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A third night of protests takes place across China, with demonstrators shouting 'down with the CCP, down with Xi Jinping'; BBC journalist Ed Lawrence is 'kicked and beaten' by police while covering the protests; submit a question below for live Q&A at 7.30pm.
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30pm using the form above Live reporting by Emily Mee.Updates from Helen-Ann Smith in Shanghai Ask a question or make a comment 17:45:46 Analysis: Letting Omicron spread unchecked could lead to 1..5 million deaths - but Chinese government faces dilemma By Tom Cheshire, data and forensics correspondent The Chinese Communist Party has boxed itself into a dilemma: people want an end to draconian zero-COVID restrictions.But easing them could lead to a massive wave of COVID deaths because the country is simply not prepared.Violence has broken out between police and protesters in at least seven cities including financial hub Shanghai, capital Beijing, Guanghzou and Nanjing.Zero-COVID started nearly three years ago, when the first lockdown was announced in Wuhan in January 2020.Change the plan you will roll onto at any time during your trial by visiting the “Settings & Account” section.
And for much of the pandemic, it worked - China's death rate has been very low throughout, especially compared to the UK and US.Crowds stood and filmed as officers shoved people who had gathered in the street and shouted “We don’t want PCR tests, we want freedom!”, according to a witness.It bought time.But China didn't use it well.Picture: Since Friday anger and frustration has flared over a number of deaths in a fire in an apartment building in Urumqi.Instead of using it to vaccinate and to improve its medical system, it poured vast resources into testing and into lockdowns to try and keep up with the spread of Omicron - and all the misery that entails for people living under zero-COVID.There has never been a clear exit strategy, according to Professor Francois Balloux, director of the UCL Genetics Institute.In the early hours of Sunday, standing on the road named after a city in Xinjiang where at least 10 people died in the apartment fire, protesters chanted “Xi Jinping! Step down! CCP! Step down.Compare Standard and Premium Digital here.
"It's a bit of a chicken and egg problem," he told Sky News."Once you're stuck like China was in this idea that you could suppress transmission of the virus, maybe there was not this urgency to get people vaccinated and think about the future.People called for an official apology for deaths in the Urumqi fire." As a result, China has a very low rate of elderly vaccination.The figures for two doses aren't bad.One ethnic Uighur individual shared his experiences of discrimination and police violence.But only 68.
5% of people aged over 60 – the most vulnerable - have received a booster.Picture: Getty “Everyone thinks that Chinese people are afraid to come out and protest, that they don’t have any courage,” said the protester, who said it was his first time demonstrating.Hong Kong had similarly low levels of vaccination amongst the elderly.When Omicron surged out of control there, it recorded the highest death rate the world had seen.But then when I went there, I found that the environment was such that everyone was very brave.Hong Kong's experience does not bode well for China."Over a few days they had massive, massive mortality," Professor Balloux told Sky News.But one-third of those aged 60 or more have not been jabbed, official figures show.
"And I would say China is in a worse situation.Hong Kong has a good health care system, probably had slightly better vaccination rates - so yes it could be pretty grim.." China doesn't have the healthcare capacity that Hong Kong had.It only has 3.6 intensive care beds per 100,000 people – ranking well below other nations.
As a result, Chinese experts have predicted that the unchecked spread of Omicron would simply overwhelm China's healthcare system and the demand would be 15.6 more than capacity.There would be nearly three million admissions to intensive care - and more than one and a half million deaths.All of those problems might be fixed with political will.But China has trumpeted its zero-COVID policy as proof of the superiority of its system compared to other countries.
The problem is that the Chinese people are looking at other countries - and thinking that life there looks a lot better.17:28:50 Demonstrators phoned by police after protests, witness says Some people who attended the weekend's large-scale protests have since received phone calls from the police, a witness has said.The female protester, who asked not to be named, told AFP news agency that she and five friends who were at the protest in Beijing were interrogated by police via phone call.She said the officers had demanded information about their movements, and alleged that in one case an officer had visited her friend's home after they refused to answer their phone."He said my name and asked me whether I went to the Liangma river last night… he asked very specifically how many people were there, what time I went, how I heard about it," the protester said.
"The police stressed that last night's protest was an illegal assembly, and if we had demands then we could submit them through the regular channels." She added the officer was mostly"even-toned" during the call, and that she would likely still attend future protests.It is not clear how police discovered the identities of some protesters.16:46:23 Chinese embassy tells UK to 'stop meddling' as it defends arrest of BBC journalist The Chinese embassy has called on British officials to"stop meddling" with its affairs, singling out a Foreign Office minister.It accused Anne-Marie Trevelyan of making"anti-China" and"groundless accusations" after she had tweeted about the situation in Hong Kong.
