Patterico's Pontifications

11/29/2022

China Protests

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:15 am



[guest post by Dana]

With a heartwrenching mix of courage and fear, protesters are risking life and limb for freedom in China:

It was clear that many protesters blame Mr. Xi for the extremely unpopular “zero-Covid” policy. A young Shanghai professional with the surname Zhang said that Mr. Xi’s norm-breaking third term, secured at last month’s party congress, spelled the end of China’s progress. “We all gave up our illusions,” he said.

The young protesters are most conflicted about the impact of their actions. They felt powerless about changing the system as long as Mr. Xi and the Communist Party are in power. They believe that many people in the public supported them because the unyielding Covid rules have violated what they see as baseline norms of Chinese society. Once the government relaxes the policy, they worry, the public’s support for protests would evaporate.

Even now, authorities appear to be ready to quash the protests:

In what appears to be the first official response – albeit veiled – to the protests, China’s domestic security chief vowed at a meeting Tuesday to “effectively maintain overall social stability.”

Without mentioning the demonstrations, Chen Wenqing urged law enforcement officials to “resolutely strike hard against infiltration and sabotage activities by hostile forces, as well as illegal and criminal acts that disrupt social order,” the state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

Here is a comprehensive look at why it is nearly impossible for protesters to evade the authorities.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is being cautious with regard to a response to the protests:

Top US officials who have been closely monitoring the unrest in China have made two things clear in the past few days: that the Biden administration supports any people’s right to peacefully protest and that it simply does not see China’s so-called zero-Covid policy as a sound approach.

But administration officials have been careful not to step beyond the contours of those public comments, carefully stepping around broader questions about the US’s assessment of the situation or its potential future role in supporting the Chinese people’s cries for more freedom…

A senior US official emphasized to CNN that the White House is being careful not to overstate the nature of the protests, noting that while there have been some calls for Xi Jinping to step down, as of now, most of the protests in the country of over one billion people seem small, localized and aimed more at the narrow goals of ending the Covid lockdowns and securing better working conditions than a loftier push for democracy.

“We have to be very careful of not creating a distorted reality,” the official said.

I’ll leave you with an incredible example of the courage these young protesters are displaying:

When someone first chanted, “No more Communist Party,” the crowd laughed, according to Serena, a college student who is spending her gap year in Shanghai. “Everyone knew it was the redline,” she said.

Then it became increasingly charged. When someone yelled, “Xi Jinping, step down!” and “C.C.P., step down!” the shouts were the loudest, according to Serena and other protesters who were also there.

–Dana

34 Responses to “China Protests”

  1. I imagine the tanks will be on the streets soon enough.

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. Probably. Everyone’s already shown that China can run down people with tanks and take no long-term damage.

    Nic (896fdf)

  3. Probably. Everyone’s already shown that China can run down people with tanks and take no long-term damage.

    Nic (896fdf) — 11/29/2022 @ 5:28 pm

    We ended up rewarding them by enabling them to become a global manufacturing hub and giving them defense tech, and now First World governments and their news media mouthpieces are thirsting for their social credit system, too.

    Factory Working Orphan (a1c9b6)

  4. Lots of things going on in the world while US is fixated on Ukraine (rightfully so, but it would be more comforting if we didn’t have a dementia patient in the WH)
    Iran, China and under Biden’s watch, Turkey is about to show the YPG Kurds what a real betrayal looks like. That one under Trump? Watch this one.

    steveg (d1704b)

  5. This is more about basic human responses rather than some raging ‘freedom’ protest. Guess what- Chinese are human beings, too; they eat, sleep, breathe– like to walk and be productive souls… and have just had it being couped up, locked down and stressed out forso long. So Xi will let’em blow off steam for a time– and if it gets out of hand… he’ll ‘handle’ it.

    DCSCA (1b4b4f)

  6. @4-
    I don’t care what other governments do to their own citizens. Not our problem.

    Rip Murdock (0be58f)

  7. I don’t care what other governments do to their own citizens. Not our problem.

    Rip Murdock (0be58f) — 11/29/2022 @ 7:28 pm

    What if a government decided to send 6 million of its citizens to gas chambers?

    norcal (862cdb)

  8. This time it might be worse than the dozen killed in Tienanmen Square.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  9. I don’t care what other governments do to their own citizens. Not our problem.

    Why then should I care what Mississippi does to its citizens? Or California?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  10. I wonder what would happen if 10,000 people picketed Apple in Cupertino.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  11. @10 nothing. Mitch mcconnell and biden have ties to china. Only populists in both parties oppose china for economic reasons. Corporate democrats need china’s money and corporate republicans just take it on principal even though they don’t need it. Small donations are for anti donor class people who stand on principal like AOC and the squad.

    asset (95e687)

  12. all this time I thought people who protest “zero covid” are MAGA inspired nut jobs who want people to die

    JF (f8765c)

  13. All this time I thought we were a totalitarian gazpacho police state.

    nk (763d5c)

  14. Related, the Xi regime has conducted more ballistic missile tests than the rest of the world combined. It’s just that NK and the Iranian theocrats get all the attention.
    We can divert our business to nations not named Russia and China.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  15. AllahNick on Biden’s milquetoast reaction to the protests.

