Saturday, Feb 04, 2023

China Covid Protests Highlights: BBC playing victim, says China after allegations of assault on reporter

China Covid Protests Highlights: After the UK government condemned China over the detention of a BBC journalist, the country's foreign ministry called it "hypocritical double standards".

By: Express Web Desk
New Delhi | Updated: November 30, 2022 08:09 IST
China police form a chain to stop protesters from marching beyond the line, on November 27, 2022. (Photo: AP)

China Covid Protests Highlights, November 29: After UK broadcaster BBC accused China of assaulting and detaining one of its reporters, the country’s foreign ministry accused it of “maliciously playing the victim”. China also called out the UK government for its “hypocritical double standards” after it condemned the incident.

On the continuing protests in the country, the foreign ministry said, “China is a country with rule of law and all rights and freedoms of Chinese citizens are protected but they must be exercised within the framework of the law.”

Earlier, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, meanwhile, said the Chinese government should “take notice” of the protests. “Protests against the Chinese government are rare and when they do happen I think the world should take notice, but I think the Chinese government should take notice,” Cleverly told reporters. “It’s clear that the Chinese people themselves are deeply unhappy with what is going on, about the restrictions imposed upon them by the Chinese government,” he added.

Live Blog

China Covid Protests Highights: China eases anti-virus rules but stands firm on its 'zero-COVID' strategy; China police flooded city streets after days of protests. Follow this space for latest updates from China.

19:41 (IST)29 Nov 2022
Students sent home, police on patrol as China curbs protests

Chinese universities sent students home and police fanned out in Beijing and Shanghai to prevent more protests Tuesday after crowds angered by severe anti-virus restrictions called for leader Xi Jinping to resign in the biggest show of public dissent in decades. Authorities have eased some controls after demonstrations in at least eight mainland cities and Hong Kong — but maintained they would stick to a “zero-COVID” strategy that has confined millions of people to their homes for months at a time. Security forces have detained an unknown number of people and stepped up surveillance.

With police out in force, there was no word of protests Tuesday in Beijing, Shanghai or other major mainland cities that saw crowds rally over the weekend. Those were the most widespread protests since the army crushed the 1989 student-led Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement. --AP

19:10 (IST)29 Nov 2022
MF chief urges more targeted Covid approach in China

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Tuesday urged Beijing to back away from stringent lockdowns to manage ongoing COVID-19 cases and instead move toward more targeted actions, citing the impact on China's people and economy in an interview with the Associated Press.

Georgieva called on Beijing to undergo a 'recalibration' of its so-called 'zero COVID' approach, according to the interview, which comes as protests against China's policies have sparked demonstrations in multiple cities.

The head of the fund also addressed inflation and interest rates, rising energy prices and the hunger crisis, according to the AP. --AP

14:18 (IST)29 Nov 2022
A protest? A vigil? In Beijing, anxious crowds are unsure how far to go

It was an extraordinary scene, rarely seen anywhere in China, let alone the capital, under Xi Jinping, the country’s authoritarian leader. But the elation of the moment was laced with anxiety about what, exactly, was happening.

When some people began shouting explicitly political slogans, others urged them to remain more narrowly focused on opposing COVID-19 controls. Even what to call the event depended on who and when you asked — was it a protest? Or just a vigil? 

The uncertainty mirrored the broader uncertainty of this moment, a potential turning point for not only China’s zero-COVID strategy but also Xi’s rigid grip on the country he leads. Read more here.

14:06 (IST)29 Nov 2022
Prominent nationalist bloggers claim protests in China were 'formented by foreign forces'

Prominent nationalist bloggers, such as Ren Yi, the grandson of Communist Party leader Ren Zhongyi, and Yu Li, who uses the pen name of Sima Nan, wrote this week that the protests were fomented by 'foreign forces,' according to a report by news agency Reuters.

'What is their purpose? On one hand it is to intensify internal conflicts. On the other hand, it is to see if they can completely politicize the issues around our epidemic prevention and health policies,' Ren wrote in his 'Chairman Rabbit' blog.

Chinese authorities have accused 'foreign forces' for stirring the 2019 pro-democracy Hong Kong protests, and threatening national security. 'Blaming it on foreign forces is a standard tactic,' said Alfred Wu, associate professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. 'This is how the party shirks responsibility and rallies people behind it.' (Reuters)

13:58 (IST)29 Nov 2022
Chinese authorities seek out COVID protesters

Chinese authorities have begun inquiries into some of the people who gathered at weekend protests against COVID-19 curbs, three people who were at the Beijing demonstrations told Reuters, as police remained out in numbers on the city's streets, according to a Reuters report.

In one case, a caller identifying as a police officer in the Chinese capital asked the protester to show up at a police station on Tuesday to deliver a written record of their activities on Sunday night. Beijing's Public Security Bureau did not respond to a request for comment.

A video from Hangzhou, the capital of the eastern Zhejiang province, showed police, surrounded by a small crowd of people holding smartphones, making an arrest while others tried to pull back the person being detained.

