Since the fire on November 24 in Xinjiang, protests against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s zero-COVID policy have taken place consecutively across China. 

This has been a rare phenomenon in China since the Tiananmen protests of 1989.

According to the New York Times, long lockdowns have left workers struggling with food shortages and job losses, students locked in schools, and urban elites resenting the restrictions.

People’s dissatisfaction among all classes towards CCP’s zero-COVID policy recalls the Tiananmen incident more than 30 years ago when students, workers, small business owners, and residents found common ground in the demonstrations demanding democracy.

Yasheng Huang, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, said that “Covid Zero produced an unintended consequence, which is putting a huge number of people in the same situation [as Tiananmen’s].”

Huang Yanzhong is a public health expert at the American Council on Foreign Relations. He has been closely monitoring the COVID epidemic in China. 

Da Ji Yuan cited Huang saying that many Chinese were on the verge of collapse when they had to live under tight measures.

Huang also linked the wave of protests against CCP’s zero-COVID policy and public sentiment during the 1989 Tiananmen protests.

He said that if China’s regime mishandles the current volatile situation, it could quickly turn into the worst political crisis since Tiananmen.

May Hu, who lives in southern Hunan province, said she had been watching the Shanghai protests live on Instagram for hours.

She said that before, people only thought of how to escape from CCP. Now, many people’s way of thinking has changed. They see the need to fight and gain freedom.

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