Chinese Anti-Lockdown Protests Spread Rare Criticism of Xi and CCP
Latest Developments: Protests have reportedly occurred in at least ten cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Both online and offline, demonstrators often adopted inconspicuous symbols like blank sheets of paper to signal their defiance and evade censors. Meanwhile, Twitter was flooded with explicit spam apparently trying to cover up protest coverage; TechCrunch (Center bias) called it a “Great Wall of porn.”
For Context: The latest round of protests began after many blamed China’s “Zero COVID” lockdown policies for a delayed response to an apartment fire that killed ten people in Xinjiang. Protests also broke out last week at a major iPhone plant over “closed loop” policies that forced workers to live at the factory to avoid an outbreak. Protests openly defying the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are rare, but strict lockdown policies and economic troubles have pushed some to speak out and risk retaliation.
How U.S. Media Covered It: While coverage was common across the spectrum, major left and center-rated outlets featured the story more prominently on Monday. Coverage across the spectrum sometimes speculated on whether the protests would threaten Xi and the CCP.
How Regional Media Covered It: While the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post (Center bias) highlighted criticism of Beijing’s lockdown policies, coverage of the protests was notably missing from Xinhua (Not Rated), a state-funded Chinese news agency.
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the CenterRare protests in major Chinese cities amid fury over Covid restrictions
Citizens in a handful of Chinese cities took to the streets in a rare show of defiance to protest against the country’s strict Covid-19 controls following the death of 10 people in a fire at an apartment block in Xinjiang last week.
In Beijing several hundred people took to the streets in a protest that continued until after 3am on Monday. Other demonstrations took place in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu over the weekend, according to media reports and social media posts. Some protesters were reportedly detained.
Some questioned whether the months-long Covid lockdown...
From the RightWhite House backs China protesters, silent on calls for Xi removal
The Biden administration said Monday that Chinese protesters are right to call for an end to draconian COVID-19 lockdowns — without endorsing widespread calls for Beijing’s authoritarian President Xi Jinping to resign.
Videos published over the weekend showed large protests across China in the most significant challenge to Communist Party rule in more than 30 years — with crowds in the capital Beijing and largest city Shanghai chanting that Xi should step down.
Some footage showed protests descending into near-riots against police, while in pandemic epicenter Wuhan, protesters removed fencing reportedly intended...
From the LeftChinese police out in force in attempt to deter Covid lockdown protests
Chinese police have launched a show of force across the country in an effort to head off further protests against the government’s rigid zero-Covid policies and tackle what have become the most extraordinary acts of civil disobedience in the country for decades.
Dozens of police cars lined the streets around a central Beijing subway station and patrolled surrounding blocks on Monday evening, while uniformed and plain-clothed officers stood guard at station exits and stopped passersby for questioning. Hours after the scheduled start of a protest organised via encrypted messaging apps...