History unfolding in China; Xi Jinping orders crackdown 

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, November 28: Former Secretary of the State of the US Mike Pampeo would most often meet the Chinese dissidents when he was in the office. Pampeo has called for the US to stand with the protesting people of China. The US has also asked its citizens in China to stock up for the next 14 days, while anticipating that the protests may turn into a wildfire.

By Monday evening, multiple reports on the basis of the videos shared by the protestors showed that China’s President Xi Jinping had ordered a crackdown against the mass protests. The security personnel were seen in the multiple videos on the internet marching into the university campuses, which have emerged as the nerve centers against Xi regime in China. Reports suggested that the universities were being shut down, and the students forced to the nearest railway stations.

But Xi’s crackdown may not be easy to bring the calm in China, for students aren’t alone protesting, as labourers and farmers have also joined the mass protest, which is stated to have spread across the country. William Hurst, Chong Hua Professor of Chinese Studies, argued that there could be a coming together of several of the unrests brewing in China since the brutal suppression of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest, including labour, rural, student unrests, coinciding with the popular anger against urban misgovernance, besides systematic political dissent.

“Each of these has usually been disaggregated locally and separated from the others. Labour politics has seen millions of laid-off (Xiagang) SOE workers take to the streets, as well as many hundreds of thousands of their counterparts among migrant workers in export-processing manufacturing industries,” stated Hurst in a series of tweets on the Chinese protests. He added that such protests were isolated and didn’t find common grounds earlier.

He argued that Xi would hope for the protests to fade away soon and may avoid a brutal crackdown for fear of the global backlash. But it has become evident that the authoritarian regime of China has finally failed against the power of the mobile phone with internet, which is pushing videos globally in seconds. Multiple reports showed that there were widespread protests in front of the Chinese embassies in the US, Canada, and the European countries. The UK has also reacted sharply over the protests, saying that the people in China definitely are not happy.

Sridhar Vembu, CEO of ZOHO, shared his experience of interacting with the Chinese people in the past to state that history is unfolding in China. “Zero Covid policy is causing civil unrest in China. It is starting to look like Tiananmen Square of 1989, which I followed closely as a student in IIT. Later that year I met students from Peking University in Princeton and heard some first-hand accounts. We are watching history unfold,” tweeted Vembu.

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