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The Washington Post editorial board on Wednesday lambasted the Chinese government for cracking down on protesters who demonstrate because they cannot access their money from the bank. The editorial, titled “In China, they lost their shirts, then their right to protest,” criticized Chinese leaders for the development.
“No matter how hard they try, the despots of the world will never be able to hide their fear of their own people. Despite all the bluster and displays of power, they panic at the sight of the protests,” the council wrote. “Now comes a new example of voice complaints being silenced, in China.”
Four Chinese rural banks have frozen their customers’ accounts due to the Chinese government’s COVID-19 policies and a mortgage crisis resulting from unfinished houses and the collapse of major Chinese real estate companies, such as Evergrande.
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“Unable to get their money back, depositors began protesting online and in person. On May 23, protests broke out before the security services stopped them. ” noted the board.
“In June, many abandoned depositors from all over the country planned to converge on the capital of Henan province, Zhengzhou, in the hope of getting their money back. But before they could travel, they were blocked by a software that the government uses to control the spread of covid,” they wrote, pointing to an alarming example of pandemic tracking measures being used to control the population.
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“The green code on their phones turned red. They couldn’t travel,” the council continued.
When protesters finally showed up at the People’s Bank of China in Zhengzou, they carried signs saying, “The Chinese dreams of 400,000 depositors in Henan have been shattered” and “No deposits.” No human rights”.
The editorial noted that protesters were met by police officers and tall men in white shirts who attacked the crowd. When the men in white shirts attacked the protesters, the police did nothing.
“Protesters were dragged up a flight of stairs before being taken away. Some were loaded onto buses, bruised by the clashes,” they wrote. “According to Reuters, Chinese censors have blocked online protest messages and deleted videos of the protests.”
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“Just another day in the life of what the Chinese government brags about is a ‘working democracy,'” the board wrote.
“What does not work is the freedom to speak, to assemble, to protest or to change direction. Even something as simple as a legitimate protest against lost deposits ends in beatings, bruises and arrests,” the editorial concludes.