Protests against China's strict Zero-COVID policy and working conditions at an iPhone factory have turned into protests against the communist government and its system of repression.
Protestors took to the streets in eight Chinese cities after at least 10 people died in an apartment fire. Protestors claim residents couldn't escape the building because of the government's lockdown policies.
Shouting "End the dictatorship", and "No more COVID tests," protestors called for communist Chinese leader Xi Jinping to resign.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) told CNN, "The Zero-COVID policy has been a disaster, both economically and politically, inside China."
The protests started at Foxconn's largest iPhone plant last week, when workers threw metal barriers at police in hazmat suits, upset by delays in bonus payouts and the company's handling of a COVID outbreak.
Frustrations have been building among Chinese citizens over a bad economy and now the government's heavy-handed COVID policies, which have forced some citizens to take a COVID test every other day.
"The situation in China is deteriorating fast," says China expert Gordon Chang. "You have an economy which looks like it's contracting. The property sector, which is the core of the Chinese economy is essentially in free fall."
The protests have turned into the most widespread display of opposition to the ruling Communist Party in decades.
"Ultimately, what the Chinese communist party fears more than anything else is its own citizens," Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) told Fox News. "It represses the citizens because it knows that (the government is) an illegitimate entity. They don't have legitimacy from the population. They fear their own citizens."
The government's Zero-COVID policy has closed schools, factories, and shops and even sealed apartment blocks without warning. But don't look for the Chinese government to make a major course correction.
Ho-Fung Hung, a Professor of Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University, says, "It is unimaginable that they will try to resolve the issue by backing down, changing the policy. It's not the Xi Jinping style."