Anti-Xi protests at Sitong Bridge in Beijing shock China

A one-person protest in Beijing calling for elections to end the country’s strict “zero outbreak” policy and oust “dictator” Xi Jinping, a rare display of political dissent, has been met with a wave of online censorship days that are expected to bring Xi’s rule Before a key political meeting extended for at least another five years.

The banners called for elections to end the country’s strict “zero outbreak” policy and oust “dictator” Xi Jinping, a rare dissent. (Video: Reuters)

“We want food, not coronavirus testing; reform, not the Cultural Revolution. We want freedom, not lockdowns; elections, not rulers. We want dignity, not lies.” According to an image of a banner widely shared online And video, around noon local time on Thursday, a large white banner hung on the Sitong Bridge in Haidian District, northwest of the city, was written in red handwriting for citizens, not enslaved people.

A second banner read: “Remove dictator and traitor Xi Jinping.” According to a video of the incident, nearby pedestrians, who appeared to be wearing a yellow hard hat and orange jacket, stopped to read the banner and stared at a plume of black smoke lit on the bridge. construction worker.

Some images appeared to show the man being taken away by police, although as of Friday there had been no official confirmed arrest. The Haidian District Public Security Bureau hung up when it received a call from The Washington Post.

Xi Jinping’s quest to take full control of China is just beginning

Intolerant of criticism of its top leader at the best of times, the Chinese Communist Party is on a tinderbox as 2,300 of the country’s most senior politicians arrive in the capital for a congress held every five years. The meeting is expected to be a triumphant moment for Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader in decades, as he bucks past convention and continues to lead the party for more than two terms.

On Chinese social media, censors have sparred with users trying to share information about the protest, with strict limits on the number of visible posts. Search results for generic terms like “Beijing,” “Haidian,” or “Stone” returned far fewer entries than normal, and only from officially verified accounts.

Some users have attempted to circumvent restrictions by indirectly mentioning the event — a common practice to evade censorship. Some posted a “Brave Man” song, or “Single Spark”, referring to Mao Zedong’s famous revolutionary article “A single spark can start a prairie fire”.

The provocative act was welcomed by Chinese dissidents and overseas rights activists, many of whom likened the protesters to “Tank Men,” unidentified men who went head-to-head with Chinese soldiers on Chang’an Avenue on June 5, 1989. people. China’s high-tech authoritarianism means that activists can only operate in a “lone ranger” model, according to Teng Biao, a Chinese human rights advocate now living in the United States, wrote on Twitter.

Xi Jinping’s focus on national security and “social stability” severely limits China’s space for dissent. It is increasingly difficult for China’s newest generation of human rights and democracy activists to meet privately or share ideas, let alone organize a serious revolt against Communist Party rule.

Security in the capital tends to be at its peak during major political events such as the upcoming Congress. Dissidents living in Beijing are often taken to remote parts of China by guards, and inspections by those entering the city have increased. This year, China’s continued stringent coronavirus control measures have added a layer of travel restrictions and surveillance.

There are few signs that China is trying to escape the ‘zero epidemic’ trap

By Friday, police had installed near famous bridges across the city, according to photos posted online by residents.

Source link