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According to the US secret service, Xi does not want any foreign vaccines - hardly any new protests

In China, following the anti-government protests last weekend, other major cities are lifting corona rules.

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According to the US secret service, Xi does not want any foreign vaccines - hardly any new protests

In China, following the anti-government protests last weekend, other major cities are lifting corona rules. In Urumqi - the starting point of the protests - shopping malls, markets and restaurants are expected to reopen on Monday, local authorities said on Sunday.

In Nanning, capital of Guangxi province in the south of the country, the subway can also be used again without presenting a negative test. This provision had previously been lifted in other cities, including Beijing. In the capital, medicines for fever, cough and sore throat can again be bought without registering by name. Test stations have been closed in many places. However, a negative corona test is still required to enter offices and public buildings. Long queues therefore continued to form at the few remaining test stations.

The number of new infections in China continued to fall on Sunday, but this could also be due to the lower number of tests. Authorities reported 31,824 new cases, down from 32,827 on Saturday. The highest number of new infections within a year since the outbreak of the pandemic was just over 40,000 a few days ago. Two other people died in connection with the virus. The number of deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic has risen to 5,235.

Despite the easing, experts assume that a fundamental departure from China's zero-Covid policy cannot be expected before March. Rather, the Chinese leadership is currently trying to minimize the economic and social impact of its policies, according to an analysis by the Goldman Sachs bank, for example.

Last weekend there were protests in many cities in China against President Xi Jinping's strict interpretation of the zero-Covid policy. This is based in particular on comparatively long, strict lockdowns. However, this is slowing down the world's second largest economy, and the growth expected for this year is likely to be one of the weakest in almost half a century.

There were no signs of further major protests this weekend. However, security precautions had been increased in Beijing and Shanghai, for example. Police increased patrols in areas where demonstrations had taken place.

In the course of the protests, the Chinese government announced that it would increase the pace of corona vaccinations. In particular, the over 80-year-olds should be immunized. It was advertised in Chinese state media on Sunday. Many have doubts about the safety and effectiveness of China's vaccines, according to an editorial in People's Daily, the Chinese Communist Party newspaper. "According to experts, this view is wrong." The vaccines developed in China are safe.

No foreign vaccines, such as those based on mRNA, are approved in China. According to US estimates, China will continue to adhere to this stance. President Xi is unwilling to accept vaccines from abroad, head of national intelligence Avril Haines said on Saturday. The German company Biontech in particular has been trying to expand into the Chinese market for months. Company founder Ugur Sahin was recently part of the business delegation that accompanied Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz on his state visit to China.

A US official told Reuters there was "no expectation at this time" that China would approve western vaccines. He explained it like this: "It's a question of national pride, and you would have to swallow quite a bit of it if you went this way," the man is quoted as saying, according to the British "Guardian".

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