Blank Paper Revolution: China Is Set to Undergo Major Changes

The “Blank Paper Revolution” rocked mainland China less than 100 days after the re-election of Xi Jinping during the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in October. The uprising has focused in a way not seen since the Communists took control of the mainland in 1949, and Xi is facing an unprecedented crisis. The world is keenly watching the “Unthinkable” collapse of Communist China as analysts believe that if Xi Jinping does not give up the “Zero-COVID Clearing” policy, it may lead to major changes, and China is in the midst of a major turning point.

Blank sheets of paper have become a symbol of a mass uprising which China is witnessing against the Communist-ruled strict Zero-COVID policy. These blank sheets of paper have become iconic during the protests, which many now refer to as the “Blank White Paper Revolution”. Over the weekend, thousands of demonstrators in Shanghai, Beijing, Urumqi, Wuhan, Chengdu, and other major cities protested against the CCP’s enforced lockdown, mandatory nucleic acid testing, mask orders, and other regulations, chanting political demands such as “Communist Party step down”. Protesters hold up blank A4 papers to show how freedom of speech is lacking in China.

As of 28 November, protests have spread to Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Zhengzhou, Chongqing, Nanjing, Wuhan, Chengdu, Hefei, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xi’an, Urumqi, Zhejiang, Dali, Xiamen, Zhuzhou At least 18 provinces and cities, including Beijing, Xuzhou, and more than 79 institutions of higher learning, including Beijing Tsinghua University, Nanjing Institute of Communication, Shanghai Fudan University School of Journalism, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong Science and Technology Universities and others responded together.

AFP reported that Chinese protesters devised countless creative ways to express their dissatisfaction with the government and the anti-epidemic zero policy, including holding up blank paper, using complex word games, and other innovative ways to evade censorship, express anger and support protest activity. The protests in mainland China were sparked by a deadly fire in Urumqi, Xinjiang, that killed several people in apartments, a disaster partly caused by lockdowns imposed by authorities. Regarding the death toll, the official report stated that there were ten people, but local people reported at least 40 people. The fire in Urumqi shocked many people. Especially the residents of big cities faced the same situation. The fire exits and the entire road were blocked.

The current situation has prompted many young people to think independently, especially regarding their interests. The anti-zero-COVID campaign coalesced with the rising sense that Communist China had become responsible for a loss of hope, freedom, and wealth.

Nikkei” published an article that: Xi Jinping’s biggest crisis in the past ten years is facing a humiliating retreat. The report pointed out that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) seems to have made another mistake, trusting the repression machine too much to implement the blockade. Unlike the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989, we are now encountering an entirely different kind of mass protest, this anti-blockade protest that is nationwide and directed at the top leadership of the CCP and its policies. Such political defiance is unprecedented in the post-Tiananmen era. Some protesters are now clamouring that they should step down, openly challenging the authority of Xi Jinping and the Communist Party. The report believes that Xi himself has bet his authority on the zero-clearing policy, and abandoning the zero-clearing policy now can be regarded as a “humiliating” retreat.