The Chinese government is hunting down a lone protester who has climbed the Sitong Bridge to protest against the zero-Covid policy and against President Xi Jinping.
The Chinese government is hunting down a lone protester who climbed the Sitong Bridge in Beijing’s Haidian district with two large banners against zero-Covid policy and in favor of the overthrow of President Xi Jinping.
Chinese authorities are on the hunt for the identity of the mysterious protester: they are trying to trace him through videos and photos posted online during the week. The images were spread in a few hours on social networks and on the WeChat application used by most of the Chinese population.
The man protested alone last Thursday, a few days before the historic Communist Party congress during which Xi Jinping is expected to receive his third term as head of the political faction.
During the demonstration on the Sitong bridge, the man set fire to some tires of a car and chanted some slogans against the government with a megaphone. According to the international press, a person was arrested for the events on Thursday, but it is not clear whether or not he is the mysterious protester.
Online there are many citizens who praise what is done by the “wanted” man. The authorities would be looking for confirmation of the identity of the protester and would be focusing on a Chinese researcher and physicist from a village in the northern province of Heilongjang.
The researcher had in fact published an anti-government manifesto on the popular research site ResearchGate. The document was later removed, but the scholar has since released other copies.
In the document, the scientist called for a huge strike and acts of civil disobedience such as destroying stations for the analysis of Covid tests. This is to “prevent the dictator from continuing his repression, in order to allow China to embark on the path of democracy and freedom”.
After the demonstration, some Chinese gathered on Twitter to discuss the man’s identity and to express gratitude for the blatant gesture. “You are my hero and you have my respect, even if I don’t know you” wrote one civilian. “I hope you can come back safe and sound.”
After the online solidarity demonstrations, the government shut down several WeChat accounts and deleted the photos and videos of the protest.