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China’s Xinjiang sees protests against COVID lockdown

China’s Xinjiang sees protests against COVID lockdown

Local authorities to partially and progressively ease lockdown in ‘low risk’ areas, CNN reports.
Crowds are protesting in China's Xinjiang region against COVID-19 lockdown measures.

Videos from the Xinjiang capital Urumqi published online — and verified by Reuters and Nikkei — show crowds protesting in a square and calling on the Chinese government to stop the lockdown.

The Xinjiang region has been under a strict lockdown for more than three months. Unrest against the lockdown became even stronger after an apartment fire in Urumqi killed 10 people on Thursday.

The authorities in Beijing have pursued a zero-COVID policy which includes strict lockdown measures to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus.

Local authorities on Saturday announced that they would partially and progressively ease lockdown measures in "low risk" areas, according to a CNN report citing a local press conference.

The Chinese authorities have repeatedly been accused by Western governments and human right organizations of violating human rights in the Xinjiang region, where the majority of the Uyghur Muslim minority lives.

During a visit to China in early November, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz acknowledged that Beijing's methods for combating the coronavirus pandemic “differ greatly” from those of Germany, but that the two countries are aligned in their fight against the pathogen. Scholz announced while in Beijing that the BioNTech/Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine would be offered to expats in China.
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