China begins inquiries into weekend Covid protests

30/11/2022 7:41:00 AM

WATCH: Simmering discontent with COVID prevention policies in China ignited into broader protests in several cities following a fire on Thursday (November 24) in western Xinjiang that killed 10 people.

WATCH: Simmering discontent with COVID prevention policies in China ignited into broader protests in several cities following a fire on Thursday (November 24) in western Xinjiang that killed 10 people.

BEIJING — Chinese authorities have begun inquiries into some of the people who gathered at weekend protests against Covid-19 curbs, three people who were at the Beijing demonstrations told Reuters, as police remained out in numbers on the city's streets.

In one case, a caller identifying as a police officer in the Chinese capital asked the protester to show up at a police station on Tuesday (Nov 29) to deliver a written record of their activities on Sunday night.ignited protests in cities across the country over the weekend, including Beijing and Shanghai.protests against Covid-19 curbs which have disrupted the lives of millions, damaged the economy and briefly sparked rare calls for President Xi Jinping to step down.Copy to clipboard https://str.

In another, a student was contacted by their college and asked if they had been in the area where events took place and to provide a written account."We are all desperately deleting our chat history," one Beijing protester who declined to be identified, told Reuters.Financial hub Shanghai reported 11 symptomatic cases and 176 asymptomatic cases, compared with 20 symptomatic cases and 158 asymptomatic cases a day before, the local health authority reported."There are just too many police.Mainland China’s biggest wave of civil disobedience since Mr Xi took power a decade ago comes as the number of Covid-19 cases hit record highs daily and large parts of several cities face a new round of lockdowns.Police came to check the ID of one of my friends and then took her away.Chongqing reported 164 new symptomatic locally transmitted infections and 7,669 asymptomatic cases, compared with 209 symptomatic and 8,538 asymptomatic cases the previous day.We don't know why.“There’s no clear political agenda, so it’s very easy to just arrest them and move on,” Mr Ai told Reuters on Monday, adding there were more “demands” in 1989 when a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

A few hours later they released her.The lockdowns have exacerbated one of the steepest growth slowdowns China has faced in decades, disrupting global supply chains and roiling financial markets." Beijing's Public Security Bureau did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Simmering discontent with Covid prevention policies three years into the pandemic ignited into broader protests in cities thousands of miles apart over the weekend.Mainland China's biggest wave of civil disobedience since Mr Xi Jinping took power a decade ago comes as the number of Covid cases hit record highs daily and large parts of several cities face new lockdowns.Hangzhou police did not immediately reply to a request for comment.Covid in China keeps spreading despite the efforts of most of its 1.The protests in China were triggered by a fire in the Xinjiang region last week that killed 10 people who were trapped in their apartments.

4 billion people to prevent transmission by adhering to a zero-Covid policy of eradicating all outbreaks and maintaining tight border controls.The lockdowns have exacerbated one of the sharpest slowdowns in growth China has suffered in decades, disrupting global supply chains and roiling financial markets.Residents said police have been asking people passing through those areas for their phones to check if they had virtual private networks (VPNs) and the Telegram app, which has been used by weekend protesters, residents and social media users said.In Hangzhou, the capital of the eastern province of Zhejiang, videos on social media which Reuters could not independently verify showed hundreds of police occupying a large square on Monday night, preventing people from congregating.One video showed police, surrounded by a small crowd of people holding smartphones, making an arrest while others tried to pull back the person being detained.Hangzhou police did not immediately reply to a request for comment.Protesters during a rally for the Urumqi fire victims as well as a protest against harsh Covid-19 restrictions in Beijing on Nov 28, 2022.The United States and other Western nations have backed the right of people to peacefully protest in China, but Mr Ai pointed a finger at them for prioritising their own economic agenda instead of human rights.

In Shanghai and Beijing, police were patrolling areas where some groups on the Telegram messaging service had suggested people gather again.The police presence on Monday evening and night ensured no gatherings took place."The large number of police, it's really scary," said Beijing resident Philip Qin, 22, who witnessed the protests on Sunday.Although largely focused on Covid-19 curbs, protesters sporadically took a swipe at the ruling Communist Party and at Xi, who has concentrated power into his own hands over the past decade and just recently secured another leadership term.Residents said police have been asking people passing through those areas for their phones to check if they had virtual private networks (VPNs) and the Telegram app, which has been used by protesters, residents said.VPNs are illegal for most people in China, while the Telegram app is blocked from China's internet.“You cannot blame them because they also want to survive, but by doing that, they lose their credibility of defending the free world or defending democracy.

A busload of demonstrators was taken away by police during Sunday night protests in Shanghai.” Anti-Xi slogans were briefly heard in Shanghai on Sunday as well.'A THOUSAND HARDSHIPS' A fire last week in the western city of Urumqi that authorities said killed 10 people appears to have been the spark for the wave of protests in other cities.Some internet users said Covid lockdown measures hampered the effort to rescue people in the burning building.Officials have denied that.Many analysts say easing the policies could lead to widespread illness and deaths, overwhelming the country’s hospitals.Although largely focused on Covid curbs, protesters have occasionally vented their frustration with the ruling Communist Party and Mr Xi, who has concentrated power in his hands over the past decade and just recently secured another leadership term.

On Sunday, a large crowd gathered in the southwestern metropolis of Chengdu chanting:"We don't want lifelong rulers.We don't want emperors.“The harder it is, the more you have to grit your teeth,” it said." Anti-Xi slogans were also briefly heard in Shanghai on Sunday.Mr Xi had taken personal responsibility for leading the"war" against Covid.Officials say the zero-Covid policy has kept the death toll in the world's most populous country in the thousands, avoiding the millions of deaths elsewhere.

Many analysts say easing the policy could lead to widespread illness and deaths, overwhelming hospitals.A strong push on vaccinating the elderly is required before China could even contemplate re-opening, they say.In a Tuesday editorial that did not mention the protests, the People's Daily, the Communist Party's official newspaper, urged citizens to"unswervingly implement" zero-Covid policies, which put people's"lives first," saying victory would come through"perseverance through thousands of hardships"."The harder it is, the more you have to grit your teeth," it said.REUTERS Related topics.

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China reports slight drop in new COVID-19 cases for Nov 29; Beijing cases riseSHANGHAI: China reported 37,828 new COVID-19 infections on Nov 29, of which 4,288 were symptomatic and 33,540 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Wednesday (Nov 30). That is compared with 38,645 new cases a day earlier – 3,624 symptomatic and 35,021 asymptomatic in 北京步步高昇

Chinese police out in numbers to prevent more Covid-19 protestsIn Shanghai and Beijing, police patrolled areas where groups using Telegram suggested gathering. Read more at straitstimes.com.

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei says Covid-19 protests will not shake govtBesides facing a tough crackdown, protesters lacked organisation and leadership, he said. Read more at straitstimes.com.

Chinese authorities seek out Covid-19 protestersBEIJING – Chinese authorities have begun inquiries into some of the people who gathered at weekend protests against Covid-19 curbs, three people who were at the Beijing demonstrations told Reuters, as police remained out in numbers on the city's streets. In one case, a caller identifying as a police officer in the Chinese capital asked the protester to show up...