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'Overthrow the dictator': Did Beijing just witness a rare protest against Chinese President Xi Jinping?

'Overthrow the dictator': Did Beijing just witness a rare protest against Chinese President Xi Jinping?

On Thursday, various photos circulating on social media showed posters and banners on Sitong Bridge overpass in Beijing against the authoritarian rule of Jinping, who is set to get the record third term during the National Congress starting this Sunday, October 16. 

Just days before the key 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, a rare protest reportedly took place in China against President XI Jinping and his zero-Covid policy, the toughest in the world. On Thursday, various photos circulating on social media showed posters and banners on Sitong Bridge overpass in Beijing against the authoritarian rule of Jinping, who is set to get the record third term during the National Congress starting this Sunday, October 16. 

The banners hanging on the bridge demanded freedom from Covid lockdowns and reforms in the country. One banner even goes to the extent of calling Xi Jinping a dictator and demands his removal. "Say no to Covid test, yes to food. No to lockdown, yes to freedom. No to lies, yes to dignity. No to the cultural revolution, yes to reform. No to the great leader, yes to vote. Don’t be a slave, be a citizen,” reads one banner as per CNN. 

The other says: "Go on strike, remove the dictator and national traitor Xi Jinping.” 

Member of the European Parliament Reinhard Bütikofer also tweeted about the protest in China. He said the protest was against Xi Jinping, which is rare in China. "Protest in #Beijing against Xi Jinping personally: "Overthrow the dictator and thief of the country Xi Jinping". "No PCR tests but foods, no lockdown but freedom, no lies but dignity, no Cultural Revolution but reforms, no figureheads but ballots. Don't be a slave but a citizen"," he wrote on Twitter. 

While the social media account suggests the protest did take place in Beijing, CNN, which visited the spot on Thursday, did not find any protesters or banners on the bridge. However, it said that security personnel were on the overpass and in the vicinity. The security personnel were also spotted patrolling every overpass, according to CNN. 

China has adopted a very strict lockdown policy to prevent any further spread of Covid. Some videos on social media show people locked up not only in their houses but in jail-like cells built to isolate infected patients. There have been videos showing people being picked up from airports and public places and locked up in enclosures. These actions of the authoritative government have irked the people who, after almost three years of restrictions, want to run a normal life. 
 

Published on: Oct 13, 2022, 7:12 PM IST
Posted by: Saurabh Sharma, Oct 13, 2022, 7:01 PM IST