BEIJING, November 28. /TASS/. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has dismissed the BBC’s reports that one of its correspondents who was reporting on protests in Shanghai was assaulted, branding it a total falsehood.
"We have seen The BBC’s statements about this situation," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian told a briefing on Monday. "As far as I know, this statement has nothing to do with the real state of things."
According to the spokesman, the reporter did not inform the police which media outlet he belonged to. "He did not show his press card," he added.
"When the incident happened, law enforcement officers asked people to leave and when some of them refused, they were taken from the scene," Zhao Lijian said, adding that the Chinese government has always welcomed foreign journalists focusing attention on the developments in China while strictly complying with the law.
The BBC reported on Sunday that its correspondent Edward Lawrence had been taken into custody and beaten by the Shanghai police while covering the COVID-19 protests.
According to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper, protests against coronavirus restrictions flared up in several Chinese cities over the weekend.
The Chinese authorities reported a major spike in COVID-19 cases in early November, whereas in October the daily number of coronavirus cases across all of China was around 1,000. Many regions have toughened anti-Covid measures and recommend that people not leave their homes unless necessary.