Millions of Chinese citizens are taking to the streets in various cities across China demanding an immediate end to Communist rule.
Citizens across the country were angry by the CCP’s COVID restrictions, which had prevented firefighters from reaching the scene of a fire at an apartment block in in Urumqi. “This is people past their breaking point,” tweeted CNN’s Selina Wang on Sunday.
Gatestoneinstitute.org reports: Also on Sunday, the Telegraph‘s Simina Mistreanu reported on Twitter that a crowd numbering at least 100 began marching toward Tiananmen Square, in the heart of the Chinese capital. Police, however, stopped demonstrators after only a few blocks, at the Liangma River. “The fact that they intended to protest at Tiananmen,” she wrote, “is wild.”
Mistreanu is right. Observers say the weekend disturbances — China was quiet on Monday — are the most significant since mass demonstrations rocked the Chinese capital and some 370 other cities in the Beijing Spring of 1989. In many respects, however, the ongoing protests are more dangerous to China’s Communist Party.
As Charles Burton, a China scholar at the Ottawa-based Macdonald-Laurier Institute, told Gatestone, even the 1989 Tiananmen Movement “did not challenge the fundamentals of Party rule over China.” Protestors then only wanted hardliners like Premier Li Peng removed to make way for “democratic reforms;” in other words, “Party-mediated democratization of China,” as Burton termed it.
Today, however, many Chinese want to get rid of the Party. As Mistreanu reported, the demonstrators she witnessed in Beijing were chanting “We want freedom, equality, democracy, rule of law.” “We don’t want dictatorship,” they shouted.
The weekend’s demonstrations also resemble the protests in 1949. That year, Mao Zedong defeated Chiang Kai-shek’s ruling Nationalists. Then, Chiang commanded far superior armies than the Communists, but his regime nonetheless quickly fell.
Why did that happen? Chiang’s Nationalists had, the acclaimed China historian Yu Ying-shih once told me, “lost people’s hearts.” The CCP, as the Chinese Communist Party is informally known, has now lost hearts across the country.
China, throughout the Communist period, has witnessed demonstrations, but most of them are, as Burton noted, “highly localized” and “directed at malfeasance, corruption, and incompetence of lower level Communist functionaries.”
Now, however, the anger is directed at the Party itself. In short, as evident from the spontaneous demonstrations of the weekend, the Chinese people have had enough of Xi Jinping and CCP rule. They recognize the fundamental fact that the Party’s system does not work.