A student leader who survived the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests says Xi Jinping is showing a ‘rare display of weakness’ by relaxing the zero-COVID policy

Chinese language President Xi Jinping.Xinhua/Rao Aimin by way of Getty Photographs

  • Zhou Fengsuo was a Tiananmen Sq. protester who was jailed in China for a 12 months.

  • He mentioned he thinks Xi’s willingness to roll again zero-COVID measures is an indication of weak point.

  • Zhou mentioned he was in tears watching younger protesters take to the streets to voice their anger.

A person who helped arrange the Tiananmen Sq. protests in 1989 and survived the Chinese language authorities’s brutal crackdown says Chinese language President Xi Jinping is exhibiting a “uncommon show of weak point.”

Zhou Fengsuo informed Newsweek that Xi’s willingness to stroll again on parts of his zero-COVID coverage alerts that he’s not infallible. Zhou, a Tsinghua College scholar protester, was imprisoned by the Chinese language authorities and despatched to a re-education camp for his position within the 1989 Tiananmen Sq. protests.

“It is arduous to foretell the result of the protests now. However we’re already seeing some loosening of the zero-COVID coverage, which is a uncommon show of weak point for Xi Jinping,” Zhou informed Newsweek.

Commenting on the protests — a uncommon sight below Xi’s rule — Zhou mentioned the scholars and youths who’re railing towards the Chinese language authorities are “going by means of a baptism of political activism” and changing into “masters of their very own destiny.”

“As a survivor of the Tiananmen bloodbath, I’m in tears whereas watching the protesters chanting ‘finish CCP’ in Shanghai, the birthplace of CCP,” Zhou mentioned.

Through the Tiananmen Sq. protests, lots of of Chinese language college students had been killed when the Chinese language authorities rolled in tanks to suppress dissent. The Chinese language authorities has by no means absolutely acknowledged the protests or revealed a demise toll.

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Zhou was allowed to depart the nation in 1995 and now lives in New York, per his Twitter account.

Zhou informed Newsweek that amid the persevering with protests, Xi’s maintain over the Communist Get together seems to stay absolute.

“Xi Jinping nonetheless has full management inside the CCP. However his tight management additionally signifies that the system cannot take care of surprises as a result of his underlings aren’t prepared to take initiatives with out specific directions from Xi,” Zhou mentioned.

“Moreover, the zero-COVID system is exhausted already. However at this stage, he’s nonetheless entrenched,” Zhou added.

Some COVID restrictions have been lifted in Guangzhou and Chongqing following widespread protests in each main Chinese language metropolis, together with its capital, Beijing. At these protests, folks had been seen carrying sheets of clean paper — a brand new image of defiance towards the federal government. And whereas lots of the protests appeared to have quietened down over the weekend, there have been nonetheless clashes between protesters and the police in Guangzhou on Tuesday evening.

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