China’s yuan tumbles amid fears about Xi’s third term
BEIJING — Chinese police clashed with teachers and protesters outside the United Nations on Thursday in a second day of demonstrations against the country’s authoritarian president, who has been accused of using the Communist Party’s power to crack down on opponents and who is believed to be in late middle age.
For years, Chinese authorities have denied they are using their powers to silence opponents, and now the country’s top diplomat has told a top American official he has seen evidence of people being detained and tortured.
Beijing has denied wrongdoing and says its rule is a model for the world.
The protests, which began in Tiananmen Square in the heart of the Chinese capital, have spread to other cities and have led to the resignation of a Chinese vice premier.
Police in the northwestern city of Tianjin and the coastal city of Dalian cut off access to the U.N. building in front of which a gathering of more than 20,000 people were gathered to watch the final round of the world basketball championships.
“I don’t feel safe. I have never felt safe,” said a 43-year-old teacher, Jiang Yanli. Chinese officials have blamed “separatist forces” for the violence.
The U.S. ambassador to Beijing also warned that the situation could have “security implications” for the world’s second-biggest economy, which is locked in competition with China for an expanding share of the global economy.
The demonstrations were sparked by an unusually brutal crackdown on public freedoms at the start of Xi’s third five-year term as general secretary of the ruling Communist Party. The party has rejected the allegations of political oppression and said they could have been organized by corrupt officials.
Wang Qishan, a former senior party official, said the campaign to eliminate “socially negative forces” was targeting peaceful protesters. He said his comments about rights abuses were not an accusation and he later apologized.
But Zhang Dejiang, a spokesperson for the China’s National Security Bureau, said on Thursday a new “strike team” would be formed