Using overseas servers and cryptic language to evade censorship and social networking… Three trump cards in the “blank check movement” to corner the Chinese government.
The "Zero Corona" policy is too severe, and the protests "Xi Jinping must step down! protests erupt throughout the country, possibly leading to a second Tiananmen Square protest.
The flames of anger that rose in the countryside quickly spread throughout China. In the heart of China’s dictatorship, angry shouts of “Xi Jinping must step down! in the heart of China’s dictatorship, was a bizarre scene that foreshadowed a “second Tiananmen Square protest.
The demonstration was triggered by a fire that broke out in a high-rise residential building in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on November 24. Residents’ anger exploded when the lockdown delayed rescue efforts and resulted in at least a dozen casualties.
The residents ran out of money and food after the lockdown continued for more than 100 days without a support system in place. Still, rations were not forthcoming, and violent protests broke out. Citizens across the country who saw this sympathized with the situation, and a movement to hold up white paper as a symbol of inconvenience spread” (Professor Satoshi Tomisaka of Takushoku University’s Institute for International Affairs).
When we turned on the TV, we saw foreigners watching the World Cup without wearing masks, but we were forced to lock down our entire community just because one person was infected. They are forced to take PCR tests every day and cannot even go shopping without a negative certificate. According to Professor Tomisaka, the Chinese health authorities “have already changed their corona policy as of June.
In November, they announced an easing measure called ‘Article 20 Measures,’ and notified us that we must identify and isolate each individual. However, local politicians are not listening. This is because they are afraid that the infection will spread and they will be forced to take responsibility. The provinces have a weak medical system and the only course of action is lockdown. There are very few voices in the country calling for President Xi Jinping to step down. Most are dissatisfied with the zero-corona policy, and most are saying, ‘Stop the lockdown. If the zero-corona policy is reviewed, the demonstrations will stop. It’s a different dimension from Tiananmen Square.”
No citizens are trying to overthrow the government under a super-surveillance system – that’s why.
Journalist Taibo Ibuki, an expert on cyber security, explains.
In China, smartphone apps such as Alipay have penetrated the population to the point where it is difficult to live without them. The government has control over who was at the demonstrations, using data taken from the apps, surveillance camera networks, and facial recognition AI. That is why police officers will visit you at home just for ‘liking’ a problematic person on a social networking site. This time, too, they tracked the protesters in Shenzhen and stopped the subway going to the meeting place to prevent this from happening.
But the development of social networking services, which are subject to censorship, is “one of the trump cards of the blanket movement that was not present in the Tiananmen Square protests,” according to Chinese journalist Zhou Laiyu.
Information about the demonstrations is quickly deleted by the authorities, but it is spreading even faster than that. This time, the government made some universities move up their winter break to allow students to return home. This is probably because they are aware of the student protests that spread across the country during the Tiananmen Square massacre.”
VPN connections (virtual private network), which are out of the reach of the authorities, could also be a trump card.
Twitter and Instagram are banned in China, but VPN connections are available. The third trump card is Anonymous. It has long been critical of China, and the Shanghai police and other authorities have been hacked, leaking information on foreign ministry spokespeople and others. They have also responded to the Blank Slate movement and have begun attacking Chinese government websites,” Ibuki said.
The anger of 1.4 billion people is not easily defused.
From FRIDAY, December 23, 2022
PHOTO： Reuters/Afro (1st photo) AP/Afro