Protests have broken out throughout communist China in response to revamped coronavirus lockdown measures that have gone back into effect amid a skyrocketing number of coronavirus infections.
Dozens of cities across the country have gone back into lockdown with millions of people impacted, a situation that has negatively impacted economic forecasts.
Notable demonstrations have included thousands of workers at an iPhone factory clashing with authorities, protesters breaking out of locked down buildings, and online outrage over an infant who died because her father could not get her medical services due to the country’s lockdowns, The New York Times reported.
CHINA: Protests getting out of hand at Foxconn iPhone plant in Zhengzhou tonight where workers are rebelling against Covid harsh restrictions and work environment pic.twitter.com/xwe2oAHYge
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) November 23, 2022
BREAKING: New Footage of Chinese police fleeing from workers at Zhengzhou iPhone factory 🚨 🚨 🚨
— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) November 24, 2022
The report noted that the unrest is unprecedented for the communist nation, which has a history of using force to stamp out dissent.
China, which is where the coronavirus pandemic originated, reported a new high in coronavirus infections Friday, with more than 32,000 new cases.
The numbers have started spreading so quickly that experts have warned that China has potentially “passed the point of no return” in reference to the country’s goals of having no coronavirus cases.
“China might have already passed the point of no return, as it’s unlikely to achieve zero Covid again without another Shanghai-style hard lockdown,” Macquarie’s Chief China Economist Larry Hu said. “What policymakers could do now is to slow the spread of virus, i.e. flatten the curve, by tightening the Covid controls for the time being.”
While the numbers were deemed to be a new record for China, there is no way to know that because China was widely accused of lying throughout the pandemic over how many cases and deaths the country was experiencing, not to mention the accusations that the country covered up the origin of where the outbreak originated.
“What we’re witnessing at Foxconn is the bankruptcy of ‘the China model,’” said Wu Qiang, a political analyst in Beijing, in reference to the manufacturing plant that produces Apple’s iPhones. “It’s the collapse of China’s image as a production powerhouse, as well as China’s relationship to globalization.”
Li Qiang, founder and executive director of China Labor Watch, added, “If the government continues with its zero-Covid policy, Foxconn would only be the beginning. There is Foxconn today, but other factories will face similar situations.”
The protests at Foxconn, which turned violent, came in response to bonuses not being paid to workers on time because the company did not follow the country’s strict coronavirus restrictions by isolating new workers from those who had tested positive, the report said.
The company claimed that the delays were due to a “technical error” and offered to pay employees who wanted to resign $1,400 and give them free rides home.