Further, the report says that the police have been asking people passing through those areas for their phones to check if they had virtual private networks (VPNs) and the Telegram app. (Reuters)

13:42 (IST)29 Nov 2022
UK should 'stop the hypocritical double standards.,' says China's foreign ministry

As UK condemned the detention of the BBC journalist, Edward Lawrence, at Shanghai protest, China's foreign ministry on Tuesday attacked UK and said that it should 'stop the hypocritical double standards.' 

It also responded to UK's comment on lockdown protests in the country. It said that the British police were violent towards lockdown protesters in the United Kingdom.

13:38 (IST)29 Nov 2022
BBC playing victim, says China after allegations of assault on reporter

China's foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian Tuesday told a regular news conference in Beijing that the BBC is "maliciously playing the victim" as he addressed the detention of a journalist from the public service broadcaster. Edward Lawrence, the BBC journalist, was covering the protests that erupted in Shanghai over the weekend, when he was detained and assaulted by China police, the BBC claimed.

The ministry added that journalists should not engage in activities unrelated to their role, according to a report by Reuters.

13:10 (IST)29 Nov 2022
China is a country with rule of law, ministry says after protests

China is a country with rule of law and all rights and freedoms of Chinese citizens are protected but they must be exercised within the framework of the law, the country's foreign ministry said on Tuesday when asked about recent protests there.

Moreover, on the detention of a BBC journalist at the Shanghai protest, it said that the public service broadcaster is 'maliciously playing the victim.' (Reuters)

More from World
Felt it was my dharma to take over as UK PM: Rishi Sunak
Report claims surge in Indians entering UK illegally on small boats acros...
US adds a surprisingly strong 517,000 jobs despite Fed hikes
Blinken postpones trip to China after spy balloon detected in U.S. -reports
China says balloon is for research, accidentally strayed
12:56 (IST)29 Nov 2022
Chinese university students sent home amid protests

According to an Associated Press report, Chinese universities are sending students back home as the ruling party tightens anti-virus controls. The Chinese government is trying to prevent more protests after crowds angered by its severe “zero COVID” restrictions called for President Xi Jinping to resign in the biggest show of public dissent in decades.

In Hong Kong, about 50 students from mainland China protested Monday at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in a show of support for people on the mainland. The AP reported that Tsinghua University, President Xi's alma mater, where students protested Sunday, and other schools in Beijing and the southern province of Guangdong said they were protecting students from COVID-19.

Some universities have also arranged buses to take students to train stations. They said classes and final exams would be conducted online. (AP)

11:22 (IST)29 Nov 2022
UK’s Rishi Sunak says ‘golden era’ with China over

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared Monday that the U.K.’s “golden era” of ties with China was over in his first major speech on foreign policy, describing China’s growing authoritarianism as a “systemic challenge to our values and interests.”

But Sunak stopped short of calling China a threat, disappointing China hawks in his Conservative Party who had until recently expected him to class China as a “threat” to U.K. security as part of an update of the government’s foreign and defense policies. Read more.

11:20 (IST)29 Nov 2022
Here's an explainer on what China’s Covid protests had in common with Iran’s street demonstrations

The immediate triggers for both these movements seem to have only a tenuous link to the larger political consciousness in these countries, having originated in places and circumstances that perhaps would not have generally been expected to catalyse a nationwide movement in either country. But in both cases, that’s exactly what seems to have happened. Read the full explainer by Anil Sasi here.

11:14 (IST)29 Nov 2022
China lockdown protests pause as police flood city streets

With police out in force, there is no word of additional protests against strict government anti-pandemic measures on Tuesday in Beijing.Shanghai, Nanjing and other cities where online calls to gather had been issued are also reportedly quiet.

Rallies against China’s unusually strict anti-virus measures spread to several cities over the weekend in the biggest show of opposition to the ruling Communist Party in decades. Authorities eased some regulations, apparently to quell public anger, but the government showed no sign of backing down on its 'zero-COVID' strategy.

A man walks by policemen monitoring inside a police vehicle parked near the site of last weekend protest in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. (AP Photo)
21:22 (IST)28 Nov 2022
Wall Street slips as lockdown protests spread in China

Stocks fell in morning trading on Wall Street Monday as protests spread in China calling for President Xi Jinping to step down amid growing anger over severe COVID-19 restrictions.

The world's second largest economy has been stifled by a “zero COVID” policy which includes lockdowns that continually threaten the global supply chain at a time when recession fears hang over economies worldwide. The recent upheaval in China is the greatest show of public dissent against the ruling Communist Party in decades.

The S&P 500 fell 0.5% as of 10:18 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 134 points, or 0.4%, to 34,213 and the Nasdaq fell 0.5%.Markets in Asia and Europe slipped. (Reuters)

20:14 (IST)28 Nov 2022
UK tells Chinese government to take notice of lockdown protests

The Chinese government should "take notice" of protests against its strict zero-COVID policy and restrictions on freedoms, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Monday.

