On the 24th November 2022, there was a fire in Urumqi, Xinjiang, which killed 10 people. This has sparked protests in China against the Zero Covid tolerance policies. This was because the fire engine could not get to the people’s house in time due to the lockdown in the area, as covid cases have risen there. These protests have been very dramatic, leading to clashes between the police and protesters. One such protest happened over the weekend, with hundreds of protesters clashing with the police, since the accident was finally the tipping point at which people started to protest.


The protests have been very dramatic, with people being arrested by the police and other protestors holding up blank sheets of paper (to protest against Chinese censorship) and shouting that Xi Jinping (who recently received his 3rd term) should step down, as well as the Chinese Communist Party. This suggests that these protests are a lot bigger, in terms of scale as well, and means that these protests were about more than just the covid policy - they were about the whole government as well.


But what does this mean for the future of China?


This is not the first protest that has happened, with some recent protests happening in Hong Kong, over democracy from 2019-2020. In the past, many of China’s protests have been stomped out by the government, and the protests were promptly dealt with, partly due to the censorship in China, and the fact that some websites from outside of China are blocked in China as well. However, these protests could spark some change in China’s strict regime, however such change is probably unlikely, as seen in past examples, but as the world becomes increasingly connected and more Western ideologies flow into the country, perhaps things could change for China.