‘Since Tiananmen’

Over the weekend, in Shanghai, a man strode unimpeded down what looked to be a cordoned-off street. Someone (him, I think) shouted "Communist Party!" to a large crowd gathered for the occasion. "Step down!" the crowd responded, in unison. The next prompt: "Xi Jinping!" The crowd's response: "Step down!" Arrests were made. The following day, crowds gathered in the streets again, this time to call for the release of those detained the previous evening. Similar scenes were observed across the cou

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4 thoughts on “‘Since Tiananmen’

  1. I am not sure a crackdown need be a bloody repeat of Tiananmen. China’s police state capabilities are far greater and subtler now. Participants in the protests are on surveillance video, facial-recognition systems are identifying the ones who doffed masks, phone geolocation places them there, and their communications are monitored. Leaders, organizers, and speakers can be snatched up and jailed, and the others can receive threatening “we know you were protesting” messages and placed under watch by their neighborhood, punished at work/school and via social score, movements restricted via health app. At the same time, the CCP can throw some bones – ritual punishment of some officials, brief relaxation of some lockdown measures, etc.

  2. Xi has a lot more patience to get what he wants than your average dictator; still digesting Hong Kong (with very little Western attention left after covid and ukraine). His lockdown policies are absurd but it is an open question whether he ever really intended to give up the absolute control the pandemic opportunistically provided.
    All movement, even food and medicine, closely monitored and regulated – this is an improvement on the existing digital tracking and “social credit system”.
    I guess the wealth and brain drain will, for a little while longer, continue out of China and go into propping up our dysfunctional system.

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