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No International Reaction to China Protests, Beijing Formulating Counter Narrative

Protestors in Beijing defy police orders and march through the streets to protest against the government's strict Zero COVID policy. Noel CELIS / AFP

International reaction to the extraordinary public protests underway in the streets and university campuses across China has been muted so far. Aside from a scathing statement from the British Broadcasting Corporation over the violent detention of one of its reporters in Shanghai on Sunday, no other foreign entity has issued a statement as of this writing on Monday morning Asia time.

The key questions now are when the United States will comment on the protests and what officials in Washington will say. Already, pro-Chinese government supporters are propagating conspiracy theories online that Western media and “foreign forces” (aka “Black Hands”) are instigating the protests. So, how the United States responds will likely have a significant impact on how the Chinese government shapes the narrative of these protests to the outside world.

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