China’s Youth Demand Freedom, Then Disappear
Cao Zhixin is a youthful female who has become a symbol of defiance in China after participating in a memorial ceremony in Beijing for the casualties of a fatal apartment blaze in Urumqi.
Along with eight others, she was arrested by the authorities and later accused of “inciting trouble.”
This was a part of the extensive anti-government demonstrations that took place on November 26-27, 2020, where citizens were protesting against the mandatory lockdowns, extensive surveillance, and compulsory testing imposed by China’s zero-Covid policy.
These protests were documented in 68 demonstrations across 31 cities in China and participants were arrested by the police using surveillance camera footage and facial recognition technology.
Human rights specialists claim that this unplanned “Blank Paper movement” has rekindled China’s suppressed rights defense movement and can be seen as a resurgence of China’s rights movement.
Despite a decade-long suppression of civil society under Xi Jinping’s regime, the growing number of voices demanding freedom shows ongoing dissatisfaction with Xi’s rule.