‘Lift the lockdown’: Huge protests in China’s Xinjiang against Xi Jinping over zero Covid policy

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China’s northwestern Xinjiang region has witnessed mass protests against President Xi Jinping after an apartment fire killed 10 people, the latest sign of unrest in the country.

Protesters directed their anger at the country’s strict COVID-19 policies.

In videos posted on social media on Friday evening, crowds chanted “end the lockdown” as protesters appeared to link China’s zero COVID-19 policy to the deaths in the fire.

China has imposed some of the country’s longest curfews, barring many of Urumqi’s 4 million residents from leaving their homes for up to 100 days. In the last two days, around 200 new cases have been reported in the city.

Although residents in the high-rise building were reportedly able to get down the stairs, Reuters reported on Saturday that videos shared on Chinese social media purportedly appear to show rescue operations, leading many to think residents were dead. were unable to exit as the structure was partially sealed.

The latest protests, which come in the wake of widespread worker unrest at Foxconn’s flagship iPhone plant that has resulted in thousands of resignations, will ramp up pressure on Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Videos of the Foxconn protest quickly went viral online in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, as a result of the protest, which was hit by China’s COVID-19 restrictions.

The plant was set to enter a partial lockdown from Friday midnight to Sunday to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections, which put it under lockdown following an outbreak in October.

Daily coronavirus cases have not been seen at last year’s level, indicating that the ‘zero-covid’ policy has failed. On 25 November, China reported 35,183 new COVID infections, a new high for the third day in a row.

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