China is experiencing major protests for the first time in decades. The triggers are the strict corona measures - but that is now changing. More and more cities are announcing easing.
Cities across China have announced further easing of corona measures following nationwide protests against the zero-Covid policy. In the southwestern metropolis of Chengdu, for example, negative corona tests are no longer required for staying in public places or using the subway. In Beijing, health authorities called on hospitals to stop refusing treatment to people without a negative PCR test.
The number of new infections with the corona virus is unusually high in China. This Friday, however, falling numbers were reported - according to this there were almost 35,000 new infections, around 1000 fewer than the day before.
China's zero-Covid policy and the associated lockdowns had triggered a nationwide wave of protests. What began with protests against the strict measures quickly turned against President Xi Jinping in general. It is the largest protest movement since the 1989 democracy protests on Beijing's Tiananmen Square, which the communist leadership brutally crushed.
In the face of the protests, numerous cities have begun to ease Covid restrictions, such as mandatory daily testing. Many cities allowed restaurants, malls and schools to open despite Covid outbreaks.
In northwestern Urumqi, where a fire killed ten people and sparked anti-lockdown protests, authorities announced the phased opening of supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and ski areas. The city with more than five million inhabitants is one of the places in China that has been affected by corona measures for the longest time. Some areas have been in lockdown since early August.
At the same time, authorities across the country are trying to further contain the protests with high security in the streets, online censorship and surveillance. That didn't work everywhere. According to video recordings, objects were thrown at police officers in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on Wednesday night. At the weekend there were protests in Shanghai, Beijing and Wuhan, among others.