22 April 2024,   16:20
Protests against COVID controls erupt across China

Rare protests broke out across China over the weekend as groups of people vented their frustration over the zero-COVID policy, writes CNBC.

The unrest came as infections surged, prompting more local COVID controls, while a central government policy change earlier this month had raised hopes of a gradual easing. Nearly three years of controls have dragged down the economy. Youth unemployment has neared 20%.

People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s official newspaper, ran a front page op-ed Monday on the need to make COVID controls more targeted and effective, while removing those that should be removed.

In Beijing, many apartment communities successfully convinced local management they had no legal basis for a lockdown. That came after more and more compounds in the capital city on Friday had abruptly forbade residents from leaving.

On Sunday, municipal authorities said temporary controls on movement should not last more than 24 hours.

Over the last three days, students staged protests at many universities, while people took to the streets in parts of Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Lanzhou, among other cities, according to videos widely shared on social media. The videos could not all be independently verified.