Two Chinese cities ease Covid-19 curbs after protests spread
SHANGHAI — The giant Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Chongqing announced an easing of Covid-19 curbs on Wednesday (Nov 30), a day after demonstrators in southern Guangzhou clashed with police amid a string of protests against the world's toughest coronavirus restrictions.
The demonstrations, which spread over the weekend to Shanghai, Beijing and elsewhere, have become a show of public defiance unprecedented since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012.
The southwestern city of Chongqing will allow close contacts of people with Covid-19, who fulfil certain conditions, to quarantine at home, a city official said.
Some protesters and foreign security experts believe Wednesday's death of former President Jiang Zemin, who led the country for a decade of rapid economic growth after the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989, might become a new rallying point for protest after three years of pandemic.
Shanghai medical company worker Ray Lei, in his 20s, said Mr Jiang was sometimes compared positively to Xi, given his skills on the international stage and relative openness to the West.
"So as for Jiang Zemin's death, we feel a sense of tragedy towards the future of China's leadership," said Mr Lei, who took part in protests in Shanghai on Sunday.
Mr Jiang's legacy was being debated on protesters' Telegram groups, with some saying it gave them a legitimate reason to gather. REUTERS
Related topicsChina protest Xi Jinping Jiang Zemin
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