A top Chinese diplomat called the United States’ concerns over China’s current pandemic policies “groundless accusations” on April 9.

The remark came after the Department of State had approved on April 8 the voluntary departure of non-emergency employees and their family members from the U.S. consulate in Shanghai.

The U.S. diplomatic mission in China cited the surge in COVID-19 cases in Shanghai and the impact of the strict prevention measures from Beijing as reasons for their decision about voluntary evacuation.

Ambassador Nicholas Burns and other Department and Mission officials have directly raised concerns over the outbreak and the regime’s control measures.

Reuters reported that China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, “We express strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the groundless accusations against China’s pandemic prevention policy from the U.S. in its statement, and have lodged solemn representations.”

He added, “China’s anti-epidemic policies are science-based and effective, and we are fully confident that Shanghai and other places in China will prevail over the new wave of the epidemic.”

Despite the self-claimed-to-be-efficient anti-epidemic measures, data from Bloomberg showed that Shanghai had a record 24,943 new COVID cases on April 9. The figure was five times more than that of March 28, when the city first started its two-phase lockdown.

The U.S. concerns come in line with growing discontent among Shanghai residents as they struggle with food shortages and many other disturbances amid the lockdown.

Jared T Nelson, CEO of American investment company Pathway Compliance living in Shanghai, wrote on Twitter on April 10 about his experience during the lockdown. He wrote that people there “still struggle to find food and drinking water,” and they had no idea when the restrictions would be lifted.

According to Bloomberg, China is struggling to stop the highly transmissible Omicron variant. As the country’s authorities chose to stick with the draconian COVID-prevention measures, many Chinese people and foreigners suffered from a lack of food and medical support.

Recently, city officials have faced criticism for one of its most controversial measures: separating COVID-positive children from their parents. Photos and videos of infants and young children being isolated in Shanghai due to forced separation have caused great public outrage.

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