Tempers are running high for China’s more than 1.4 billion people ahead of the upcoming 20th Chinese Communist Party Congress, set for October 16. 

Much of the vast Asian country is in chaos due to pandemic lockdowns, a lack of jobs, and the economic crisis, among other problems. All of this is made worse by the absolute lack of democratic rights that prevent people from deciding their own destiny.  

The poetess of Deyang, Sichuan province, China, Hu Minzhi, was able to express in a short article the feelings of uncertainty, impotence, and frustration that citizens are dealing with. Hu’s apt insights went viral, and responses rained down on her Twitter account.

Many of Hu’s readers found an affinity with her work, “Waiting for the Wind,” and found the impetus to express their feelings and way of thinking about the Chinese regime and about the country’s pressing situation, or their personal one. 

However, the reaction of the CCP’s relentless censorship was not long in coming, and it immediately removed Hu’s work and the comments it received from all internet networks. The purge of his account was such that even contributions from previous years disappeared. 

Internet users republished the article on the Chinese networks Weibo and WeChat, but still fell under the weight of censorship. 

One of the netizens wrote: “Recently, my friend found out that Hu Minzhi’s ‘Minzhi’s Music Poem’ Douyin was blocked, and ‘Hu Minzhi’ Weibo is currently banned. Most of the articles under the title ‘Hu Minzhi’s Word World’ have been deleted.” 

The author herself related that she had already been ‘invited’ three times for ‘tea’ by the police. The poem expresses the following: 

“More than one billion people are ‘waiting for the wind.’ The direction of the wind is the direction. Officials are waiting, entrepreneurs are waiting, ordinary people are waiting, waiting for the ‘wind’ to blow this autumn.”

She continues, “Come here, is it the east wind and the west wind? Or is it the south wind and north wind? Is it the forward wind or the backward wind? It’s absurd to depend on the ever-changing ‘wind direction’ and your own destiny!”

Hu, after sharing that her account was banned without having committed any infraction, also bravely wrote: “These actions are obviously artificial. Is this the rate of banning the whole network? As long as there is light in my heart, I am not afraid of the long night; I watch with a cold eye the collapse of the building.”

The mood of internet users 

The feelings expressed by users of social networks in response to “Waiting for the wind to come” were varied. Basically, this was taken as a direct allusion to the results of the next CCP Congress, in which the leader, Xi Jinping, could extend his mandate for five more years.    

Twitter user @rongjian1957 said, “When the wind comes, a poem with almost no poetic meaning, has become popular across the country, because this poem expresses the aspirations of the vast majority of the Chinese people.”

He added, “Now no one is poetic, some people are speechless, or from time to time they shout! This poem is a shout!”

For some it was useless to wait passively for these results, and suggested a more active attitude, as in the case of @Leekun28649044, “The only one who can change this great era is yourself, how sad that more than a billion people give their lives to a vicious organization.”

There was no shortage of those who accused the leader, Xi Jinping, of the misfortunes of the Chinese people, according to @Guobao2194’s tweet, “Xi Jinping is the most incompetent tyrant in China’s history after Qin II! His compensation policy completely deviates from science, goes against the laws of nature, and is doomed to failure!”

He added, “In China, under his rule, people have no right to speak, and health codes have become handcuffs and invisible shackles to restrict people’s actions! He turns China into a big prison without walls! Xi Jinping resign as soon as possible, get out of office as soon as possible, go see Marx as soon as possible, the will of the people!” 

There were also gloomy, depressing, helpless messages, and as poet Hu aptly captured, their mood found no alternative but to wait for the “wind” to indicate the direction life would take after the 20th CCP Congress.

In which direction will ‘the wind’ blow after the 20th Congress?

In any case, it is expected that Xi will not only run for a third term, but that he will continue in power on October 16, despite his failures, and the obstacles that may arise.

However, for the renowned Chinese dissident, Cai Xia, former professor of the Central Party School, exiled in the United States, and a profound expert of the CCP, the course of the country could change substantially after October. 

Cai, considers, “Behind the scenes, his [Xi’s] power is being questioned as never before” and “in the shadows, resentment among CCP elites is rising,” but that “Emboldened by the unprecedented additional term, Xi will likely tighten his grip even further domestically and raise his ambitions internationally.”

This “extremism,” would push Xi to make irreversible mistakes, “Trapped in an echo chamber and desperately seeking redemption, he may even do something catastrophically ill-advised, such as attack Taiwan. Xi may well ruin something China has earned over the course of four decades: a reputation for steady, competent leadership. In fact, he already has.”

Also it “would raise the odds of war, social unrest, and economic crisis, exacerbating existing grievances.” 

How could the direction of the “wind” change dramatically? Cai postulates that a crushing war defeat could mark the tipping point for the Chinese Communist Party’s course to change direction significantly, or even disappear. 

Cai projects in her extensive article “The Weakness of Xi Jinping,” published in Foreign Affairs on September 6, “The only viable way of changing course, so far as I can see, is also the scariest and deadliest: a humiliating defeat in a war.” 

For this enlightened dissident, the conflict could be triggered in Taiwan, which, if defended by the international community, would have dire consequences, not only for Xi’s mandate, but also for the existence of the CCP.

Should war be unleashed against Taiwan Cai predicts, “In that event, the elites and the masses would abandon Xi, paving the way for not only his personal downfall but perhaps even the collapse of the CCP as we know it,” Cai predicts.  

The growing chaos in the great Asian country is such that its 1.4 billion people seem to have reached the end of their tether. The message expressed by Hu touched the most sensitive fibers of her people, and all that potential repressed for decades could become the furious hurricane that sweeps away the yoke that holds it in place. 

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