Man sets himself on fire ahead of Chinese party congress

Accra, A man set himself on fire in Beijing despite high security in place for the Communist Party Congress taking place in the Chinese capital.

Two videos that circulated on Twitter on Tuesday showed a person on fire, collapsing to the ground in front of an Apple store in the Xidan shopping district.

Two security guards are shown running and putting out the fire using fire extinguishers.

Several witnesses told dpa they saw a man setting himself on fire on Tuesday afternoon.

The man reportedly survived and was taken away.

“I don’t think it’s good that we are discussing this during the 19th Congress,” a salesman said.

The 19th Communist Party Congress opened on Wednesday with a speech by President Xi Jinping, who is expected to elevate his political status at the week-long event.

The Chinese government works hard to keep critics and protesters away during key political events.

Ahead of the congress, which takes place once every five years to select the country’s future leadership, Beijing had strengthened security and internet censorship.

The Beijing fire department was on high alert and the use of drones and small aircraft has been banned, according to Beijing’s city government.

Source: Ghana News Agency