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Rare protests erupt in China over COVID restrictions, lockdowns


China erupted in rare public protests against COVID restrictions as a record number of cases prompted a tightening of lockdowns.

Protesters took to the streets of Beijing, as well as in the western region of Xinjiang, demanding that the government lift the restrictions early.

“End the lockout!” some shouted in the streets, according to Reuters.

Other videos show people in the square singing China’s national anthem with the words “Rise up, those who refuse to be slaves!”

A fire in a multi-storey building in Urumqi caused 10 deaths on Thursday night.

Some residents were unable to escape in time because the building was partially closed due to COVID.

Approximately four million residents of Urumqi were under the longest lockdown in the country and were not allowed to leave their homes for 100 days.

Some protesters in Beijing, who staged small protests or confronted local officials about the restrictions, managed to get local officials to lift the restrictions early.

China under President Xi Jinping has implemented a strict zero-spread policy for COVID-19 in an attempt to mitigate the spread of the virus and contain its spread.

Beijing defends Mr. Jinping’s policy as lifesaving and necessary to prevent the health system from becoming overwhelmed, and officials have vowed to continue it.

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