The page is blank, but the angry eyes speak volumes. The A4 sheet is the protest banner of today in China. left blank to get through the center, but the sensor can no longer keep up. It was March in Beijing, and the white paper movement is growing. Initially, it was all about citizens’ opposition to China’s rigorous zero covet policy; millions of them yearned to escape three years of sporadic lockdowns.
No more PCR testing, no more isolation, they yell in Beijing, and we want freedom, but in recent days the rhetoric has shifted to touch political sensibilities.
Alan was Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party in Shanghai shouting. China’s New York has forbidden words on any Street in this country for over three decades now once almost certain to result in arrest and imprisonment, but the police are outnumbered they make only the occasional arrest. This was Ed Lawrence a BBC journalist apprehended in Shanghai released within hours and the protests are spreading Nationwide. This was Chengdu in Sichuan province down with Xi Jinping down with a Communist party they shout here to protege! the possibility of Xi Jinping continuing in power and Xi Jinping losing it, and I don’t see Xi Jinping accepting the chance of losing power.
The zero covert policy was meant to be one of Xi Jinping’s trademark successes. A chilling example is one of China’s brand new covid quarantine camps, which China has had to lock down repeatedly because its homemade vaccine is not as effective as most of the ones used in the rest of the world. However, Beijing went with licensed foreign mRNA vaccines like Pfizer, which amounts to a lethal dose of Chinese vaccine patriotism, and only half of China’s 32 million over-80s have been vaccinated.
What has died on the streets of China is the social contract at the heart of the regime: you make and spend money but leave the politics to us. The politics have overreached, and the people have lost their fear to say so. Joining me now is Dr. Yujia, a senior research fellow on China at Chatham House. Are these protests about covert restrictions or freedom in a broader sense? the majority of the cities, as you can see, are more concerned with the strange covet measures that people have endured over the past few months, whereas the few dissidents you’ve seen are questioning the regime itself, so it’s a combination of both. How surprised are you to see this? I’m not surprised at all, to be honest, because, after two and a half years of extremely strict measures being imposed on the population, it’s only natural. I don’t think it’s comparable at all, to be honest, because in the past it was about inflation and democracy, whereas in China it’s more about economics and less about politics.
This should be manageable for the presidency, but it would be immeasurable if he were to loosen restrictions. it depends on two conditions: first, what percentage of the most vulnerable are vaccinated, and second, whether the state-funded hospital’s Su bed capacity is sufficient to deal with an exodus wave like the one we’ve experienced in this part of the world. Richardson is about to give a speech about robust pragmatism towards China and other more authoritarian nations.
What do you think of robust pragmatism regarding China?
Not much because I don’t think it means anything it’s like a contradiction in terms of what we’re supposed to take from that I mean if, on the one hand, you want to be robust with China, then why would they bother if on the other hand you’re trying to do business with them, and they just see that as weakness. what the Prime Minister said during the summation was a good example of robust
Arresting nonviolent demonstrators who endanger Taiwan I don’t know what more evidence you need to conclude that they are now a threat, but as we watch all of this, we even see a BBC journalist beaten and dragged away from the protest, and on the very day we see all of this, the government comes out with its robust pragmatism, and most people means anything you want it to mean, and that sounds to me like it’s getting close to appeasement. Be resolute when engaging but be resolute when engaging on matters you oppose and make it obvious from the outset why China should care whether Britain took that Stan saw a loss. I mean, economically speaking, don’t we need them more than they need us? However, the problem is that we are dependent on them, and we don’t need to be so dependent.
There are many other countries we could be investing in, such as India, to develop these things. However, we’ve become addicted to the idea of cheap labor, so what we need to be establishing is our belief that China itself poses a systemic threat to us. Downing Street informed us that they are candid about the systemic threats posed by China, but issues such as climate change in Ukraine will require the participation of all the world’s major economies.
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