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Where do China’s lockdown protests go from here?

Unrest presents a significant challenge to the Chinese government.

An extraordinary wave of protests has swept across cities and university campuses in China demanding an end to draconian zero-Covid measures that have been in place for almost three years. In one of the most significant outbursts of public discontent since the Tiananmen Square demonstrations more than 30 years ago, over the weekend protesters could be heard shouting “Xi Jinping, step down” and censorship has been stretched to the limit.

Emily Tamkin and Katie Stallard in Washington DC are joined by Jeremy Cliffe in Berlin to discuss the frustration and anger that has driven these protests, why the Chinese government is in a trap of its own making, and whether the death of former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin could trigger further unrest.

Next, they turn to France. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has been hosted by Joe Biden, the US president, in the first White House state visit since the Democrats took power in early 2021. The team discuss why the old alliance is resurfacing now, Macron’s hyperactive foreign policy and the “Macron Doctrine” that underpins it, as outlined in Jeremy’s cover piece for this week’s New Statesman magazine.

Then in You Ask Us, a listener question on a shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs on 19 November and the role of right-wing politicians and media outlets in fuelling hatred and moral panics around queer and trans people.

If you have a question for You Ask Us, go to

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Read more:

Katie on why the death of Jiang Zemin could be a problem for Xi Jinping

Katie on what China’s lockdown protests mean for Xi. 

Jeremy on Emmanuel Macron: the man who would be king.

Ido on the underlying tension of Macron’s US state visit.

Emily on why the US gun lobby has a fatal grip on American politics.

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