Ms Trevelyan had said:"Ongoing harassment of pro-democracy supporters & civil society organisations in Hong Kong, including of Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun is unacceptable."Its vital Hong Kong people are allowed to associate freely without fear of arrest & detention (sic)." In response, the Chinese embassy said the politician was"pointing fingers" and that foreign government officials"have no right whatsoever to interfere"."The Chinese side urges British officials to respect facts and the rule of law, stop meddling in Hong Kong-related affairs, and stop interfering in China's internal affairs," it said.It also defended the arrest of BBC journalist Ed Lawrence, who had been covering the recent protests and was reportedly kicked and beaten.
The embassy said:"Journalists have the freedom to report, but they must abide by the laws and regulations of the host country.BBC is not exempt." 16:43:45 Some local authorities ease COVID restrictions Several local Chinese authorities have eased coronavirus restrictions today - although they haven't mentioned the criticism of President Xi Jinping or the protests.Beijing's city government said it would no longer set up gates to block access to apartment compounds where infections are found."Passages must remain clear for medical transportation, emergency escapes and rescues," a city official said - but they did not mention the apartment fire in Urumqi that killed 10 people last week.
Guangzhou - the epicentre of China's latest wave of COVID infections - said some residents will no longer have to undergo mass testing.Meanwhile, Urumqi and another city in China's Xinjiang region said markets and businesses in areas deemed at low risk of infection would reopen this week.The public bus service will also resume.China has adopted a zero-COVID policy, meaning every infected person is isolated and the country is aiming to eradicate coronavirus completely.However, the public has become less tolerant of the strict measures as people in some areas have been confined to their homes for up to four months and say they lack reliable access to food and medical supplies.
16:16:32 Protesters in Hong Kong hold vigil for fire victims The demonstrations have spread to Hong Kong, where protesters paid tributes to the victims of a fire in China's Urumqi.Crowds gathered Chinese University of Hong Kong and Central district to pay tribute to the 10 people who died in the blaze last Thursday.The fire has been a trigger for protests against China's COVID policy after it emerged rescue efforts may have been hampered by the building being partially under lockdown.At the Chinese University, a sign reading Urumqi Road was placed on a steel barrier.Flowers were placed in Central and people held up blank pieces of paper, a symbol of their inability to speak out against the Chinese government.
15:55:14 Twitter bombarded with pornography to 'obscure news on China protests' As widespread protests took place across China yesterday, those searching Twitter for information were met with a torrent of adult content.Experts have suggested that Chinese bots were tweeting out the content to stop people from seeing updates on the protests.Mengyu Dong, a tech and censorship analyst, wrote on Twitter:"Chinese bots are flooding Twitter with *escort ads*, possibly to make it more difficult for Chinese users to access information about the mass protests." She continued:"Sadly, if a Chinese person decides to come to Twitter to find out what happened in China last night, these nsfw posts shared by bots are likely the first to show up in their search results." Some experts pointed out that many of the accounts had been dormant for years before tweeting during the protests.
15:06:08 Why are these protests significant? It is incredibly rare to see protests in China, where the state controls much of life.Authorities tightened controls on civil society, the media and the internet when President Xi Jinping came to power a decade ago.Since then, authorities have cracked down on dissent and built a high-tech surveillance state.Surveillance is particularly stringent in Xinjiang, where the Chinese government is accused of detaining up to two million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in camps.A United Nations report this year described an"invasive" surveillance network in Xinjiang, where police databases contain biometric data such as facial and eyeball scans.
Protests do take place in China, but it is rare for them to be on this scale.Particularly unusual are the calls for President Xi to step down - however, disquiet has been growing in recent months as the public loses patience with the government's zero-COVID strategy.14:55:25 Rolling back COVID restrictions 'could expose fragile health system in China' A British MP has said the Chinese Communist Party faces a difficult decision as protests continue over its strict zero-COVID policy.Richard Graham, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary China Group, said the country is at"breaking point" and that the demonstrations are"incredibly significant".Some citizens have been under harsh lockdown conditions for months, and they will have likely seen football fans in stadiums at the World Cup not wearing face masks.
However, Mr Graham told Sky News that if China drops many of its COVID restrictions then there would be a large increase in cases because the country's vaccines are not particularly effective.He warned this would"expose a fragile health system".As for whether the demonstrations will change anything, he said he expects any change would have to"come from within China itself" rather than Western pressure.14:32:14 What triggered the protests and what tactics have been used? Some observers view the protests as the most significant and serious in China since the 1989 crackdown on student pro-democracy rallies in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.Frustrations have been building for some time over the state's zero-COVID policy - which has been imposed to tackle any outbreaks and has led to long spells of confinement at home for many millions of people.