"Protests against the Chinese government are rare and when they do happen I think the world should take notice, but I think the Chinese government should take notice," Cleverly told reporters.

"It's clear that the Chinese people themselves are deeply unhappy with what is going on, about the restrictions imposed upon them by the Chinese government," Cleverly said, adding that, "These are the voices of Chinese people talking to their government and I think it's right that the Chinese government listens to what those people are saying." (Reuters)

19:30 (IST)28 Nov 2022
China's lockdown protests spread to campuses and cities abroad

Protests against China's strict zero-COVID policy and restrictions on freedoms have spread to at least a dozen cities around the world in a show of solidarity with rare displays of defiance in China over the weekend.

Expatriate dissidents and students staged small-scale vigils and protests in cities in Europe, Asia and North America, including London, Paris, Tokyo and Sydney, according to a Reuters tally. In most cases dozens of people attended the protests, though a few drew more than 100, the tally showed.

The gatherings are a rare instance of Chinese people uniting in anger at home and abroad. The protests on the mainland were triggered by a fire in China's Xinjiang region last week that killed 10 people who were trapped in their apartments. Protesters said lockdown measures were partly to blame, though officials denied that. (Reuters)

18:19 (IST)28 Nov 2022
China defends zero-Covid policy in the face of massive protests; reports nearly 40,000 fresh cases

China on Monday dismissed concerns over its controversial zero-COVID policy in the face of unprecedented demonstrations, which have spread to Beijing even as it reported close to 40,000 coronavirus cases and authorities scrambled to contain the fresh surge in infections and protests against the Xi Jinping regime.

The protests, which comes nearly a month after President Xi was elected as the ruling party's top leader for a third consecutive term, have spread to Shanghai, Beijing and many parts of the country in the last few days against the stringent policy under which cities and localities are kept under prolonged lockdowns and isolations.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian also defended the arrest of a BBC journalist covering the demonstrations in Shanghai, maintaining that the scribe did not present his media credentials. (PTI)

17:24 (IST)28 Nov 2022
Copper falls on China COVID protests but dollar supports

Copper prices fell on Monday as worries about demand in top consumer China were reinforced by protests against the country's strict COVID-19 curbs, but a weaker dollar helped to support sentiment. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 0.5% at $7,966 a tonne by 1036 GMT.

Hundreds of demonstrators and police clashed in Shanghai on Sunday night as protests over China's stringent COVID restrictions flared for a third day and spread to several cities. Chinese authorities have introduced a range of measures in an attempt to to revive growth, but the recovery has been stifled by COVID woes and a slowdown in the global economy.

Industrial metals markets will scrutinise surveys of purchasing managers in China's manufacturing sector, where activity is expected to have contracted further this month. (Reuters)

14:34 (IST)28 Nov 2022
One local national arrested after trying to stop police from beating BBC journalist
14:04 (IST)28 Nov 2022
Watch: Why protesters in China held up blank paper on Sunday night

13:42 (IST)28 Nov 2022
China affirms zero-COVID stance, eases rules after protests

Authorities have eased the anti-virus rules in scattered areas in China but have affirmed the severe “zero- COVID” strategy on Monday. The development comes after crowds demanded President Xi Jinping's resignation during protests against controls that had confined millions of people to their homes.

The government neither made any comment on the protests or criticism of Xi, nor on the number of people who were detained after police used pepper spray against protesters in Shanghai and struggled to suppress demonstrations in other cities including Beijing, the capital. The city government of Beijing announced it would no longer set up gates to block access to apartment compounds where infections are found. Read more here.

Protests flare across China as frustration rises over Xi’s zero-Covid policy

Hundreds of demonstrators and police clashed in Shanghai on Sunday night as protests over China’s stringent Covid restrictions flared for a third day and spread to several cities in the wake of a deadly fire in the country’s far west.

The wave of civil disobedience is unprecedented in mainland China since President Xi Jinping assumed power a decade ago, as frustration mounts over his signature zero-Covid policy nearly three years into the pandemic. The Covid measures are also exacting a heavy toll on the world’s second-largest economy.

Big Omicron spike shows limitations of China’s zero-Covid policy

Coronavirus cases in China have just touched a new daily record, having crossed 30,000 new infections in a 24-hour period for the first time. China’s National Health Commission reported 31,444 confirmed new infections on Thursday morning, higher than the previous record achieved in mid-April, according to a report by the South China Morning Post.

The US and France are reporting higher daily numbers right now; until a few days ago, Germany too was reporting more than 30,000 cases a day. But China is different — mainly because of the extremely restrictive containment strategy it has adopted, with a fair degree of success. When China last reported such high numbers in March-April this year, it was the first time the country had even seen 1,000 cases in a day.

  • news-guard-logo
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • news-guard-logo-with-title
First published on: 28-11-2022 at 10:12 IST
Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments