‘Xi Jinping, step down’During Saturday night’s protest in Shanghai – China’s biggest city and a global financial hub in the east of the country – people were heard openly shouting slogans such as “Xi Jinping, step down” and “Communist party, step down”. Some held blank white banners, while other lit candles and laid flowers for the victims in Urumqi. Such demands are an unusual sight within China, where any direct criticism of the government and the president can result in harsh penalties. But analysts say the government appears to have drastically underestimated growing discontent towards the zero-Covid approach, a policy inextricably linked to Xi Jinping who recently pledged there would be no swerving from it.
- Shocking protests present huge challenge for China’s leaders