It was from that city (officially a semi-autonomous region within China) that this form of protest spread to the rest of China. The white papers could already be seen a few years ago in demonstrations in Hong Kong against the strict security law that was introduced there a year ago. Slogans and other texts referring to the mass protests of 2019 were suddenly banned. Hong Kongers sought and found an innovative solution in the white paper, denouncing censorship.
This is also the meaning of the white paper during the current protest in China. “It represents everything we want but we are not allowed to say,” Johnny, a 26-year-old protester from Beijing, told Reuters news agency.
According to some, this also marks a raised finger for the Chinese authorities, who are more or less averse to arrest. The BBC’s Stephen McDonnell said: “It’s almost as if they want to say: ‘Are you going to arrest me for a piece of paper with nothing on it?'”
This can also be seen in the images below. A protester gets into trouble with a person from the security services who asks him what he is doing in a police car. “It’s just a blank piece of paper, I didn’t write anything on it,” said the protester before being removed.
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