What is happening these days in China is exciting. Not so much because people have demonstrated, because they do so thousands of times a year, for example, because of their working conditions, but because they have done so simultaneously in cities separated by thousands of kilometers and with a common thread: they feel that His government, stubborn in the zero covid policy for almost three years, has gone too far. These protests are historic because the Chinese reproach the Communist Party for breaking the social contract. They have been adapting to control for decades as long as you let them thrive. Now they see that their government, instead of being their springboard, has become their brake.
If something anguishes Beijing more than the pandemic, it is social instability. That is why he is taking steps in a hurry. As always, based on stick and carrot. On the one hand, the government of Xi Jinping has spearheaded the protests with arrests, Internet censorship and police presence. A month and a half before the Chinese New Year, he has ordered university students to go home earlier to avoid concentrating on campus. As for the concessions, they have relaxed the restrictions in some cities and say that they will “strengthen” the vaccination of the elderly, although it remains to be seen how, because the grandparents still do not trust them. They have also recognized that the information has not been enough, and that it is logical that people are fed up. Although covid zero is still on the agenda.
The Party has a very oiled repression and that is why the concentrations have not gone further. But the problems are still there. Chinese health cannot deal with massive infections because investment has not grown as fast as the country’s economy. The population is used to sacrificing itself for others, however, it is not insensitive to irrationality. The propaganda repeats that these demonstrations have been organized by hostile foreign forces, despite the fact that in the streets we have seen the Chinese chanting their anthem, which rightly praises national liberation. The young people were screaming asking to return to their usual lives because they have been in limbo since 2020 without making plans, cloistered at home, work or college. People don’t want to overthrow the system, they want to make it see reason. They do not understand why Beijing clings to its zero covid policy as an element of virtue, as if giving up a hand meant giving in, copying Western recipes. These young people want to be the future of their country and they believe that they are not letting them. This feeling of orphanhood and rage is what is historical. @anafuentesf
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