China has been rocked by an outpouring of communal anger at the government’s restrictive ‘zero Covid’ lockdown policies. Could the protests develop into something more substantial? Tania Branigan reports
The largest protests in a generation have erupted in cities across China against the government’s harsh Covid restrictions and also, in some cases, the president himself, Xi Jinping. The most widely used symbol in the demonstrations has been a blank sheet of paper, symbolising the censorship all those within China face.
The Guardian’s Tania Branigan tells Michael Safi that while this may not be a revolutionary moment in China, it is hugely significant. China has struck out alone in attempting to keep Covid cases to an absolute minimum, regardless of the restrictions needed. But what has surprised many onlookers is the fact that the authorities have not used the time to implement a widescale vaccine policy that could help the country get back to normality. Instead, China appears caught in a trap of its own devising – and there is no easy route out of it.