    What made the ambivalence stranger is that Biden and his aides have been outspoken in support of Iran’s uprising since protests there began several months ago. In September, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan was asked why the administration wasn’t taking the same low-key approach to the current protests there that Barack Obama’s administration took to Iran’s “Green Revolution” in 2009. He replied: “What we learned in the aftermath of that is that you can overthink these things, that the most important thing for the United States to do is to be firm and clear and principled in response to citizens of any country demanding their rights and dignity.”

    Chinese citizens are demanding their rights and dignity at this very moment. A dismissive White House has responded by insisting that they speak for themselves. Huh.

    It isn’t hard to proclaim that The People have the right to peacefully protest, whether in DC or the Iranian theocratic regime or communist China.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  16. I don’t care what other governments do to their own citizens. Not our problem.

    Rip Murdock (0be58f) — 11/29/2022 @ 7:28 pm

    What if a government decided to send 6 million of its citizens to gas chambers?

    norcal (862cdb) — 11/29/2022 @ 9:40 pm

    Ignoring what other countries do to their own citizens is a Western tradition. The West didn’t fight Nazi Germany to stop the Holocaust; the West didn’t fight the USSR to stop the Holodomor (approx. deaths 3.9M), the West didn’t fight China over the Great Leap Forward (15-55M deaths); the West didn’t intervene against the Khmer Rouge to stop their genocide (1.5-3.0M deaths); in fact by dragging Cambodia into the Vietnam War probably lead the Khmer Rouge to gain power; the West didn’t fight Turkey over the Armenian Genocide (600,000 to 1.5M deaths); and the West didn’t intervene in the Rwandan (Tutsi genocide) (500,000 to 800,000 deaths) or the Hutu genocide in Burundi (80,000 to 300,000).

    Why should China or Iran be any different?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  17. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 11/30/2022 @ 9:43 am

    I am aware of the history. I’m just questioning your statement that you don’t care. Even if we don’t want to fight, we should care, and maybe look for non-military ways to help the beleaguered people.

    norcal (862cdb)

  18. JF (f8765c) — 11/30/2022 @ 6:17 am

    all this time I thought people who protest “zero covid” are MAGA inspired nut jobs who want people to die

    Zero Covid has been abandoned in the United States and even in Australia I think, and in China it is/was much worse, and the Chinese government is lying about the necessity for it: They published something about a jogger who allegedly infected dozens of people.

    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3201401/unmasked-jogger-infected-39-people-omicron-chinese-park-study-finds

    That’s from the Chinese CDC – and nobody outside China credits that. (this assumes this was all one on one and nobody else was infected in that city before)

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/china-pushes-dubious-claim-of-sick-jogger-causing-covid-outbreak/ar-AA14HQ2I?li=BBnba9O

    In the November report, the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claimed that “Patient Zero” jogged through a local park in the Chongqing municipality back in August and potentially exposed the virus to approximately 2,836 people and infected 39 with the virus.

    The 41-year-old man had gone for the run on Aug. 16, 2022, not knowing he had the virus after flying back to Chongqing three days earlier.

    Earlier that week the plane transported four passengers who unknowingly had COVID, and was not disinfected before “Patient Zero” flew from Hohhot to Chongqing.

    This was done in the west when the epidemic was just getting started:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-italy/jogging-park-walks-banned-as-alarmed-italian-regions-impose-more-coronavirus-restrictions-idINKBN2172HM

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  19. The fire in Urumqi reminds me of a Saudi Arabian fire where girls were not allowed to escape from a burning building

    https://www.arabnews.com/node/1660041

    The people in Xinjiang were almost certainly all Han Chinese which the government has been trying to increase the proportion of there. They were kept in contact with others in the laces in China they came from.

    But it was Xinjiang so the control mechanisms were stronger..

    This was in the city of Urumqi. Officially 20 people died but I heard on the radio a broadcaster on WABC radio use the figure 44, so there may be different accounts. And there were many personal accounts on the Chinese internet until they were removed..

    It could have been because they were locked in, even welded in, and the firefighters were locked out.

    The first protest was in Shanghai in a place named Urumqi Road.

    It probably happened because the deaths were unplanned and unwanted so the censorship machine was not prepared to suppress the story. And the protests are also suppressed.

    I suspect that only semi-tolerated criminal groups could both want to and be capable of organizing that

    There is anew meme in China: Get rid of the CCP.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  20. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 11/30/2022 @ 9:43 am

    I am aware of the history. I’m just questioning your statement that you don’t care. …..

    I still don’t. There is nothing I can do to change the situation, and I have more important things to worry about in my life than whether the Chinese or Iranian governments abuse their citizens.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  21. Since you can’t affect much if what happens in the United States either, maybe you should then just ignore politics, or limit your activities to praying.

