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China hints at relaxing zero-COVID policy amid global outcry over crackdown on protests

Seeking to address international concerns, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China has been adjusting the zero-Covid policy based on the changing circumstances.

November 29, 2022 / 07:34 PM IST
Rare protests have erupted in China against the government’s harsh zero-COVID measures.(Image credit: AFP)

Rare protests have erupted in China against the government’s harsh zero-COVID measures.(Image credit: AFP)

China on Tuesday said it will take steps to 'minimise' the impact of its draconian coronavirus lockdowns, amidst the unprecedented public protests against President Xi Jinping's stringent zero-COVID policy that evoked strong support from the UN, the US and other nations.

The anti-zero Covid protests in the last few days in several Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, which turned political with calls for Xi to step down showed signs of abetment with no demonstrations reported as police stepped up crackdown with visits to homes of protestors in different places.

Seeking to address international concerns, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China has been adjusting the zero-Covid policy based on the changing circumstances.

"We will keep improving science-based maximum protection to people's lives and health and minimise the Covid impact on social economic development," he said at a press conference.