Protests against strict Covid-19 regulations escalated across China in late November 2022, after at least 10 were killed when a fire ripped through a locked down building in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi. Frustration with ongoing restrictions boiled over with mass gatherings, police-protester clashes, disobedience of Covid rules, and rare anti-government chants in key cities and at dozens of university campuses.

China’s zero-Covid protests show the limit of Uyghur solidarity

News that at least 10 people had died in an apartment block blaze in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, unleashed long-simmering resentment over strict health curbs. But few seemed to know the victims were Uyghur families torn apart by Beijing’s crackdown in the region.