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Xi Jinping step down protest intensifies in China: Thousands of protesters come out on streets

Xi Jinping step down protest intensifies in China: Thousands of protesters come out on streets

Xi Jinping step down protest intensifies in China: Thousands of protesters come out on streets
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By Priyanka Deshpande  Nov 29, 2022 4:38:53 PM IST (Published)

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SUMMARY

China's strategy of controlling the coronavirus with lockdowns, mass testing and quarantines has provoked the greatest show of public dissent against the ruling Communist Party in decades. Most protesters on the mainland and in Hong Kong have focused their anger on restrictions that confine families to their homes for months. Global health experts have also criticised China's methods as unsustainable.

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Chinese police were out in force in Beijing and Shanghai on Tuesday to prevent more protests against COVID curbs which have disrupted the lives of millions, damaged the economy and briefly sparked rare calls for President Xi Jinping to step down. (Image: Reuters)

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At least one person in the city of Hangzhou was arrested late on Monday, according to social media videos, after reports a busload of demonstrators were taken away by police during Sunday night protests in Shanghai. (Image: Reuters)

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Simmering discontent with COVID prevention policies three years into the pandemic ignited into broader protests in cities thousands of miles apart throughout the weekend. (Image: Reuters)

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COVID in China keeps spreading despite significant sacrifices made by most of the country's 1.4 billion people to prevent its transmission, adhering to a zero-COVID policy of eradicating all outbreaks that has isolated China from the rest of the world. The lockdowns have exacerbated one of the steepest growth slowdowns China has faced in decades, disrupting global supply chains and roiling financial markets. (Image: AP)

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In Hangzhou, the capital of the eastern Zhejiang province, videos on social media which Reuters could not independently verify showed hundreds of police occupying a large public square on Monday night, preventing people from congregating. (Image: Reuters)

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In Shanghai and Beijing, police could be seen on Tuesday morning still patrolling areas of the cities where some groups on the Telegram social media app had suggested people should gather again. Their presence on Monday evening and throughout the night ensured no more gatherings took place. (Image: Reuters)

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Residents said 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, which has been used by weekend protesters, residents and social media users said. VPNs are illegal for most people in China, while the Telegram app is blocked from China's internet. (Image: Reuters)

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A fire last week in the western city of Urumqi that authorities said killed 10 people appears to have been the catalyst for protests in other cities. Some internet users said COVID lockdown measures hampered rescue efforts. Officials have denied that. (Image: Reuters)

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Although largely focused on COVID curbs, protesters sporadically took a swipe at the ruling Communist Party and at Xi, who has concentrated power into his own hands over the past decade and just recently secured another leadership term. (Image: Reuters)

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On Sunday, a large crowd gathered in the southwestern metropolis of Chengdu, and chanted, "We don't want lifelong rulers. We don't want emperors." Anti-Xi slogans were briefly heard in Shanghai on Sunday as well. (Image: Reuters)

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Meanwhile, the US is closely watching the developments in China and continues to stand up and support the right of peaceful protesters, the White House has said, amidst unprecedented demonstrations in the Communist nation over its stringent zero-Covid policy. (Image: Reuters)

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Uyghur advocates in the US took part in a rally and were seen holding placards after an apartment in downtown Urumqi with a majority of Uyghur residents was set on fire amid China’s Zero-Covid policy outside the State Department in Washington. (Image: Reuters)

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In the UK, people were seen standing with flowers and candles opposite the Chinese Embassy in London in solidarity with the victims of the fire in Urumqi. (Image: Reuters)

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Solidarity protests were also seen in Japan against the COVID-19 lockdowns in China. Demonstrators held white sheets, flowers and candles near the Chinese embassy in Tokyo. (Image: Reuters)

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