China's anti-covid protests may be due to people's distrust against Xi Jinping's regime: Ex-Australian PM
The unprecedented protests against the controversial zero-COVID policy being held in different cities in China may also be due to Chinese people's ''distrust'' of President Xi Jinping's regime, Australia's former prime minister Kevin Rudd said on Monday.
Rudd also pointed out that the current protests appear to be about more than just Covid measures.
The protests, which came nearly a month after President Xi was elected as the ruling party's top leader for a third consecutive term, have spread to Shanghai, Beijing and many parts of the country in the last few days against the stringent policy under which cities and localities are kept under prolonged lockdowns and isolations.
''There is an argument that this is now a metaphor for a much border set of, shall we say, distrust on the parts of the Chinese people about different aspects about what Xi Jinping’s regime is doing. The key question is what does the regime do next,'' Rudd told BBC.
Since 1989, when Beijing's Tiananmen Square became the focus for large-scale protests which were crushed by China's Communist rulers, demonstrations have been rare, said Rudd, who is regarded as an expert on Chinese studies.
There have been occasional protests over labour rights and land disputes, along with sporadic demonstrations over human rights that have been suppressed, he said.
''But this seems to be general, seems to be across multiple cities at once, it doesn’t seem to be centrally coordinated - it seems to be spontaneous,'' Rudd said.
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