The Chinese Communist Party regime is cracking down on peaceful protests across China, in which average people have vocally and courageously opposed the government's insane, anti-scientific and cruel lockdown policies. These policies are so draconian that many people have been physically locked into their homes and apartments -- resulting in a widely-publicized fire that killed nearly a dozen trapped apartment-dwellers, including young children, in the western city of Urumqi in Xinjiang region (also the epicenter of the government's active genocide against ethnic and religious minorities). This horrific incident sparked an outpouring of anger and frustration rarely seen among the Chinese citizenry. The regime has loosened some of the restrictions, but they're also hunting down some of the protesters using the full, exploitive power of a vast surveillance state. And to the shock of nobody, they're weaponizing COVID-era 'tracking' tools in the process, as reported by the Wall Street Journal:
Police fanned out across China’s big cities Tuesday in an effort to prevent fresh protests, as security services harnessed the country’s pervasive surveillance system to hunt down participants in mass demonstrations calling for an end to strict Covid curbs and criticizing national leaders...Chinese authorities appear to be preventing fresh protests from taking root by deploying large numbers of police at the sites of planned protests in major cities. On Tuesday, a planned protest in Shenzhen was canceled after large numbers of police turned up at several locations in the city, according to messages on social media reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Similarly, protests on Monday were canceled in Beijing and Shanghai... [CCP authorities] appear to be using messaging apps, social media and cellphone data to track down those who are organizing and participating in protests. A university student in Beijing who had participated in Sunday’s protest in the city said his school had been contacted by police. The school told him police had used mobile-phone data to track his movements to the vicinity of the protests. He said he had been asked to write a declaration explaining why he was present in the area at the time...
The student said the police told him to take the comment down in the group chat and never do it again. “The Chinese government’s control over free speech has reached an unprecedented level,” he said...Under leader Xi Jinping, China has expanded its ability to track the movements and activities of its citizens. While this didn’t stop the protests from breaking out, China’s security apparatus has begun to lean on it to prevent them from spreading. Besides hundreds of millions of cameras, some equipped with facial-recognition software, that line city streets, the police also can access detailed mobile phone and social-media data that shows people’s locations at a given time. The government has enhanced these capabilities over the past two years as part of contact-tracing efforts to control the spread of the virus...“These technologies, which were supposed to facilitate anti-Covid efforts, turned into shackles being put on us,” Ms. Wang said.
BBC Statement on Ed Lawrence pic.twitter.com/wedDetCtpF— BBC News Press Team (@BBCNewsPR) November 27, 2022
CNN interviewed two Muslims living in Turkey whose relatives were killed in the Urumqi blaze lamenting that they can't come home to attend their loved ones' funerals without risking arrest. 'Orwellian' doesn't quite begin to describe some of the dystopian abuses at play in this whole matter. The Biden administration has been exceptionally cautious in its reaction to China's ghastly policies and the bubbling protest movement. We've mostly seen bland statements and careful, noncommittal stepping:
Reporter: "What is the president's reaction when he hears protesters in China chant 'freedom' or 'Xi Jinping step down'?"— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) November 28, 2022
Kirby: "The president's not going to speak for protesters."
Reporter: "So there's no reaction?"
Kirby: "These protesters are speaking for themselves." pic.twitter.com/Q8Rg0QOx9J
On one hand, the US must be conscientious about the appearance of America being behind organic protest movements or uprisings in authoritarian countries. On the other hand, authoritarian governments often lie about this anyway, so perhaps its best to told America's blowtorch of freedom and human rights high and unapologetically stand up for what's right. Leaders of pro-freedom movements in other parts of the world often rely on such support for inspiration and sustenance. That was Rep. Mike Gallagher's view of it on my radio program yesterday, and Sen. Mitch McConnell and other Republicans made similar points in critique of Biden's tepidness. This also draws quite a contrast with the Biden approach:
The Chinese Communist Party’s “Zero COVID” policy is draconian, unscientific, and represents a gross violation of individual rights. The Chinese people are right to protest the maniacal impulse to exercise total control of the population which is the hallmark of the CCP regime. pic.twitter.com/pTMzG92u0U— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) November 29, 2022
China is equipping its nuclear submarines w/ missiles that can reach our homeland, while the Biden admin is canceling our nuclear-tipped sea-launched missile—against the advice of top military officers.— John Kennedy (@SenJohnKennedy) November 28, 2022
Why are we scaling back our nuclear capabilities while China builds its up?