2022-11-28 11:17:48

From Xinjiang to Shanghai, Protests Grow in China over COVID Restrictions After Fatal Apartment Fire

Unprecedented protests have erupted in multiple Chinese cities over President Xi Jinping's strict zero-COVID policies, which have resulted in extended strict lockdowns across the country. The protests were triggered by a deadly fire Thursday at an apartment building in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, where local COVID restrictions reportedly prevented firefighters from reaching the trapped residents. This comes as hundreds of workers at the world's largest iPhone factory, Foxconn, clashed last week with police over restrictions that have forced many workers to live at the factory. "China now for three years has seen a level of lockdown that is simply inconceivable," says Cornell labor scholar Eli Friedman, who calls the cross-class, cross-ethnic protests a "movement against surveillance." Friedman says although China enforces the country's COVID restrictions, top U.S. corporations like Apple and Tesla are implicated in upholding the closed-loop management system at Foxconn and other Chinese manufacturers.

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