The protests in China have started. There will be a new 1989 for the People’s Republic, with mass protests and a violent nomenklatura that will bludgeon everything that gets in its way in the name of Xi Jinping.

What is unloading now has been brewing since the summer: the Henan banking crisis, in the course of which savers from all over the country could no longer get their money. The real estate crisis, in which the middle class in particular lost their property. The labor market crisis, at which point around 20 percent of young people in China were unemployed.

However, the Corona crisis is hitting the office the most: Xi Jinping has been locking up millions of people for months, for the simple reason that his government has not managed to bring a working vaccine to the market and successful foreign vaccines cannot be included in the ultra-nationalist The party’s rhetoric, according to which the People’s Republic does not need the world, fits. In Shanghai alone, 26 million residents were temporarily locked up, buildings fenced off, front doors sealed.

Last week, ten people died in a fire in the city of Urumqi in Xinjiang province: they could not leave their homes because the Communist Party locked the doors. In Xinjiang, Xi commits crimes against humanity, millions of people are oppressed there every day. The world must not forget that. So far, most Chinese have not cared. However, during the pandemic there was a certain solidarity from all parts of the country, because everyone is equally at the mercy of Xi’s arbitrariness.

Just a few weeks ago, he had himself proclaimed president a third time and wanted to pretend to the world community that he was securely in the saddle. The opposite is the case. Anyone who tries to show off like this often misses their last powder rather than demonstrating real strength.

During the jubilee event, the XX. Party Congress, a lone protester hung a banner on a bridge in Beijing that read “Down with Xi Jinping.” The banner was honked and applauded, including on the Internet, where protests have only been able to break through for a short time before the censors struck. More and more Chinese only called their country “West Korea” to castigate it as a bad dictatorship.

The internet as a mobilization factor is not necessary in the current situation because everyone knows how everyone else is doing. The situation in the country is the same. So you don’t have to call for a big protest over the internet. So the censors cannot prevent the protests now. However, the KP will not just watch now. As in 1989, the protests will be beaten up, there will be deaths.

It shows once again: everyone, whether in East or West, North or South, wants freedom. Xi has repeatedly claimed in recent years that human rights are an invention of the West to re-colonize the Chinese. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Ultimately, it was the lack of freedom to travel in the GDR that caused the corrupt SED system to collapse. In the People’s Republic it will be the corona pandemic, in which people are currently forbidden to leave their homes for 100 days (!).

Whether in China or Iran: All over the world the death knell is ringing softly for the regimes of potentates who despise human rights. Alas, much blood will be shed before a full bell of victory rings out.

The free world must not look the other way, but must do everything in its power to support those who want to live in freedom. Selling shares in our security infrastructure to the Beijing regime is the last thing that helps people now.

Alexander Görlach is Honorary Professor of Ethics at Leuphana University in Lüneburg and Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York. The PhD linguist and theologian is currently working on a project on “digital cosmopolitanism” at the Internet Institute at Oxford University and the Faculty of Philosophy at New York University.

Alexander Görlach was a Fellow and Visiting Scholar at Harvard University in the USA and Cambridge University in England. After stints in Taiwan and Hong Kong, he has focused on the rise of China and what it means for East Asian democracies in particular. He has recently published the following titles: “Red Alert: Why China’s Aggressive Foreign Policy in the Western Pacific Is Leading to a Global War” (Hoffmann

From 2009 to 2015, Alexander Görlach was also the publisher and editor-in-chief of the debate magazine The European, which he founded. Today he is a columnist and author for various media such as the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and the New York Times. He lives in New York and Berlin.