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China COVID unrest shines light on history of dissent

Country has seen scores of protests break out over the decades

Police officers stand guard during protests in Beijing on Nov. 27. China has seen mass demonstrations nationwide over COVID-19 curbs.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- From far-western Xinjiang to southern Guangzhou, bursts of public anger broke out across China over the past week demanding an end to years of lockdowns and other harsh measures under Beijing's zero-COVID policy.

The demonstrations, billed as the biggest showcase of dissent in mainland China since the 1989 Tiananmen pro-democracy rallies, also saw rare public calls for the removal of President Xi Jinping with some daring protesters holding up blank sheets of paper to highlight a lack of freedom of speech.

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