Some counties have faced sudden lockdowns over a small number of infections, while in other cases individual shops have been closed after a reported infection.For more on the number of COVID cases in China and the tactics used in the protests, read our explainer below...14:20:05 A slight sigh of relief from authorities but people are still deeply weary By Asia correspondent Helen-Ann Smith, in Shanghai It's been a really, really interesting day here.
When we woke up this morning, in the wake of those big protests we saw last night, the tension in Shanghai was very, very high indeed.At the crossroads we went in as a team, it was almost impossible to lift up a phone or a camera without police being immediately on us.We saw people being arrested simply it seemed for lingering just a little too long.There were a lot of barricades along those key roads and it felt extremely tense.It's still tense at the crossroads, it's certainly not safe to broadcast live from there and there's still a heavy police presence.
But interestingly, there is a sense that there is a slight sigh of relief from authorities there because it seems there have not been mass big groups of people gathering like many thought there would be.And because there haven't been those gatherings, the police have slightly stepped back.But there were small, defiant acts of protests.There's a sense that people got the message from earlier today that any gathering tonight would be swiftly and heavily cracked down on.It could be because it's Monday, and people could have gone to work or college.
There's a sense that people are taking a breath, taking stock and there were lots of arrests yesterday.People are still deeply weary about the zero-COVID restrictions here in China.Due to your consent preferences, you’re not able to view this..
FukuyamaFrancis FukuyamaFrancis 🤣 FukuyamaFrancis *nothing happens* FukuyamaFrancis We are the NEW CHINESE who is taking down the EVIL Chinese Communist Party！ The Chinese Communist Party is the root cause of all disasters globally. Taking down the Chinese Communist Party is the only way to save humanity! CCP≠Chinese TakeDownCCP GETTR MilesGuo
FukuyamaFrancis We should continue this movement thoroughly without ending it, and win the rights of the people! ! ! If you don't, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. 让我们继续这场运动，争取人民的权利！ !! 如果你不这样做，你会后悔一辈子。 FukuyamaFrancis And of course fomented by the secret intelligence agency of the US , National Data assessment policy . Nothing is as it seems , both Iran and China suddenly suffering popular dissent ? North Korea next , watch this space ..
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China rocked by new anti-lockdown protests and calls for President Xi Jinping to quitStudent-led protests have erupted across China in the latest public reaction to President Xi's so-called zero-COVID policy.
Well done 👏 the pot addicts will have nowhere to hide Taking out criminals competition for them, all it does is centralise the process and make it easier for others The war or drugs is useless
“If large-scale protests continue, the CCP is quite capable of violent repression”—unrest spreadsProtests against China’s zero-covid policies are spreading—and even feature rare, daring calls for regime change. “The Intelligence” hears from one of our reporters in the country Will the west look at them with respect, or as terrorists like with the Canadian protestors? Now we get to see who is on Xi's payroll here. Everyone should support regime change and democratic reform in China. Everyone.
Xi Jinping faces stiffest challenge to rule as Covid outrage sparks mass protests\n\t\t\tKeep abreast of significant corporate, financial and political developments around the world.\n\t\t\tStay informed and spot emerging risks and opportunities with independent global reporting, expert\n\t\t\tcommentary and analysis you can trust.\n\t\t Because countries ruled by a 'president for life' do soo well historically.................... Will be crushed with ruthless efficiency. Look at history, how quickly we forget! ctmd金融时报，不搞你的老本行金融天天跟狗一样追在这些垃圾后面，叫你狗改不了吃屎时报好了
Covid protests widen in China after Urumqi fireVideos on social media appear to show some protesters asking leader Xi Jinping to resign. NO 1 Cares You BBC News UK Losers Stop Talking China DO You Understand Stop Taking About China
China protests turn violent as zero-Covid anger spreads\n\t\t\tKeep abreast of significant corporate, financial and political developments around the world.\n\t\t\tStay informed and spot emerging risks and opportunities with independent global reporting, expert\n\t\t\tcommentary and analysis you can trust.\n\t\t How come everybody is silent on this! This happened in America please don't try to smear China
Rare protests in China as fatal fire collides with zero-COVID fatigueChina is the only major country still fighting COVID with lockdowns and mass testing but, after living with extreme restrictions for months, many citizens have had enough. You Losers SkyNews I Don't Care