The 20th National Congress of the CCP opened on October 16, where General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered a speech. A widely circulated video shows that when Xi spoke, local governments across China told people to turn on a TV, despite the circumstances, creating a strange scene.

The video was provided by netizens with the description, “The whole country listened to the general secretary’s speech, wedding ceremonies were also stopped.” In the video, in addition to the bride, groom, and guests standing together singing the national anthem, at village offices, classrooms, and religious meeting places, everyone gathered to watch Xi’s speech.

RFA re-uploaded the video and said when the official media broadcasted Xi’s speech, the comment area was closed. Officials only allowed people to watch and listen, not express their opinions.

Victor Shih, a China expert at the University of California, San Diego, also posted a notice he took from Wechat showing that a certain school in China even asked children to watch the 20th National Congress’s opening at home and take pictures as a homework project.

A few days before the 20th National Congress, on Sitong Bridge in Beijing, anti-Xi banners appeared, demanding freedom and reform.

On the internet the CCP tried “Welcoming the 20th National Congress,” but outside, maintaining control continues to be tense. Chinese writer Fang Shimin tweeted, “To celebrate the CCP’s 20th National Congress, students from SIIC Cambridge Foreign Language High School on Yanji Dong Road, Yangpu District, Shanghai, were taken to a concentration camp overnight for quarantine,” He added, “thousands of students from No. 6 junior high school in Tancheng District, Linyi City, Shandong Province were also taken to a concentration camp at midnight.”

According to Creaders News, Xi is expected to be re-elected as general secretary for the third time at the congress, entering his second decade in power and becoming the most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.

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