China prepares for possible protests ahead of National Day

The communist party is reportedly concerned about disaffected veterans as well as victims of China's poorly regulated Peer to Peer online lending platforms

Veterans protesting on the bank of the Luohe River in China's central Henan Province, early June, 2018 (Chinese media)

Veterans protesting on the bank of the Luohe River in China's central Henan Province, early June, 2018 (Chinese media)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As China prepares to celebrate its national holiday on Oct. 1st, media sources have reported that party leadership at the Zhongnanhai complex in Beijing are preparing for the possibility of civil unrest.

Radio France International (RFI) released a report on Sunday, Sept. 30 suggesting that China may see protesters engaging in public political actions and online campaigns this coming week.

There are reportedly two different groups of people that the Chinese government is concerned about ahead of the National Day celebrations, including disaffected veterans groups and a sizable group of people who have lost their savings as a result of unstable and poorly regulated peer to peer (P2P) online money lending platforms.

Veterans’ groups have long been a thorn in the ruling communist party’s side, as the groups are very quick to organize when it is reported that a veteran has suffered abuse at the hands of local officials or the central government’s Ministry of Veteran’s Affairs.

There were two notable veterans protests that occurred over the summer, a protest in Henan province in early June, and another in July in Jiangsu.

The victims of P2P lending scams and resultant bankruptcies are a new development as a force of potential agitation and concern for the authoritarian government.

The P2P online lending business was thought to have a promising future when it first started to develop from 2007. In contrast, over the past 3 three years there have been a slew of companies that have either gone bankrupt, had funds frozen by the authorities, or who have simply shut down their business and absconded with the money of their investors and customers.

The government pledged to fix the problems with these networks through a national “P2P Rectification Campaign”. By some reports, the new regulations have hobbled the industry, and made problems worse by unwittingly encouraging companies to abandon regulations altogether.

There are now large numbers of people who have lost their money and suffered abuse of their finances by certain companies. Many people are also very upset with the government for seemingly doing nothing to compensate them for their loss, or to hold the criminal parties responsible.

RFI reports that spontaneous protests are being planned in several major cities throughout the week. Many veterans as well as P2P victims may be organizing to demand financial compensation.

Notably, some of the online posts calling for action are asking protesters not to chant slogans, but rather to stand together in masse outside of government buildings or local party offices, and to sing patriotic songs directed towards the government officials.

Actions are also reportedly being organized among overseas Chinese communities in the United States, notably in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, according to the reports.