Cold jasmine tea

Failed jasmine protests in China and the government's fears

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Cops and journalists wait for protesters to show up (image source)

"Could it happen in China?"

The aftermath of the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions continues to play out in the middle east, inspiring many Western journalists and news editors to ask this question. Yesterday's failed "jasmine protests" in China have been reported in great depth in English language publications, despite the fact that not much really happened.

Before this weekend's events, there were already a range of responses to the "Can it happen in China?" question. Writing in The Atlantic Howard French says "the dangerous messages [from Cairo] for the Authoritarian International, and its putative leader, China, have only just begun to be unpacked."

Many commentators don't believe the protests will spread to China. This view is explained clearly in an opinion piece by David Pilling in the Financial Times: Why the Chinese are not inspired by Egypt. On the Sinica podcast published last week, your correspondent and the other guests tended to agree with this view: China is in a very different situation to Egypt, and the conditions for mass protests do not seem to be in place.

However, judging from the events of the weekend — the heavy police presence at Wangfujing, strict Internet censorship and the harassment of dissidents — the Chinese government is far less confident.

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There are currently 2 Comments for Failed jasmine protests in China and the government's fears.

Comments on Failed jasmine protests in China and the government's fears

Getting over the GFW to read this story was quite a trick today...

Who's the fool that chose McDonald's (Beijing and Wuhan), KFC (Shenyang), and Starbucks (Guangzhou) as rallying points for demonstrations in China? There must be a better place in Chengdu for an anti-government protest than right beneath Chairman Mao's statue.
The choice of "Jasmine" as the revolution's name is cute, but ineffective. A more clever and original name would have been "Harmonious Revolution", consequently prompting Beijing authorities to awkwardly ban Internet forum use of the term "和谐"

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