News about the threat of detention of anti-COVID protesters in China. Last Minute WORLD headlines and events

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Chinese authorities are said to have opened an investigation into some of the people who participated in protests against COVID-19 restrictions in the capital Beijing. In many Chinese cities, the visible presence of the police on the streets continues.

It is not clear how the authorities identified the protesters they wanted to interrogate and how many they intended to interrogate.

Public dissatisfaction with the tough measures taken to prevent the spread of infections in the third year of the pandemic led to an outbreak of protests over the weekend in cities thousands of kilometers apart.

The protests, the biggest wave of civil disobedience that has spread across mainland China since President Xi Jinping came to power 10 years ago, began as the country’s daily number of COVID-19 infections reached record levels and new ones were introduced in large parts of some cities. closing measures.

A Chinese health spokesman said complaints about COVID restrictions stemmed from a lack of any flexibility in enforcing restrictions.

In Guangdong, located in southern China and one of the powerhouses of the country’s economy, authorities have announced that those who have been in close contact with COVID cases will be allowed to remain in home quarantine. The announcement came after health officials called for more targeted measures.

Despite locking down from the rest of the world and requiring huge public sacrifices to comply with measures such as frequent testing and prolonged lockdowns, China has seen an increase in COVID cases.

The lockdown has sent the Chinese economy into one of its sharpest recessions in years. Financial markets have been rocked by turmoil and global supply chains have been disrupted.

Chinese stocks and the Chinese yuan rose on investors’ hopes that public discontent could lead to an easing of COVID restrictions.

China’s plan to increase vaccination rates for the elderly in China also contributed to positive market sentiment.

Video footage from Hangzhou, the capital of east China’s Zhejiang region, which Reuters has been unable to verify independently, shows hundreds of police officers occupied a large area last night preventing people from gathering.

In one of the videos, police officers, surrounded by a small crowd of people with smartphones in their hands, are trying to detain a person, while the crowd is trying to save a person who is about to be arrested.

Others said police checked their cell phones to see if the protesters were using a VPN (virtual private network) and the Telegram app. Most people are banned from using VPNs in China. The Telegram messaging app is accessed in China.

Some demonstrators use dating apps to avoid censorship and police surveillance.

‘Outside Forces’

Prominent Chinese nationalist bloggers such as Ren Yi, grandson of Communist Party leader Ren Zhongyi, and Yu Li, who goes by the name Sima Nan, allege that the protests were suppressed by “outside forces.”

Chinese officials frequently warn that “outside forces” threaten national security and blame outside forces for the democratic protests that erupted in Hong Kong in 2019.

Chinese officials say the zero-spread policy for COVID is putting the death toll in other countries in the millions and limited to the thousands in China. Many experts point out that easing COVID practices without increasing mass vaccination rates will lead to large-scale infections and deaths, and an increase in hospitalizations will put a strain on the healthcare system.

IMF chief urges China to “stop massive quarantine measures”

Kristalina Georgieva, director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said it was time for China to abandon massive quarantine measures and take more targeted measures to combat COVID-19. Changes China will make to its COVID response measures; This could soften the impact of these strict rules on the global economy, which is going through hard times due to high inflation, the energy crisis and disruptions in the world’s food supply.

The head of the IMF called for a new adjustment to China’s strict COVID-19 policy to isolate each case due to its “impact on both people and the economy.”

Speaking in Berlin, Georgieva said: “We see the importance of abandoning massive quarantine measures and targeted application of restrictions. Such measures can contain the spread of COVID without major economic cost.”

Georgieva also urged China to evaluate its vaccination policy and vaccinate “the most vulnerable people.”

In China, the world’s second largest economy, lockdown measures have negatively impacted every aspect of the economy, from travel to retail sales.

The IMF predicts that the Chinese economy will grow by just 3.2 percent this year. This figure is below the world average.

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