Wang Dan, a former leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, stated Monday that China's "violent" response to recent demonstrations could spell the end of the regime.
The world-renowned activist argued on Facebook that the Communist Party under Chinese President Xi Jinping's reign has resulted in a desolate economy, international condemnation, and a collapse in public opinion.
"The CCP will suppress, but it will accumulate hatred – the fire has been planted. On June 4th, we represented the blood and deep hatred that we did not give up for 33 years. Repression today will bring up the second generation of 1989," he said in reference to the original Tiananmen protests.
"China has begun to transform, a new era has begun, and this era is characterized by the people's 'disagreement' with the government," he added.
His comments are in the backdrop of rare protests surrounding China's extreme zero-COVID policy, believed to have led to 10 deaths in Urumqi when lockdown measures prevented authorities from putting out an apartment fire.
Wang, now a U.S. exile and once a most-wanted man in China, argued in another message through YouTube that, "If the CCP repeats itself 33 years later with more bloodshed, it could lead to greater backfire than before," Newsweek reported.
He also told the outlet he believes ongoing economic turmoil will result in a different result for the students than in 1989, saying the recession will prevent the CCP from finding "anyway to alleviate people's hatred once they crack down."
China's decision to send in the military will "only lead to more intense confrontation and eventually the fall of the CCP," Wang predicted.
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