Frustration in China as virus cases spike

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Frustration in China as virus cases spike

BEIJING: Frustration simmered in China as residents and business groups navigating stricter COVID-19 control curbs slowed as the country reported on Friday November 25 another historic high of daily infections just weeks after hopes were raised of easing measures.

There have been widespread lockdowns and other restrictions on movement and business in China, with 32,695 new local infections recorded for Thursday as many cities report outbreaks of COVID, as well as a resurgence of COVID 19 cases in China.

In a statement shared on social media after the French embassy posted it on its Twitter-like Weibo account, the French Chamber of Commerce in China called for authorities to implement COVID 19 optimisation measures it announced two weeks ago.

The measures, which include shortened quarantines and other more targeted steps, had given hope to French companies for more bilateral trade and economic exchanges, but good policies need to be implemented in a uniform manner and without adding layers of other contradicting policies, the chamber said.

The announcement of the 20 measures, as rising cases prompted an increasingly heavy response under China's strict zero-COVID approach, has caused widespread confusion and uncertainty in big cities, including Beijing, where many residents are locked down at home.

More than 20,000 new hires have left the world's largest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, after strict COVID 19 measures caused worker unrest this week, further imperilling output at Apple supplier Foxconn's plant, according to a report on Friday.

Despite the work of censors, references to a speech by a man in the southwestern city of Chongqing called for the government to admit its mistakes on COVID 19 were shared widely on Chinese social media.

Give me liberty or death, a bespectacled man told onlookers at the gate of a compound in an impassioned speech on Thursday, according to videos seen by Reuters.

He added that there is only one disease in the world that is both poor and not having freedom. We got both of them. We are still struggling with a little cold, and we're still struggling. The man was seen being bundled by security personnel towards a police car, prompting angry shouts from onlookers.

Hashtags related to the man, who netizens called Chongqing's superman brother or Chongqing hero, were censored on Friday. Individual users continued to show support by posting subtle messages or cartoon pictures of him.