Chinese police clash with thousands protesting draconian COVID lockdowns as unprecedented civil unrest grips country – after ten died in fire when building doors were locked to stop virus spread

  • In Shanghai, China’s most populous city and financial hub, protests broke out on Saturday night at the city’s Wulumuqi Road
  • ‘Lift lockdown for Urumqi, lift lockdown for Xinjiang, lift lockdown for all of China!’ the crowds in Shanghai shouted, according to a video on social media 
  • At one point a large group began shouting, ‘Down with the Chinese Communist Party, down with Xi Jinping, free Urumqi!’, according to witnesses and videos in a rare public protest against the Chinese leadership
  • A large group of police looked on and sometimes tried to break up the crowd
  • China is battling a surge in infections that prompted lockdowns and restrictions in cities across the country 
  • Beijing is attempting stick to a zero-COVID policy even as much of the world tries to coexist with the virus 
  • Public fury forced authorities in Xinjiang to open up parts of the capital Urumqi which has been subject to a punishing ‘zero-Covid’ lockdown for over 3 months
  • The protests were  triggered in-part by deaths of at least ten people in a fire at an apartment block who were unable to escape because their doors had been locked due to the virus
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