Even as protests rock the world’s most populous nation, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took time to promote its “thriving” economy. Extremely rare civil unrest is spreading, and the boasts of the authoritarian regime seem nothing more than window dressing.
State propaganda mouthpiece Xinhua News declared the nation’s economy is “opening up” under the government-controlled “optimized business” environment.
The outlet asserted that Beijing’s protection of legitimate interests and rights of foreign investors spurred the “strong appeal” to conduct business in the country.
The backdrop to this mass deception, however, cannot be lost on the average Chinese citizen. As the Wall Street Journal reported, Apple iPhone supplier Foxconn has seen worker riots over “harsh conditions,” and security is noticeably tightening around previous protest sites.
A spectacle of mass protests erupted in Shanghai and Beijing over an unusual weekend over the country’s continued strict COVID-19 protocols that persist in disrupting everyday lives.
Protests are erupting across China as people have had enough of the draconian zero Covid lockdowns. This is what eventually happens when people power mobilises against oppressive governments that take away freedoms and human dignity. pic.twitter.com/NsZgZTxEYT
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) November 27, 2022
Chinese citizens expressed their disapproval of President Xi Jinping on dozens of university campuses across the nation. This came in stark contrast to the suppression of dissent and free expression China has reeled under during the decade of Xi’s rule.
Police descended onto protest sites Monday, asking to check people’s phones. Authorities searched for virtual private networks (VPNs) and the popular app Telegram, which were used by demonstrators to organize the weekend uprising.
The public’s opinion of the state’s draconian COVID-19 measures is clear. And it comes as record numbers are infected despite restrictions that locked down entire cities and even led to starvation.
These facts, however, were inconsequential to Xinhua. The outlet glowingly reported China accounted for more than 30% of the world’s economic growth in 2021.
It even boasted that the average urban citizen now enjoys an annual salary equivalent to just under $15,000 in U.S. dollars. Within the U.S. itself, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average is $55,640 per year.
No matter to Beijing. The communists continue to tout “free trade” and a legal system that stimulates growth while ignoring blatant abuses of even the most basic freedoms their counterparts in the Western world still take for granted.