    Of course you can affect things, but unpredictably.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  22. Since you can’t affect much if what happens in the United States either, maybe you should then just ignore politics, or limit your activities to praying.

    Of course you can affect things, but unpredictably.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 12/1/2022 @ 4:01 pm

    I do care what happens here, I just don’t have a strong feeling for what other governments do to their own citizens. And the historic record bears me out-the West at large doesn’t care either.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  23. correction to 19: *

    The people in Xinjiang were almost certainly all Han Chinese which the government has been trying to increase the proportion of there. They were kept in contact with others in the laces in China they came from.

    Actually the people who died in the fire in Urumqi were Uyghurs or other Moslems. But the people who protested un Urumqi were mostly Han Chinese – and they would have been the ones in contact with people in other parts of China.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  24. I guess you”re like that person mentioned by Adam Smith:

    https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7267664-let-us-suppose-that-the-great-empire-of-china-with

    “Let us suppose that the great empire of China, with all its myriads of inhabitants, was suddenly swallowed up by an earthquake, and let us consider how a man of humanity in Europe, who had no sort of connection with that part of the world, would be affected upon receiving intelligence of this dreadful calamity. He would, I imagine, first of all, express very strongly his sorrow for the misfortune of that unhappy people, he would make many melancholy reflections upon the precariousness of human life, and the vanity of all the labours of man, which could thus be annihilated in a moment. He would too, perhaps, if he was a man of speculation, enter into many reasonings concerning the effects which this disaster might produce upon the commerce of Europe, and the trade and business of the world in general. And when all this fine philosophy was over, when all these humane sentiments had been once fairly expressed, he would pursue his business or his pleasure, take his repose or his diversion, with the same ease and tranquillity, as if no such accident had happened. The most frivolous disaster which could befall himself would occasion a more real disturbance. If he was to lose his little finger to-morrow, he would not sleep to-night; but, provided he never saw them, he will snore with the most profound security over the ruin of a hundred millions of his brethren, and the destruction of that immense multitude seems plainly an object less interesting to him, than this paltry misfortune of his own. To prevent, therefore, this paltry misfortune to himself, would a man of humanity be willing to sacrifice the lives of a hundred millions of his brethren, provided he had never seen them? Human nature startles with horror at the thought, and the world, in its greatest depravity and corruption, never produced such a villain as could be capable of entertaining it. But what makes this difference? When our passive feelings are almost always so sordid and so selfish, how comes it that our active principles should often be so generous and so noble? When we are always so much more deeply affected by whatever concerns ourselves, than by whatever concerns other men; what is it which prompts the generous, upon all occasions, and the mean upon many, to sacrifice their own interests to the greater interests of others? It is not the soft power of humanity, it is not that feeble spark of benevolence which Nature has lighted up in the human heart, that is thus capable of counteracting the strongest impulses of self-love. It is a stronger power, a more forcible motive, which exerts itself upon such occasions. It is reason, principle, conscience, the inhabitant of the breast, the man within, the great judge and arbiter of our conduct.”

    ― Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  25. It’s one thing to care less and it’s another to care not at all.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  26. No country is an island

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  27. As pointed out here, the West has tut-tutted about tragedies far greater than what is happening in Iran and may happen (again) in China, but has not substantially intervened to stop genocides. The West has stood silently by and let them unfold. The West also just watched as the democracy protests in Hong Kong were crushed. What makes you think they will intervene in China if the tanks roll against the current protests?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  28. Good Adam Smith quote, Sammy.

    Rip, reciting history is not the same as defending your statement that you don’t care.

    norcal (862cdb)

  29. The Chinese know how to boil a frog. They’ve been doing it for 3,000 years. These protests now are the little bubbles telling them to lower the heat a little.

    nk (52bad1)

  30. True, nk. They are masters of control.

    norcal (862cdb)

  31. Rip, reciting history is not the same as defending your statement that you don’t care.

    norcal (862cdb) — 12/1/2022 @ 5:03 pm

    As I said before, I just don’t have a strong feelings about what other governments do to their own citizens. It’s their problem.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  32. As I said before, I just don’t have a strong feelings about what other governments do to their own citizens. It’s their problem.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 12/1/2022 @ 5:26 pm

    It’s interesting that you don’t care about those people, but you do care about first trimester abortion.

    norcal (862cdb)

  33. As I said before, I just don’t have a strong feelings about what other governments do to their own citizens. It’s their problem.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 12/1/2022 @ 5:26 pm

    It’s interesting that you don’t care about those people, but you do care about first trimester abortion.

    norcal (862cdb) — 12/1/2022 @ 5:30 pm

    I care about issues that affect the United States, which is also why I don’t care about abortion laws overseas.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  34. 27. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 12/1/2022 @ 4:54 pm

    . What makes you think they will intervene in China if the tanks roll against the current protests?

    I don;t think they will, but they will disassociate themselves from China — and not trust the government because it’s not restrained by any ethics.

    And they can tilt the scales, like Putin knows was done in Ukraine in Feb 2014. And then what about Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty in the 1980s?

    Sammy FInkelman (1d215a)


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