China’s zero-Covid rollback: Changes bring relief but also anxiety over spread
13 December 2022 | 7:33 am
China has now relaxed many of its Covid restrictions, removing requirements for PCR tests in many places and allowing people to isolate at home. The new measures come following a wave of anti-lockdown protests.
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reconfirming Beijing's continued support of the regime in Pyongyang, which is under international sanctions for weapons testing.
The former CIA employee who blew the lid on a huge US surveillance program has made fresh revelations. Edward Snowden says the National Security Agency has been hacking Chinese computer systems for years. The news comes after the NSA's director defended the program at a US Senate hearing.
A deadly apartment fire in Xinjiang has triggered a wave of anti-zero-COVID protests across several cities in China. How will the Communist Party react as the movement gains momentum?
Protesters are demanding easing of COVID curbs in Beijing and Shanghai. People also took to the streets in the western Xinjiang's capital Urumqi after deaths in an apartment fire were blamed on lockdowns.
China is witnessing its biggest wave of public dissent in a decade. Chinese universities are now sending students home in a bid to tighten COVID restrictions.
In a DW interview, Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he hoped Chinese authorities would "respect" the protesters' freedom, and expressed that he did not see a way out of Russia's war on Ukraine "at this point in time."
The United Nations also called on Chinese authorities to respond to protests "in line with international human rights law," and refrain from arresting people simply for taking part.
The protests are an unprecedented challenge to Beijing's zero-COVID policy. Authorities are taking drastic measures to keep the movement from spreading any further.
Fresh protests were reported from China's Guangzhou despite massive police deployment across the country. China is currently facing its largest civil disobedience movement since the Tiananmen massacre.
Authorities in at least seven districts in Guangzhou announced lifting temporary lockdowns. State media also cited a top official as saying the virus was weakening.
Beijing's vast surveillance apparatus is being used to track and intimidate protesters. Several people told DW they suspect their phones were hacked.
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