The protests that erupted against China’s Covid Zero strategy represent one of the most significant challenges to Communist Party rule since the Tiananmen crisis more than 30 years ago. How Xi Jinping responds to it may end up being just as pivotal for the country’s future.
From Shanghai to Beijing, protests have erupted across China in a rare show of dissent against the ruling Communist Party sparked by anger over the country’s increasingly costly zero-Covid policy.
As numbers swelled at demonstrations in multiple major cities over the weekend, so too have the range of grievances voiced – with some calling for greater democracy and freedom.
Among the thousands of protesters, hundreds have even called for the removal of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who for nearly three years has overseen a strategy of mass-testing, brute-force lockdowns, enforced quarantine and digital tracking that has come at a devastating human and economic cost.