2016-17 Xiaodongese Protests

2016-17 Xiaodongese Protests
Part of Normalisation
Xiaodong 2017.jpg
Xiaodongese tanks enter Rongzhuo to break up protests
DateOctober 15, 2016 - January 18, 2017
(3 months and 3 days)
Location
Rongzhuo, Baiqiao, Shenkong, Henjintao, Kuoqing, several more cities and towns
Caused by
GoalsNew elections, democratic reforms, end of corruption, freedom of the press
MethodsPeaceful protest, sit-in, occupation of public property, strikes, riots
Resulted in
Parties to the civil conflict
Students
Pro-democracy activists
Reformists
Lead figures
Casualties
Death(s)~500 civilians killed

The 2016-17 Xiaodongese protests were a series of pro-democracy protests and strikes in Xiaodong staged between the 15th October 2016-18th January 2017 before they were dispersed during a crackdown by government authorities.

The protests were started after several corruption allegations were made against Chairperson of the State Presidium of Xiaodong Jiang Zhongyu. Peaceful protests in Baiqiao were seen to be crushed by the national police on the 20th October 2016 which unleashed a new wave of much larger, more disruptive protests across the country. Police repression only increased the protests and led to riots meaning that on the 19th November Jiang Zhongyu announced his resignation with Premier Yuan Xiannian becoming his successor and given the responsibility to organise new elections. This led to a temporary lull in the protests as elections were organised to take place on the 10th January 2017.

The elections when held saw a landslide majority for Yuan's supporters, which were considered suspicious by outside observers. Allegations of electoral fraud led to a series of protests demanding the government resign and new, internationally monitored elections be held. These protests were accompanied by strikes by working people and trade unions. In Rongzhuo over 2 million turned out to protest, whilst smaller protests were held around the country. Protesters called for new elections, democratic reform and amongst workers better working conditions.

After several days of protesting on the 18th January the government sent tanks into Rongzhuo to crush protesters killing over 200 in a day, arresting protesters and striking workers' and labelling several opposition groups as terrorist groups. A special session of the State Presidium - boycotted by opposition politicians still legally allowed to operate - saw Yuan Xiannian given special powers and announced a state of emergency. Over the next few days, over 100 more people were killed by authorities as part of a new process of "Normalisation."

Background

Corruption

Authoritarianism

Jiang-Yuan rivalry

Events

October

November

Jiang's resignation

December

January

2017 election

Crackdown

Aftermath

Normalisation

Reactions

International

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  •  Senria - The government of Senria loudly criticised the repression of protests in Xiaodong, with the country's Foreign Affairs Minister, Yumi Takamatu, releasing a statement urging "all civilised nations to wholeheartedly and immediately condemn the shedding of innocent blood by the Xiaodongese regime". A formal statement released by the office of Prime Minister Hayato Nisimura stated that "for all of Xiaodong's insistence that it has changed since the dark days of the 1920s and 1930s, the recent actions of the Xiaodongese regime prove the blatant hypocrisy and the continued totalitarianism of the Xiaodongese regime... it is immensely unfortunate that, instead of listening to the voice of the people, the Yuan government has continued in the bloody and violent path of his predecessors". Later, on Twitter, Nisimura described Xiaodong's actions as "utterly disgusting". Some Xiaodongese protest leaders- including Kang Yongqing of the Alliance for Democracy in Xiaodong- fled to Senria to escape possible jailing by Xiaodongese authorities; a statement from the Senrian government declared that Senria would grant political asylum to "anyone else fleeing this horrific repression in Xiaodong".