Following protests, China says ‘fight against COVID-19 will be successful’

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China’s foreign ministry on Monday said the government’s “fight against COVID-19 will be successful,” a day after people took to the streets across the country to protest against strict virus controls.

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Asked at a regular press briefing about the demonstrations, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the question did not match the “facts,” adding: “We believe that with the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and support of the Chinese people, our fight against COVID-19 will be successful.”

During the briefing, China blamed “forces with ulterior motives" for linking a deadly fire in the western Xinjiang region to the strict COVID-19 measures.

Online posts circulating on both Chinese and overseas social media platforms have claimed that lengthy COVID-19 lockdowns in Urumqi hampered rescue attempts after the blaze on Thursday night.

In response to a question at the briefing Lijian said: “On social media there are forces with ulterior motives that relate this fire with the local response to COVID-19.”

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