Crowds demonstrate in China’s Xinjiang region against COVID-19 lockdown measures.
Videos of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, posted online – and verified by Reuters and Nikkei – To display crowds demonstrating in a square and calling on the Chinese government to end the lockdown.
The Xinjiang region has been under a strict lockdown for more than three months. Unrest against the lockdown grew even louder after an apartment fire in Urumqi killed 10 people on Thursday.
Beijing authorities have pursued a zero-COVID policy that includes strict containment measures to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.
Local authorities announced on Saturday that they would partially and gradually ease lockdown measures in “low-risk” areas, according to a CNN report citing a local news conference.
Chinese authorities have been repeatedly accused by Western governments and human rights organizations of violating human rights in the Xinjiang region, where the majority of the Uyghur Muslim minority lives.
During a visit to China in early November, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz acknowledged that Beijing’s methods of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic “differ greatly” from those of Germany, but that the two countries are aligned in their fight against the pathogen. Scholz announced in Beijing that the BioNTech/Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine would be offered to expats in China.