Fears of deadly infection surge as China abandons zero-Covid policy

The portable PCR testing booth dangled in the air over a dark Beijing street, captured on camera as it was winched away by a crane in the middle of the night. The image spread rapidly across Chinese social media, the perfect symbol of the bewilderingly rapid end of a draconian era. In the face of … Read more

Zero-Covid policy is costing China its role as the world’s workshop

The anti-lockdown unrest gripping China has forced the authorities in Beijing to respond by easing some restrictions in big manufacturing centres, as they map out a “new stage and mission” in the country’s deeply unpopular zero-Covid policy. There are concerns that more freedom of movement could allow the virus to rip through a population where … Read more

China continues lifting Covid restrictions despite near-record case numbers

Covid-19 testing booths were removed in Beijing on Friday, while Shenzhen followed other cities in announcing it would no longer require commuters to present their test results to travel, as an easing of Covid restrictions in China gathered pace. As daily cases hovered near all-time highs, some cities took steps to loosen coronavirus testing requirements … Read more

China brings in ‘emergency’ level censorship over zero-Covid protests

Chinese authorities have initiated the highest “emergency response” level of censorship, according to leaked directives, including a crackdown on VPNs and other methods of bypassing online censorship after unprecedented protests demonstrated widespread public frustration with the zero-Covid policy. The crackdown, including the tracking and questioning of protesters, comes alongside the easing of pandemic restrictions in … Read more

Confusion over zero Covid caused unrest in China. Clarity is the way forward | Yu Jie

When President Xi Jinping was seen unmasked at the G20 summit in Indonesia, he maintained a largely positive tone with President Joe Biden and other world leaders. This left an impression that China was on the verge of withdrawing its zero-Covid strategy. A set of loosening policy measures introduced by Beijing seemed to further suggest … Read more

From blank paper to alpacas: how protesters in China are voicing their anger – video

The largest protests in a generation erupted in cities across China over the weekend against the government’s zero-Covid policy.  The most widely used symbol in the demonstrations has been a blank sheet of paper. It symbolises censorship, and may also, some Twitter users pointed out, be read as a reference to the deaths last week … Read more

US and Canada urge China not to harm zero-Covid protesters amid new clashes with police

The US and Canada have urged China not to harm or intimidate protesters opposing Covid-19 lockdowns as police clashed with demonstrators and the country’s top security body called for a crackdown on “hostile forces”. Protesters scuffled with police in the southern Chinese megacity of Guangzhou late on Tuesday night, according to witnesses and footage. Security … Read more

How far could China’s ‘zero Covid’ protests go?

China has been rocked by an outpouring of communal anger at the government’s restrictive ‘zero Covid’ lockdown policies. Could the protests develop into something more substantial? Tania Branigan reports The largest protests in a generation have erupted in cities across China against the government’s harsh Covid restrictions and also, in some cases, the president himself, … Read more

China: police crackdown on anti-lockdown protests – video

Police in major cities across China, including Beijing and Shanghai, have increased efforts to crackdown on zero-Covid protests. According to footage circulating on social media, police have made at least one arrest. Police are patrolling areas where protests began over the weekend, installing security barriers and checking personal phones for signs of civil disobedience. Widespread … Read more

Awkward silence: China official speechless after question on protests – video

China’s foreign ministry has defended the Communist party’s zero-Covid policy amid rare protests within the country. The foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, paused for a long time when asked by a reporter if China would reconsider the policy given people’s widespread ‘anger and frustration’. He eventually asked for the question to be repeated and then … Read more