Social media footage showed crowds in Guangzhou clashing with riot police wearing white protective gear, as the largest anti-government protests in decades continued to protest against strict policies. China’s strict no COVID.
Online posts said the clashes took place on Tuesday night and were caused by a dispute over blockade curbs.
In a video posted on Twitter, objects can be seen flying towards dozens of riot police officers in all-white pandemic uniforms, holding shields over their heads as they advance in formation through the streets. what appeared to be the blockade fence had been broken down.
Police were later seen escorting a group of people in handcuffs to an unknown location.
Another clip shows people throwing objects at police, while a third shows a tear gas canister landing in the middle of a small crowd on a narrow street, with people running to escape the smoke.
Reuters news agency verified the videos were shot in the Haizhu district of Guangzhou. COVID-related violent unrest two weeks agobut it is not clear when the clip was recorded.
of the country COVID-19 The number of infections is still small by global standards, and some believe that strict pandemic restrictions are holding back the economy and becoming increasingly out of sync with the rest of the world.
The strict no-COVID policy has seen millions of residents confined to their homes, subject to mass testing programs and subject to sudden lockdowns – in areas where positive cases have been detected. with coronavirus or their close contacts.
Guangzhou – home to many migrant factory workers – is a large port city north of Hong Kong in Guangdong province, where officials announced last night that they would allow people who come into close contact with them. COVID cases are isolated at home instead of being forced to go to shelters.
In the city of Zhengzhou, central China, where there were Clashes at a giant Foxconn factory that produces iPhonesand an exodus of workers from the site frustrated by COVID restrictions, officials announced an “orderly” resumption of businesses, including supermarkets, gyms and restaurants.
However, they also announced a long list of buildings that will remain under lockdown.
It came as the country’s top security agency called for a crackdown on “hostile forces” in a statement – that made no mention of the protests.
The Central Committee for Politics and Law also said “illegal acts and crimes that disrupt social order” will not be tolerated.
Meanwhile, national health officials said on Tuesday that China would respond to “urgent concerns” raised by the public and that COVID rules should be made more flexible, depending on the extent the severity of the outbreak in each region.
But while the easing of some measures appears to be an attempt to appease the public, authorities have also begun looking for protesters.
“The police came to my door to ask me all about it and asked me to complete the report,” one Beijing resident told Reuters on Wednesday.
Another said some friends who posted protest videos on social media were taken to the police station and asked to sign a pledge that they “would not do it again”.