The Karnataka government's health department has put its healthcare infrastructure across the state on alert mode following reports of a surge in respiratory illnesses among children in China.
Less than three months after Xi Jinping secured the historic third term as the Chinese leader at the 20th National Congress, the “Blank Paper Revolution” over the zero Covid policy, has hit the second-largest economy in the country.
Writing for the InsideOver publication, columnist Federico Giuliani argued that the Chinese President is facing an unprecedented crisis.
“The world is keenly watching the Unthinkable collapse of Communist China as analysts believe that if Xi Jinping does not give up the Zero-COVID Clearing policy, it may lead to major changes, and China is in the midst of a major turning point,” he said.
China has faced widespread criticism over the latest crack-down on demonstrations held against stringent Covid policies deployed by the government since the start of the pandemic.
Over the weekend, thousands of people in Shanghai, China’s biggest city and financial centre, began publicly protesting the government’s strict Covid-19 measures and denouncing the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) authoritarian rule, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).
University students across the country gathered on their campuses to demonstrate, and that night, hundreds of people in Wuhan, where Covid-19 originated, Chengdu, Beijing, and other large cities, took to the streets.
The protest in Shanghai was in response to a November 24 fire at an apartment building in Urumqi, the capital of China’s northwest Xinjiang region, in which at least 10 people were killed.
Giuliani said blank sheets of paper have become a symbol of a mass uprising that China is witnessing against the Communist-ruled strict zero-COVID policy. “These blank sheets of paper have become iconic during the protests, which many now refer to as the “Blank White Paper Revolution,” he said.
Protesters hold up blank A4 papers to show how freedom of speech is lacking in China, Giuliani added.
Writing for The Washington Post newspaper, columnist John Pomfret said if the protests continue, Xi will order a crackdown and it will probably work.
On Monday, a key meeting of the political and legal affairs organ of the CCP said political and legal organs should resolutely crack down on infiltration and sabotage activities by hostile forces and illegal and criminal acts that disrupt social order, state media outlet Global Times reported.
According to Pomfret, things have changed substantially in China since the last time protests directed at the central government occurred in so many places simultaneously.
Pomfret contended that Beijing has “more means to suppress protests than existed in 1989 or 1999.”
He added that Beijing has built a digital panopticon and social control system unrivalled by even the dystopian visions like English writers Aldous Huxley or George Orwell.