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Arrest made after ‘dictator Xi’ China protest

Police officers patrolled near Sitong Bridge after images of a protest at the site appeared online.

Police officers patrolled near Sitong Bridge after images of a protest at the site appeared online. Photo: AAP

At least one person has been arrested in Beijing in a rare protest against the Chinese leadership of “dictator Xi Jinping”.

Three days before the start of the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, which is held only every five years, a protest banner was unfurled on Sitong Bridge in the city’s Haidian district in an unusual protest action on Thursday.

“We need food, not Covid tests. We want freedom, not lockdowns,” the slogan on it read, referencing China’s strict zero-COVID-19 policy.

“We want dignity, not lies. We need reform, no cultural revolution,” the white banner continued in red letters.

“We want to vote, not a leader. Don’t be slaves, be citizens.”

Smoke was also set off at the protest, drawing attention to the action at the busy intersection.

Over a megaphone, a voice demanded “Oust dictator Xi Jinping,” as could be heard on video footage circulating on social media.

Police could also be seen taking one person into custody and loading him into a van while the banner was cleared away.

The week-long party congress at the Great Hall of the People is being held under tight security, for which a large contingent of police officers has been mobilised.

Thousands of members of neighbourhood committees are also controlling residential areas and pavements with red armbands.

After the protest, the search term “Sitong Bridge” was blocked on the Chinese short message service Weibo.

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