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"Want Freedom" becomes rallying cry of youngsters against stern Covid lockdowns in China

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Beijing | November 29, 2022 4:00:09 AM IST
Amid ongoing protests across China, the outcries of the youngsters in the country have come to light as they are demanding to be freed from not only the strict Covid lockdowns Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) surveillance of people in China.

CNN reported that thousands of protesters, including the younger generation in China, have refused to obey the Chinese government as the protests on the streets of major cities continue to intensify.

The tightening grip of the CCP on Chinese residents has become a rallying cry of "want freedom" in the country. According to videos circulating online, hundreds of people are seen shouting slogans to express anger against the death of at least 10 people in a fire in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang.

Security has been tightened throughout several cities where leaders have extensive surveillance and security capabilities in China. As a result of a stronger response from the local authorities, the protests in some areas of China have subsided, CNN reported.

Global markets fell on Monday after widespread protests in China against the country's stringent Covid-19 restrictions roiled investor sentiment.

European markets opened broadly lower, tracking the performance of Asian shares. The FTSE 100 (UKX) dropped 0.7 per cent, the CAC 40 (CAC40) fell 0.6 per cent, and the DAX (DAX) was down 0.5 per cent.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite in mainland China briefly dropped by 2.2 per cent before cutting losses to end 0.8 per cent lower than Friday's close. The heavily weighted Shenzhen Component Index for technology decreased by 0.7 per cent, according to CNN.

In the country's biggest cities, from the financial hub of Shanghai to the capital Beijing, residents gathered over the weekend to mourn the dead from a fire in Xinjiang, speak out against zero-Covid and call for freedom and democracy.

Hundreds of demonstrators and police clashed in Shanghai as protests over China's severe COVID-19 restrictions continued into the third day and spread to several other cities.

Angry crowds took to the streets of Shanghai in the early hours of Sunday morning, with protesters calling for an end to lockdowns, as China grapples with mounting public unrest against its zero-Covid policy, reported Al Jazeera.

The latest demonstrations have been unprecedented in mainland China since President Xi Jinping took power a decade ago.

Hundreds of protesters have even called for the removal of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who for nearly three years has overseen a strategy of mass testing, brute-force lockdowns, enforced quarantine and digital tracking that has come at a devastating human and economic cost.

Since this weekend's protests, censorship has gone into overdrive on Chinese social media platforms, to stop people from seeing and discussing them. Tens of millions of posts have been filtered from search results, while media are muting their coverage of Covid-19 in favour of upbeat stories about the World Cup and China's space achievements.

For the past three years, the patience of one billion people in China has been stretched, growing thinner and thinner with every lockdown and round of mass Covid testing. Now, that patience has snapped.

Meanwhile, the blank paper has become the symbol of rare demonstrations. The trend has its roots in the 2020 Hong Kong demonstrations, where locals held blank pieces of paper to protest against the city's draconian new national security laws.

Activists held the paper aloft after authorities banned slogans and phrases associated with the mass protest movement of 2019 that saw the city grind to a halt and officials violently clamp down on demonstrators. (ANI)

 
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