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China Zero Covid: Violent Protests In Guangzhou Put Curbs Under Strain

Crowds of residents in southern China’s industrial metropolis Guangzhou have escaped a compulsory lockdown and clashed with police, as anger at strict coronavirus curbs boiled over.

Dramatic footage of protesters were seen overturning a police vehicle and tearing down Covid control barriers. Riot teams have now been deployed in the area.

It follows Guangzhou’s worst Covid outbreak since the pandemic began.

Amid bad economic figures, China’s zero Covid policy is under enormous strain.

Tensions had been building in the city’s Haizhu District, which is under stay-at-home orders.

The area is home to many poorer itinerant labourers. They have complained of not being paid if they are unable to turn up for work, and of food shortages and skyrocketing prices while living under Covid control measures.


For several nights, they’d been tussling with the white-clad Covid prevention enforcement officials, and then overnight on Monday the anger suddenly exploded onto the streets of Guangzhou with a mass act of defiance.

Again, unsubstantiated rumours have played a role. Stories have spread that the testing companies are faking PCR results to artificially boost the number of infections in order to make more money.

In the north of the country, the coronavirus rumour mill is also building pressure.

Officials in Hebei Province announced that the city of Shijiazhuang would halt mass testing. But this led to speculation that the population was going to be used, guinea-pig-style, to monitor what would happen if the virus was allowed to spread unchecked.

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