By: Jianli Yang and Bradley A. Thayer – Nov 28, 2022

A just and rich irony of the COVID-19 pandemic would be that the virus — which the Chinese government allowed to spread through its censorship and cover-up tactics — ultimately causes the fall of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Unfortunately, that’s not likely to happen soon, even though protesters took to the streets this past weekend in cities across China, including Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan, some of them calling for Chinese leader Xi Jinping to step down.

China’s strict “zero-COVID” policy and long-standing lockdowns led to the unusual uprisings, following a fatal fire in an apartment building in Urumqi, Xinjiang. According to accounts, victims there were under long-term lockdown and some may have had trouble escaping. In another irony, the display of the flag of the People’s Republic of China and the lyrics of the national anthem, which call upon the people to “rise up,” have become a symbol of protest against the CCP.

Protests are risky in China, with its intense police presence, closed-circuit TV, omnipresent recognition software, and tracking techniques that could identify some of those defying the government. Additionally, as the protests grow, the greater the need will be for Xi to crack down to sustain the party’s legitimacy… [Continue Reading]