Beijing, November 29
Chinese authorities have begun inquiries into some of the people who gathered at weekend protests against Covid-19 curbs, people who were at the Beijing demonstrations told the media, as police remained out in numbers on the city’s streets.
US supports right of peaceful protest: white house
- The US is closely watching the developments in China and continues to stand up and support the right of peaceful protesters, the White House has said.
- “Our message to peaceful protesters around the world: People should be allowed the right to assemble and to peacefully protest,”it said. PTI
Britain summons China’s ambassador
- Britain summoned China’s ambassador on Tuesday to raise the issue of treatment of a British journalist whose employer, the BBC, said had been assaulted by Chinese police while he was covering a protest in Shanghai.
- The incident has deepened long-running diplomatic tension between Britain and China over a range of issues, including human rights, China’s approach to Taiwan, security laws in Hong Kong and Chinese economic policies.
- “It is something very much at the heart of the UK’s belief system, and it is incredibly important that journalists can go about their business unmolested and without fear of attack,” Britain’s foreign minister, James Cleverly, said on Tuesday.
Two protesters confirmed that callers identifying themselves as Beijing police officers asked them to report to a police station on Tuesday with written accounts of their activities on Sunday night. A student also said they were asked by their college if they had been in an area where a protest happened and to provide a written account.
“We are all desperately deleting our chat history,” said another person who witnessed the Beijing protest and declined to be identified. The person said police asked how they heard about the protest and what was their motive for going.
It was not clear how authorities identified the people they wanted to question about their participation in the protests, and it was also not clear how many such people the authorities aimed to question.
Meanwhile, China 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 foreign ministry said China had been adjusting the zero-Covid policy based on the changing circumstances. — Reuters
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