In a rare push-back by citizens, Authorities eased covid-rules in scattered areas Monday after crowds demanded President Xi Jinping resign during protests against controls that confine millions of people to their homes.
The government made no comment on the protests or criticism of Xi, the most widespread display of opposition to the ruling Communist Party in decades. There was no official word on how many people were detained after police used pepper spray against protesters in Shanghai and struggled to suppress demonstrations in other cities including Beijing, the capital.
The city government of Beijing announced it would no longer set up gates to block access to apartment compounds where infections are found. It made no mention of a deadly fire that killed 10 people, last week that set off the protests following angry questions online about whether firefighters or victims trying to escape were blocked by locked doors or other anti-virus controls.
Most protesters complained about excessive restrictions, but some shouted slogans against Xi, China’s most powerful leader since at least the 1980s.
A crowd in Shanghai on Saturday chanted, “Xi Jinping! Step down! CCP! Step down!”