In a rare protest against the Chinese government and President Xi Jinping — banners against the zero Covid policy were put up in Beijing’s Haidan province. The incident which occurred just days before the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China has left Xi Jinping red-faced.
A banner had a strong language for Chinese President Xi Jinping, terming him as a ‘dictator’ and ‘traitor’.
“Xi Jinping, a Dictator and Traitor”
According to a tweet from a Beijing-based journalist, the banners had slogans opposing China’s Zero Covid policy.
According to media reports, one poster read: “No Covid test, we want to eat. No restrictions, we want freedom. No lies, we want dignity. No cultural revolution, we want reform. No leaders, we want votes. By not being slaves, we can be citizens”.
Another banner said, “Go on strike at school and work, remove dictator and national traitor Xi Jinping”.
The banners were removed by the authorities after photos and videos went viral on social media.
Protests in China Against zero-Covid Policy
China has seen one of the harshest lockdowns ever since the first Covid-19 case was reported in the country.
Several countries eased down Covid restrictions during the mid or later half of 2021. Presently, China is the sole nation to still follow harsh city lockdowns and strict civil restrictions.
The policy has been facing criticism from the general public and intellectuals in the country due to severe day-to-day restrictions. It has also negatively impacted the economy of the South-Asian country.
China’s economy barely grew from January to March this year as authorities battled the Omicron variant. The urban unemployment rate reached 6.1% in April, the highest level since February 2020. Unemployment among those aged 16 to 24 reached a new high of 19.9% in July.
Despite the outrage, the communist regime has failed to provide any reprieve to the general public.
The banners in Beijing are the first in a long time, when Xi Jinping has been directly criticised in the country. This does not bode well for the Chinese leader who is aspiring for a 3rd Presidential term.