By: Jianli Yang – Nov 28, 2022
On Oct. 13, just a few days before the start of the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th National Congress, a man staged a solo protest on an overpass in Beijing against President Xi Jinping and his draconian “zero covid” policy. I had hoped that this lone hero’s actions would trigger a wave of peaceful protest to stop Xi from continuing to harm the Chinese people — even though my hopes were tempered by an awareness that the regime’s policies of intense repression have made protests rare and almost impossible to start.
What has happened over the past week has exceeded all my expectations. First came the uprising by workers at a Foxconn factory complex protesting dismal working conditions. Then came nationwide protests after a fire in Xinjiang that killed a number of people who were reportedly unable to escape the burning building because of harsh lockdown conditions.
The demonstrations began by expressing rage over harsh “zero covid” policies, but the protesters’ demands quickly evolved into a movement demanding broader freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom from the dictates of the Communist Party… [Continue Reading]