Beijing: A rare protest attacking President Xi Jinping took place in Beijing Thursday, days before a historic Communist Party congress. Xi, who came to power in 2012, is expected to receive a third five-year term as party leader at the end of the congress.
China’s internet censors moved quickly to scrub social media posts after reports that banners criticizing the Communist leadership were hung from a busy intersection in the capital Beijing. Images showed two protest banners on a bridge in the northwest of the city. The protest appeared to have been swiftly stopped by the authorities. Frustration has been mounting in the capital before the congress.
There were no banners hanging from the roadway later in the day, but a circular black scar was visible on the shoulder area where the fire would have been. It was not clear who might have hung the banners or when they were placed.
Political protest is rare in China, and police are on high alert this week in the run-up to a major Communist Party congress that opens Sunday. Dozens of police milled about the area, entering stores. At times, they stopped pedestrians and questioned them. Moreover, police denied anything unusual had happened in the area.