hub Shanghai nearly three years after the pandemic, with deadly fires in the country’s far west sparking a new wave of anger. was caused.

In Shanghai, China’s most populous city, residents gathered Saturday night on Urumqi Street in the city named after Urumqi and stayed up all night by candlelight, which turned into protests early Sunday.

As a large group of police looked on, the crowd held up a blank sheet of paper, a symbol of protest against censorship. They then yelled, “Unlock Urumqi, unblock Xinjiang, unblock all of China!”, according to a video circulating on social media.

At another point, a large group began shouting “Overthrow the Chinese Communist Party, overthrow Xi Jinping,” in a rare public protest against the Chinese leader, according to eyewitnesses and video. I tried to disperse the crowd.

Thursday’s fire that killed 10 people in a high-rise building in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, caused widespread fire as many internet users speculated that a partial blockade of the building prevented residents from escaping in time. provoked widespread public outrage. City officials denied it.

The fires and denials by officials that Covid measures hampered escapes and rescues have fueled an unprecedented wave of civil disobedience in mainland China since Xi Jinping took power a decade ago.

China is battling a surge in infections that has caused lockdowns and other restrictions in cities across the country as Beijing adheres to its zero-Covid policy, even as much of the world tries to coexist with the coronavirus. increase.

Although low by global standards, the number of cases in China hit a record high in recent days, with nearly 40,000 new cases reported by health officials on Sunday.

China defends President Xi’s signature zero Cvoid policy as lifesaving and necessary to prevent overwhelming the health care system. Government officials have vowed to keep doing so despite mounting public outcry and increasing damage to Singapore, the world’s second-largest economy.

read more: Dozens killed, injured in northwest China apartment fire

“I want freedom”

In the northwestern city of Lanzhou, residents overturned temporary Covid staff tents, vandalized Covid test booths and took to the streets in protest Saturday night, according to Chinese WeChat, Kuaishou and Weibo social media. We have shown posts that are widely shared on the platform.

Protesters said they were put under lockdown even though no one had tested positive.

Universities in cities such as Nanjing and Beijing held candlelight rallies in memory of the Urumqi victims, and students held blank papers in silent protests.

Internet users showed solidarity by posting blank white squares on their WeChat timeline or Weibo. By Sunday morning, the hashtag “white paper exercise” was blocked on Weibo.

Video from Shanghai shows a crowd confronted by dozens of police, chants such as “Serve the people,” “We don’t want health codes,” and “We want freedom.” I’m calling

Some posted screenshots of Wulumuqi Road signs to evade censorship and show support for the Shanghai protesters. Others shared comments and posts calling on all “brave young people” to be careful. It included advice on what to do.

The Shanghai government did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

Shanghai’s 25 million people were locked down for two months earlier this year, an ordeal that sparked anger and protests.

Since then, Chinese authorities have tried to be more targeted to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, but efforts have come as the country enters its first winter with the highly contagious Omicron subspecies. has been challenged by a surge.

read more:
Deadly fires in Xinjiang fuel anger over China’s zero Covid policy

Source: Reuters

https://www.trtworld.com/asia/we-want-freedom-shanghai-hit-by-covid-protests-as-anger-mounts-in-china-62954?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Shanghai hit by Covid protests as anger rises in China

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