Recently, many protests have occurred in China, primarily due to blockade restrictions, ethnic assimilation, and a fire incident.

This month, protests against Beijing’s strict COVID-control measures erupted in Shanghai and Beijing, with demonstrators gathering for a candlelight vigil for victims allegedly killed in a fire caused by Xinjiang lockdowns.

The event then became a protest as Shanghai residents expressed dissatisfaction with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). According to Chinese-language media outlet Xin Tang Ren, a large crowd of young people gathered on Shanghai’s Urumqi Road on November 26 to mourn the victims of the Urumqi fire. They were shouting, “Communist Party, step down!” “Xi Jinping, step down!” and “Freedom.”

Shanghai police blocked the road and prepared to arrest people. They also threatened to accuse protesters of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” 

Protesters chanted for the police to “serve the people!”

Not only adults but also students were involved in the protests.

Specifically, students from Nanjing Media Academy, Shanghai Jiaotong University, and many other universities also mourned the victims in Urumqi. According to updates from citizens on November 27, the number of universities on the list has increased to 103.

The protests have been intensifying recently. 

On October 1, more than 20 Paris-based Mongolians gathered in front of the CCP embassy in Place Andre in Paris to protest against the CCP’s policy of cultural extermination and suppression of ethnic minorities in Inner Mongolia.

According to France 24, the CCP has implemented its cultural assimilation policy in Mongolia since 2020. 

Protests were held at home and abroad, including in Guangzhou, Hebei, Shenzhen, Wuhan, and Heilongjiang.

Despite being unable to protest due to the Hong Kong National Security Law, Hong Kong citizens held various protests in Britain in October, demonstrating against the CCP. 

According to Chinese media outlet Da Ji Yuan, more than ten cities are hosting rallies to protest the Chinese government’s persecution of Tibetans, Uighurs, and Hong Kong residents’ human rights. These include large cities such as London, Birmingham, Bristol, and Liverpool. The Hongkongers also condemned China’s infiltration of the United Kingdom and other countries.

A rally was held outside Reading Town Hall, organized by the Hong Kong community group “Reading UK Stand With Hong Kong.” People were criticizing the CCP for infiltrating the UK. Many Hong Kong residents also pulled down the CCP flag to show their dissatisfaction.

The beauty of solidarity in hard times

Even in these difficult times, solidarity is growing between mainland Chinese and Hongkongers. 

Since the post-hand-over era, Hong Kong has been holding protests. According to Human Rights Watch, the roots of these protests go back more than 20 years, when the people of Hong Kong sought and defended the human rights guaranteed when Hong Kong came under Chinese rule in 1997.

In addition, the latest occurrence was about three years ago, in February 2019, when the Hong Kong authorities proposed legislative changes. They would allow criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China where the process rights are routinely violated.

According to the Guardian, Hong Kong-based protesters gathered in solidarity to support the mainland Chinese against current lockdown policies. The demonstration was held to remember the ten people who died in a fire in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region.

Protesters in mainland China and Hong Kong showed blank white paper during demonstrations. It represents a symbol against censorship and avoids using banned slogans. It also shows the beauty of solidarity.

Some Chinese are also showing their support for Hongkongers’ protest. 

A Chinese man named Wang Jing Yu responded to Radio Free Asia (RFA). 

Wang Jing Yu said, Please run the caption.

4:22 I have been supporting Hong Kong and overseas pro-democracy activists since 2019.

4:26 Ms. Wang Chunyan went on a hunger strike outside the Chinese Embassy in the U.S.

4:30 I want to contribute to my friends who share my vision. 

4:36 Let more Chinese people know what kind of party the Chinese Communist Party is. 4:41

According to a Chinese language media outlet, Xin Tang Ren Wang Jing Yu and his fiance have been pursued internationally. He questioned the falsification of military casualties in the India–China border clash and queried why the CCP authorities took so long to release this news.

According to RFA, the CCP has put all Chinese in “invisible prisons.” Chinese residents should resist like Hong Kong protesters.

Chinese regime’s reactions to the protests.

The CCP responded to the protests by launching nationwide strong-arm tactics. These movements include a crackdown on “hostile forces and journalists and suppression using police force.

According to CBS News, the CCP delivered a warning following unprecedented protests in ten cities against the country’s stringent COVID measures. The Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission claimed it was for “social stability.”

Many police officers appeared in Shanghai People’s Square, Anfu Road in Xuhui District, and various subway stations. According to a Twitter user, “Ms. Li is not your teacher.” “Every 50 meters, the police conduct random phone checks with two police officers randomly checking the phones of passers-by.

Apollo News shared a screenshot of an internal notice in which people were ordered to check their phones and register to report. <Footage 5>. Authorities wanted to see if any foreign apps were inside the mobile phone, including firewall software.

Moreover, some foreign journalists were harassed by police while covering recent protests in Shanghai and Beijing.

According to SwissInfo, police officers surrounded Michael Peuker on November 27 while he was reporting live from Shanghai. Peuker and his cameraman were threatened with arrest by police. They were, however, released later.

In addition, a BBC journalist was arrested and beaten up by police on the same day. Despite the BBC’s concern about the treatment, China’s foreign ministry stated that the journalist did not identify himself as a journalist.

Besides, RTi English posted a video reporting a U.S.-based Chinese Youtuber was threatened by the police for supporting the A4 white paper protest. 

Police called Chan, the Youtuber, threatening to arrest him for showing support for the protest. The police also told Chan they could identify his location.

Tens of thousands of employees faced dozens of armed police during Zhengzhou Foxconn’s large-scale employee protests. According to Apollo News, many employees were injured. Some employees had their heads fractured, and more than 40 were arrested. Protests at Foxconn continued as of November 27.

The Chinese residents are so desperate for freedom that a man loudly shouted in a video, “There is only one disease in the world, it’s called no freedom and poverty, and we have them all now!”

The CCP has been dealing with protests this way, claiming it’s for “social stability.” However, if such a method were effective against COVID, there wouldn’t be any need to protest. Instead, foreign media consider this time to be China’s “boiling point.” 
France24 has raised whether the virus has broken the trust between Chinese residents and the CCP authority. Meanwhile, according to Foreign Policy, the protests are “the end of the once trusted government model.” If the protests keep happening, what will happen to Chinese residents and the CCP?

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