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UK tells Chinese government to take notice of lockdown protests

UK tells Chinese government to take notice of lockdown protests
UK tells Chinese government to take notice of lockdown protests Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
By Reuters
Published on Updated
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LONDON - The Chinese government should "take notice" of protests against its strict zero-COVID policy and restrictions on freedoms, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Monday.

"Protests against the Chinese government are rare and when they do happen I think the world should take notice, but I think the Chinese government should take notice," Cleverly told reporters.

Protests in China and among Chinese citizens abroad were triggered by a fire in the Xinjiang region last week that killed 10 people who were trapped in their apartments. Protesters said lockdown measures were partly to blame, though officials denied that.

From the streets of several Chinese cities to dozens of university campuses, the protesters made a show of civil disobedience unprecedented since leader Xi Jinping assumed power a decade ago.

"It's clear that the Chinese people themselves are deeply unhappy with what is going on, about the restrictions imposed upon them by the Chinese government," Cleverly said.

"These are the voices of Chinese people talking to their government and I think it's right that the Chinese government listens to what those people are saying."

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