China posted another record high COVID-19 infections on Monday, after an extraordinary weekend of protests across the country over restrictive coronavirus curbs, in scenes unprecedented since President Xi Jinping assumed power a decade ago.
In Shanghai, demonstrators and police clashed on Sunday, with police taking away a busload of protesters, with the BBC saying that police assaulted and detained one of its journalists covering the events before releasing him after several hours.
During the weekend, protesters in cities including Wuhan and Lanzhou overturned COVID testing facilities, while students gathered on campuses across China in actions that were sparked by anger over an apartment fire late last week in the far western city of Urumqi that killed 10 people.
The deadly fire fuelled speculation that COVID curbs in the city, parts of which had been under lockdown for 100 days, had hindered rescue and escape, which city officials denied. Crowds in Urumqi took to the street on Friday evening, chanting “End the lockdown!”, according to unverified videos on social media.
In Beijing, large crowds were gathered past midnight on Sunday along the capital’s 3rd Ring Road during peaceful but often impassioned scenes.
China earlier this month sought to make the curbs more targeted and less onerous, prompting speculation that it will soon begin moving towards full reopening, but a resurgence in cases has thwarted investor hopes for significant easing anytime soon.
China on Monday reported a fifth straight daily record of new local cases of 40,052, up from 39,506 a day earlier. Mega-cities Guangzhou and Chongqing, with thousands of cases, are struggling to contain outbreaks while hundreds of infections were recorded in several cities across the country on Sunday.
Source: Tap News Agency