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Outspokenly Unspoken: The Chinese People’s ‘White Paper Revolution’

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A devastating fire in Urumqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang autonomous region in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on 24 November 2022, caused the first large-scale nation-wide protests since the 1989 Democracy Movement. Demonstrators, many of whom were convinced that the deaths and injuries could have been entirely prevented had there not been a lockdown in Urumqi, took to the streets in almost all major Chinese cities. Before the end of the weekend of 26-27 November, the events were branded as the “White Paper Revolution” (bai zhi geming) – a reference to the blank white sheet of paper that many protesters brought with them to state their dissatisfaction with the constrained possibilities to express their frustration over the strict zero-Covid measures.



(Photo credit: Kyodo)