ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print

China COVID protests mark 'biggest act of resistance' in decades

Analysts see crucial test for Xi as frustration boils over into the streets

Protesters demonstrate against COVID-19 curbs at Communication University of China in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, on Nov. 26. (Video screenshot retouched for security reasons)   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Protests over China's "zero COVID" strategy spread in major cities over the weekend, with some demonstrators going so far as to urge President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party to step down -- an act of defiance rarely seen on the mainland since the much larger and more intense Tiananmen Square movement of 1989.

The demonstrations were triggered by a fire in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region, which killed 10 people. The remote western region had been under a strict coronavirus lockdown for more than 100 days, and many believe the restrictions delayed the emergency response, though local authorities deny this.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more