Almost three years after the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China remains trapped in a seemingly never-ending fight against Covid-19. And the population has had enough.

President Xi Jinping’s increasingly untenable Zero-Covid policy is unleashing the greatest show of public dissent since Tiananmen Square, with protests erupting across 15 Chinese cities, from Hotan in the far west to Shanghai and Beijing.

The re-opening of Taiwan has isolated Beijing as the last major economy in the world to still be pursuing a zero-Covid approach. Indeed, growing frustration at the rest of the world returning to their normal lives has led Chinese TV to censor crowd shots from the World Cup so that locals cannot see unmasked fans enjoying themselves in Qatar.