Even the MSM are taking notice now, Insty snarks: “Xi’s gonna get it”.
(paywalled: cached copy https://archive.ph/Dwbg0 )
Chinese protesters on Sunday called for Xi Jinping to resign as anti-lockdown marches swept the nation.
Hundreds of people took to the streets of major cities as anger with the government’s “zero-Covid” policies boiled over into demands for regime change.
“Down with the Chinese Communist Party! Down with Xi Jinping,” protesters chanted on the streets of Shanghai in the most direct challenge to Beijing’s leadership since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
In Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged, large crowds pulled down metal barriers meant to quarantine neighbourhoods.
Around 300 people were surrounded by police in Beijing as they chanted “we are with Xinjiang!”, a reference to a deadly fire in the region where Covid-lockdowns allegedly hampered rescue efforts.
When the protesters were warned by police not to chant against lockdown they began singing “we want lockdowns” and “I want to do more Covid tests”.
In Chengdu, protesters chanted “give me liberty or give me death!” and “I want human rights!”
Demonstrators returned to the streets of Shanghai, China’s biggest city, early on Sunday morning for a silent vigil. Many held up blank sheets of paper, a jibe at the intense suppression of dissent.
State broadcasters have been editing footage of the Qatar World Cup to remove scenes of maskless crowds they fear will add to growing fury at Covid restrictions.
The countrywide protests on Sunday are the culmination of a week of unrest that included massive demonstrations in the suppressed region of Xinjiang, riots at an iPhone factory in central China, and student marches on the campuses of some of China’s most prestigious universities.
China has seen small-scale protests in recent years often tied to issues like pollution or land grabs.
However, the anti-lockdown marches have united a much larger cross-section of society.
Students at Beijing’s elite Tsinghua university, the alma mater of Mr Xi, on Sunday sang the national anthem in a peaceful protest.
“If we don’t speak out due to fear,” one student said, “our people will be disappointed. As a Tsingua student, I’d regret this for the rest of my life.”
Student protests are considered especially sensitive in China. The Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, in which at least 1,000 people are believed to have been killed, started out as a student-led march for democracy and freedom of speech.
Matthew Henderson believes it may be the beginning of the end for Xi’ s rule.
Now, Covid infection levels across China have broken previous records, and once again Shanghai is at the eye of the storm. In the past couple of days, protests have grown, mourning a fire in a partly locked-down Xinjiang tower block in which 10 residents are thought to have died. Shanghai protesters took up their plight as a symbol of wider Communist oppression, demanding freedom and the lifting of lockdown not just for Xinjiang but all of China, and the overthrow of the Party and Xi himself.
These events come only a month after the Party Congress at which Xi consolidated his autocratic grip on power. They could well indicate that he may not be able to maintain it as long as he hopes. Lately, he has talked about “people-friendly policies” and the need to promote “common prosperity”. But a tipping point seems to have been reached at which the citizens of China have had enough.
Xi began his decade in supreme power by paying lip service to China’s benign role, where cooperation between nations would bring “win-win” benefits to all. In this rose-tinted mist, his intelligence and influence apparat exploited Western venality and ignorance to achieve widespread penetration of liberal political elites and their key national infrastructure.
Xi’s aggressive handling of Covid-19, however, contrary to the false projection of personal victory over the virus, has alienated not only the Chinese people but democracies and their partners across the world. “Win-win” saccharine has given way to “wolf warrior” aggression backed up by military expansionism. International concerns about Chinese ambitions have multiplied, save among collaborators such as Russia, Syria and North Korea.
Xi wishes only to win an existential Marxian struggle with everything that could threaten the CCP. Hong Kong has been broken on his wheel. His totalitarian “China dream” looks increasingly nightmarish. The citizens of all mainland China – not just Xinjiang and Tibet – are his victims as well. More than ever, as they face an inevitable crackdown, their interests are ours; a fact on which responsible political and corporate China strategies should be founded.
And if you want a video cast with footage from many protest scences, here are pioneering China vloggers “serpentza” and his sidekick. The video is “age-restricted” on YouTube, so I can’t embed it. Is this YT being running dogs [running turtleboys?] for Xi, or (I lean toward this explanation) is it because the frequent obscenities being yelled by protestors, of the “F*** the CCP!”, “F*** Xi!”, and “F*** your mother!” variety.
“Serpentza”, a South African expat, lived in China for over a decade as an English teacher (seeing no opportunities in his IT field in his native South Africa) and is very familiar with the culture, as is his sidekick. They say it’s not that unusual in China to see protests against very specific grievances, like this crooked official or that contractor who left his buyers in the lurch, but protests against the CCP, let alone its leadership, are normally taboo. This taboo has been breached now, with the apartment building fire where 10 people died who were locked in because of forced COVID isolation acting as the match on the kindling.
Meanwhile, Insty comments on Apple restricting “AirDrop from everyone” to 10 minutes (apparently under Chinese pressure, as protestors were using the feature for communication)
I’m writing this blog post on an Apple machine (have been a Mac user since graduate school) but this is making me sick to my stomach. Alas, none of the major tech companies have clean hands in this regard — though their level of sanctimony seems to be directly proportional to their willingness to prostitute themselves for better or continued access to certain markets, and Apple under Tim Cook has been pegging the meter. See also, Sam the Fried Bankman poking fun at the suckers who fell for his woke BS.
Gad Saad on the Twitter purchase from an evolutionary theory perspective. The “costly signaling” principle he elaborates on is also known as the “handicap principle” or “Zahavian principle“, after the husband and wife team of Israeli ornithologists and evolutionary biologists. Amotz and Avishag Zahavi. The opening paragraph of the Wikipedia entry on the handicap principle is actually a pretty decent one-paragraph summary.
The handicap principle is a hypothesis proposed by the biologist Amotz Zahavi to explain how evolution may lead to “honest” or reliable signalling between animals which have an obvious motivation to bluff or deceive each other. It suggests that costly signals must be reliable signals, costing the signaller something that could not be afforded by an individual with less of a particular trait. For example, in sexual selection, the theory suggests that animals of greater biological fitness signal this status through handicapping behaviour, or morphology that effectively lowers this quality. The central idea is that sexually selected traits function like conspicuous consumption, signalling the ability to afford to squander a resource. Receivers then know that the signal indicates quality, because inferior-quality signallers are unable to produce such wastefully extravagant signals.