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Protest Signs against Authoritarianism Emerge at Peking University

During the Dragon Boat Festival at Peking University in China, a protester displayed slogans opposing the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) authoritarian regime. The individual, dressed in a tan robe, held up a sign near the cafeteria on campus calling for the abolition of the one-party dictatorship and the adoption of a multi-party system. The protester voluntarily included his social media account information on the sign, which pointed to YouTube and Twitter accounts registered in May 2023. The accounts identified the protester as Zhang Sheng, a self-described Chinese writer.

Pictures and posts on Twitter documented the incident, showing the protester being escorted away by the university’s security personnel. When questioned about the event, Peking University’s security department neither confirmed nor denied the incident.

This protest marked a resurgence of criticism against China’s political system and demands for multi-party rule at Peking University, where similar demonstrations had taken place during the 1989 Students Movement. Notably, this demonstration occurred in the same location where students had protested against the “zero COVID” policy in November of the previous year. It is important to highlight that the “zero COVID” policy was subsequently abolished ten days after university students, including those from Peking University and Tsinghua University, expressed their opposition to it by holding up white papers.

The recent protest at Peking University aimed to challenge the one-party rule and promote political reform through the establishment of a multi-party system. Despite attempts to ascertain the whereabouts of the detained student by contacting the university’s security department, that department neither confirmed nor denied the event. This incident serves as a reminder of the ongoing tensions between dissenting voices and the Chinese government’s control over political expression on university campuses.

Source: Radio Free Asia, June 22, 2023