Protesters Call For Xi Jinping To Step Down Over China’s Extreme COVID Lockdowns
Police and guards arrest a man during some clashes in Shanghai on November 27, 2022, where protests against China's zero-Covid policy took place the night before following a deadly fire in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region.

China’s oppressive COVID lockdown measures continue to fuel protests as news of President Xi Jinping‘s extreme approach shocks the world.

The growing conflict between the government and the Chinese people has accelerated in recent weeks. Some cities have endured more than 100 days of entire cities under severe lockdowns, despite just 38,000 people testing positive for the coronavirus among a population of over 1.4 billion.

Residents of major cities across China have been fenced in with limited opportunities to travel. Some provinces have implemented such lockdowns for more than three straight months as the pandemic extends into its third year in the Chinese Communist Party-controlled country.

Recent measures include roadblocks, mall closures, schools returning to online learning, and park shutdowns.

The lockdown policies have included forced vaccinations, masking, and mandatory COVID testing to travel outside restricted areas. Bars and many restaurants have also been closed or prohibited indoor dining, with claims of patients in need of medical treatment being denied.

Lockdown-breakers have been arrested, while government censorship blocks those speaking out against the government’s oppressive rules.

The New York Times reported last week that family members had been separated over COVID, including children removed from their parents. One boarding school would not allow students to leave campus due to a reported COVID outbreak.

The nation is also reportedly building “quarantine centers,” including one currently under construction that will reportedly house up to 80,000 people.

Earlier this month, The Associated Press reported that the city of Guangzhou announced plans to build quarantine facilities for nearly 250,000 people.

The restrictions are also widespread, impacting around 340 million people across 37 cities in China, approximately a quarter of the population, according to the Times. Strict mitigation policies sparked protests after a fire in a Urumqi high-rise building killed ten people last week, with residents blaming the lockdown for the deaths.

A Saturday demonstration in Shanghai over the deaths led to police deploying pepper spray into a crowd of about 300 protesters. A witness told The Associated Press that one of his friends was beaten, and two others were pepper sprayed. He added that police stepped on his feet while he tried to prevent them from taking his friend away; he also lost his shoes in the chaos and was left barefoot.

China’s tyranny against its people also holds significant consequences for the U.S. and other nations. The supply chain shortage that arose in early 2021 could soon return as factories and other export businesses shutter across the country.

Despite President Xi Jinping winning a third term in October, a significant number of Chinese citizens are calling for the leader to step down, demanding his resignation over his restrictions on freedom during the pandemic.

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