Chaos erupted this weekend in China’s streets as Xi Jinping tightened his grip on the nation’s COVID lockdowns, and one expert is warning the end of his leadership could be looming shortly after renewing his tenure as leader of the Chinese Communist Party.
Author of “The Coming Collapse of China,” Gordon Chang, joined “Fox & Friends First” to discuss why he believes the current COVID uprisings could signal a political turning point as it pertains to Xi’s reign over the country.
“This is actually more dangerous than 1989, the Tiananmen Square massacre, because then, protesters really wanted to keep the Communist Party in place, but just wanted to replace some hard-line leaders,” Chang told co-host Todd Piro. “This is more like 1949, where the Chinese people had just given up on the nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek, and then the communists came in.”
“It just shows the nature of what the Chinese people are thinking right now, and the question is, what were you looking for? Let’s look for Chinese officials fleeing China, because that could very well be the sign that the end is near,” he continued.
Protests began over the weekend across China over the country’s “zero-COVID” policy. Ten people burned alive in an apartment in Urumqi, which reportedly was a result of the Beijing’s hardline COVID restrictions.
Residents record the scene as they mourn for the victims a recent deadly fire at a residential building in Urumqi city at a road sign of the Middle Wulumuqi Road or Middle Urumqi Rd and calls for freedom of the press in Shanghai, China Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022.
(Chinatopix Via AP)
Chinese citizens took to the streets shortly after, outraged over the incident. Protests in various cities turned a violent corner as police tried to quell the uprisings.
Many in the streets even called for Xi to step down, demanding the CCP relinquish its leadership.
Chang warned China will remain in a state of chaos as the people continue to fight back against the regime.
“China is going to remain unstable, and if this crisis is quick… the Communist Party won’t have the chance to create military misadventure abroad to distract the Chinese people,” Chang said. “But if this crisis plays out over a long period, Xi Jinping will do that. He will lash out, he’ll invade somebody, he’ll trigger some incident.”
A man is arrested while people gathering on a street in Shanghai on November 27, 2022, where protests against China’s zero-Covid policy took place the night before following a deadly fire in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region.
(Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)
“That, of course, will affect us because we have allies and friends in the region Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Australia,” he continued. “So we’re all at risk here for what Xi Jinping probably will do if he has the opportunity.”
Xi Van Fleet, a Maoist Cultural Revolution survivor, echoed Chang’s sentiment, calling the uprising in opposition to Xi a “huge deal” during “Fox & Friends” on Monday.
“I think this is a turning point and the people are waking up, especially the young people,” she said. “I experienced the Cultural Revolution, Mao’s dictatorship… for many young people, this is the first time to experience the brutality of communism, and they are waking up and there was no stop to it.”
“They know that freedom of speech is essential for their survival,” she continued.
Van Fleet also unveiled her message to the American people, warning against what she called the far-left’s tendencies that can inhibit American freedoms.
“I just want to say that to American people… don’t think this kind of crackdown, this kind of a lockdown would not happen here.” Van Fleet warned. “If the left has their way, they would not hesitate to do it to us. We need to defend our freedom. Never let it go.”