A rare protest against Chinese leader Xi Jinping took place in Beijing on Oct. 13, widely-circulated images and photos show, just days ahead of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 20th National Congress.
Two white banners bore slogans, including a call for Xi’s ouster and an end to the draconian “zero-COVID” policy, according to numerous images and videos circulating on Twitter, which is blocked in China.
The banners unfurled on Sitong Bridge in Haidian district, a university district in the northwest of the capital city, according to images and clips taken from various angles.
Smoke could be seen emanating from the overpass, and a man could be heard chanting slogans with loudspeakers, according to footage from the scene.
Such an incident poses an embarrassment for Xi, who is expected to secure an unprecedented third five-year term in office in the upcoming party congress. Held every five years, the meeting is set to kick off on Oct. 16 in Beijing, during which the next round of top leadership will also be unveiled.
Dissenters and petitioners previously told The Epoch Times that since September, police have appeared on local streets, monitoring their homes day and night.
With just days left to the pivotal political meeting, it’s highly unusual for protests to pop up in the country, especially in the political center of Beijing, where a city-wide mass surveillance system has been installed since 2015. According to Comparitech, a UK-based cyber security website, approximately 7.9 million surveillance cameras watch the city 24 hours daily.