COVID protests paused as China begins inquiry

Simmering discontent with Beijing’s COVID-19 prevention policies and strict lockdown regulations ignited into broader protests in cities across the country over the weekend.

The Chinese government has started investigations into some of the people who took part in the weekend protests against Beijing’s tough COVID-19 lockdown measures.

In one case, a caller identifying as a police officer in the Chinese capital asked the protester to show up at a police station on Tuesday to deliver a written record of their activities on Sunday night, Reuters reported.

In another, a student was contacted by their college and asked if they had been in the area where events took place and to provide a written account.

“We are all desperately deleting our chat history,” one Beijing protester who declined to be identified, said as quoted by Reuters.

“There are just too many police. Police came to check the ID of one of my friends and then took her away. We don’t know why. A few hours later they released her.”

Reuters reports that Beijing’s Public Security Bureau has not commented on the matter.

Simmering discontent with COVID prevention policies three years into the pandemic ignited into broader protests in cities thousands of miles apart over the weekend.

Mainland China’s biggest wave of civil disobedience since Xi Jinping took power a decade ago comes as the number of COVID cases hit record highs daily and large parts of several cities face new lockdowns.

COVID in China keeps spreading despite the efforts of most of its 1.4 billion people to prevent transmission by adhering to a zero-COVID policy of eradicating all outbreaks and maintaining tight border controls.