Protesters hold up blank papers and chant slogans as they gather on a street during a protest in Beijing, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022.
photo: KurdSat English
China on Monday blamed "ulterior forces with ulterior motives" for linking a deadly fire in the Xinjiang region to the strict restrictions for the Covid-19 epidemic, saying that this narrative is the primary driver of the protests erupting in different parts of the country in recent days.
Posts circulating on Chinese and foreign social media networks reported that prolonged COVID-19 lockdowns in Urumqi impeded the arrival of firefighters after the fire broke out on Thursday evening.
Asked about the disaster at a press conference, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, "on social media platforms, forces with ulterior motives are linking this fire with the domestic response to COVID-19."
The Chinese authorities eased restrictions to combat the Coronavirus in separate areas but stressed the strict "zero-Covid" strategy today, Monday after crowds demanded President Xi Jinping resign during protests against the restrictions that oblige millions of people to stay in their homes.
There is no official figure on the number of people arrested after police used pepper spray against protesters in Shanghai and struggled to quell demonstrations in other cities, including Beijing.
The Beijing authorities announced they would not set up gates to prevent access to residential complexes where Covid patients were detected. On Sunday, protests erupted in more than one Chinese city against health restrictions that seek to implement the "zero Covid" policy.
Nearly three years after the first Covid-19 case in the world in this Wuhan, hundreds of people demonstrated, on Sunday evening, in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
Live videos on social media showed a crowd of angry residents gathering in this city, where the first infection with the Coronavirus was discovered in December 2019, aware that other Chinese cities witnessed similar demonstrations.
Parts of the Chinese were angered by a deadly fire in the country's far west, and Covid restrictions prevented it from being controlled in time.