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China’s Xi Hints At Relaxing Rules After Acknowledging Covid Frustration: EU Official

Days after anti-Covid protests in China, Chinese President Xi Jinping acknowledged the frustration among the people of China because of the strict covid policy.

China protests and Xi Jinping

Image: AP

Days after the fierce anti- Covid protests in China, Chinese President Xi Jinping has acknowledged the frustration within China because of his government’s stringent zero-Covid policy, said European Union official, reported CNN. Xi admitted to the European Council President Charles Michel who was in Bejing visit. Xi shared with Michel that the demonstrators were "mainly students" who have been frustrated with three years of Covid, The EU official told CNN that Xi has hinted to give potential relaxation on the strict Covid prevention measures. 

“Xi also said Omicron is less deadly than Delta, which makes the Chinese government feel more open to further relaxing Covid restrictions,” said the EU official, reported CNN. 

Xi accepts China protests outbreak frustrations 

Recently, Xi Jinping's China has witnessed rare demonstrations that have rocked the country and have attracted the world's attention. Such mass China protests never existed since the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement of 1989. Since 2012, Xi's Communist Party has established stringent rules for the people of China in all aspects of life, launched a sweeping crackdown on dissent, and built a high-tech surveillance state. The remarks by Xi come after some areas in China have shown an indication of loosening some Covid restrictions,  including lifting lockdowns and allowing some Covid patients to quarantine at home, following widespread anti-lockdown protests across the country.

The ease in China's Zero Covid policy has been witnessed by foreign officials. One of them is US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman who said that widespread Covid protests in China "had an effect" in easing some of the districts in China with Covid rules. While addressing an event at American University, She said that the protests had died down earlier because “they actually had an effect,” and shared an example of when China let people quarantine at home. She added, “At the same time, I’m not naïve, and the Chinese used their security forces to put the protests down.” Further, while talking on the same, she opined that this is not an all-good news story but protests do matter. 

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