Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the country’s fight against Covid-19 will be ‘successful’, NBC News reported.
Lijian’s statement comes a day after protests erupted in Shanghai against China’s ‘Zero Covid’ policy to contain the virus.
NBC News quoted Zhao Lijian as saying at a press briefing, “We believe that with the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the support of the Chinese people, our fight against Covid-19 will be successful.”
He claimed that the Chinese government was “adjusting its Covid measures according to the situation on the ground”.
China has been enforcing strict Covid curbs since the emergence of the pandemic. The Chinese government has been imposing stringent lockdowns, travel restrictions and conducting mass testing to contain the spread of the virus.
Several videos have emerged on social media purportedly showing people chanting slogans against restrictions imposed by the Chinese government to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Protests erupted after 10 people died and nine others were injured in an apartment fire in Urumqi. On Monday, Shanghai authorities enhanced security in the city after hundreds of people took to the streets to protest against the measures to contain Covid.
Authorities enhanced security in Shanghai on Monday after locals erupted in protest. During the protests, people shouted slogans against Chinese President Xi Jinping and the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
As per a DW report, the United Nations urged China to respect the right to peaceful protest.
In the press briefing, Lijian spoke about the detention of BBC journalist Ed Lawrence, who was arrested Sunday while covering protests in Shanghai. He said that Lawrence did not reveal that he was a journalist before his arrest.
Zhao Lijian further said local law enforcement officials tried to convince people at the scene to leave and those who did not cooperate “were ushered away”.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson has called the detention of the BBC journalist, covering a protest in China, as “shocking and unacceptable,” DW reported.
Sunak’s spokesperson stated that Britain will continue to express human rights concerns with the Chinese government. As per the DW report, the spokesman for the UK PM added that journalists must be able to carry out their work without “fear of intimidation.”
Meanwhile, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly tweeted, “Media freedom and freedom to protest must be respected. No country is exempt. The arrest of BBC journalist @EP_Lawrence in China is deeply disturbing. Journalists must be able to do their job without intimidation.” (ANI)