Author Roger Garside issued this warning in an email to the Sun, adding that law enforcement will eventually be ordered to use force on demonstrators exhausted by the country's zero-COVID policy. Garside served in China during the decade-long Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, and subsequently from 1976 to 1979 under former Chinese paramount leader Deng Xiaoping.
"This has never happened before, since the start of the [Chinese] Communist Party's (CCP) rule … in 1949," he wrote. "Even in [the] 1989 [Tiananmen Square protests], people didn't explicitly call for the leader to 'step down' or for the [CCP] to do so."
"In making such explicitly political demands, people have crossed a psychological and political red line. There will be no turning back."
Garside, an associate fellow at the London-based Henry Jackson Society, remarked that arresting demonstrators might deter anti-lockdown protests for a while, but warned that "new causes of unrest will arise."
"The police have shown restraint so far, but at some point, they will be ordered to use force. Some will obey and people will be killed. Some will disobey, and then either order will break down or Xi will be ousted in a coup." (Related: Chinese police violently disperse peaceful protesters in Chengdu.)
China affairs commentator Matthew Henderson wrote in a piece for the Telegraph that "pressure has been building for months" after almost three years of snap lockdowns, lengthy quarantines and mass testing – coupled with a tanking economy.
"A tipping point seems to have been reached, at which the citizens of China have had enough," he stated, adding that the brewing uprising against the CCP could be "the beginning of the end for Xi."
Garside's warning came amid Chinese citizens frustrated with the zero-COVID lockdowns protesting against medical tyranny. The protests were further fueled by news of 10 people dying in an apartment block fire in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region. The said building was locked down due to a COVID-19 case, which proved detrimental when the fire broke out as the 10 victims were trapped and unable to escape.
According to the Sun, the protests are more widespread than the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. The demonstrations, led by student leaders, were violently suppressed by the People's Liberation Army.
Kerry Brown, the director of the Lau China Institute at King's College London, pointed out that public opinion in China "has clearly shifted" and "patience has run out" among those living in the country.
"Chinese people in major cities are deeply frustrated and angry at the continuing disruption to their lives, the lack of a furlough scheme and the economic impact of the lockdowns," he said.
"About a year or so ago, I think the government response was popular. People were very fearful of the virus, and they wanted to see concerted action. But clearly, their patience has run out. It is clear that the current policies are unsustainable."
Former Tiananmen Square protest leader Wang Dan posted on Facebook: "From Beijing to Chengdu, from Shanghai to Wuhan, mass protests of varying sizes have broken out in many cities – and all have political demands. A nationwide public revolt is happening. But if [the authorities] use a violent crackdown policy or even open fire, a major event altering the world will happen."
"Should Xi mobilize the military, the fall of the CCP – which we think would be far off – could happen quickly."
But according to Brown, the Chinese paramount leader would not step down that easily.
"[Xi will] try to quash this unrest, address some of the concerns and still be in power after all of this. Otherwise, we are looking at bedlam and chaos."
Watch this footage of protests against the CCP's draconian zero-COVID policies.
This video is from the Vigilent Citizen channel on Brighteon.com.