Police block Wulumuqi street in Shanghai, where protests occurred against China's zero-Covid policy


  • Chinese immigrant Xi Van Fleet said the mass protest is "watershed moment" for China
  • Van Fleet described the Chinese Foreign Ministry's defense of the zero-COVID policy as a "big lie"
  • The Chinese domestic law enforcement body called for a crackdown on "hostile forces" amid the protests

A survivor of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution warned that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will use "any means necessary" to blunt any uprising against Chinese President Xi Jinping's "zero-COVID" policy.

Mass protests erupted across China last week as the CCP leader tightened his grip on the nation's COVID-19 lockdowns, leading to clashes between police and protesters who ramped up demands for an end to Xi's reign over the country.

Xi Van Fleet, a Chinese immigrant in Virginia, told Fox News' Martha MacCallum that she believes the mass protests would not push Xi to resign and that the CCP will use any means necessary to quell the protests.

"That is a big question," Van Fleet said of the idea of the CCP voluntarily giving up control of the government. "In order to answer that question, people have to know that the CCP was born from violence. [In] its 75 years of the regime, it used violence, killed up to 100 million Chinese and it will not give up its power voluntarily. It will not. It will use any way necessary, any means necessary to stop the protests."

Despite her belief, Van Fleet described the demonstrations as a "watershed moment" for China.

Van Fleet said that Chinese people have endured abuses from the "totalitarian communist government" for decades but reached their "breaking point" under Xi's zero-COVID policy.

She pointed to the ongoing World Cup as one of the triggers for the Chinese mass protests.

"One of the triggers for the protest is that people [are] watching the World Cup and see a packed stadium. No one [is] wearing a mask. They know that this disease and this virus are not killing anyone. But it's Xi Jinping's policy that kills countless Chinese people," Van Fleet said.

Van Fleet also called a tweet by Hua Chunying, the spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, defending the draconian policy a "big lie."

The nationwide protests against Xi's zero-COVID policy were sparked by a deadly fire Thursday in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang region. The fire at an apartment building killed at least 10 people and injured nine others.

Chinese were furious about the lockdown rules that delayed firefighters' response to the incident.

During the weekend, at least 23 demonstrations happened in 17 Chinese cities, including Shanghai and the Chinese capital of Beijing, CNN reported.

On Saturday, people in Shanghai gathered for a candlelight vigil in tribute to the fire victims. Most participants held blank sheets of paper, which was seen as a symbolic protest against censorship.

Sunday protests in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Wuhan, which were initially held to call for an end to COVID-19 restrictions, became politically charged as protesters demanded political freedoms.

The CCP's Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, which is responsible for domestic law enforcement, called for a "crackdown" on "hostile forces," Al Jazeera reported, citing China's official state news agency Xinhua.

The Chinese domestic security commission said it was necessary to crack down "on illegal criminal acts that disrupt social order in accordance with the law and earnestly safeguard overall social stability."

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