Stay out of politics, and we'll help you prosper. That unspoken rule between China's government and it's people, is being tested like never before following Xi Jinping's move to extend his power. State media called it, the will of the people. However, it was met with anger, and even despair online, as well as in Reuters interviews in the street.
As John Ruwit reports, some seem to feel it was a step too far toward the days of Mao Zedong.>> People felt that really the country would move in a more liberal direction, and this to many, seemed lie backtracking. If you ask people in the street, what you'll hear are expressions of concern, even dismay at the decision.
All lie in the game of whack-a-mole has started and that's when people expressed decent, and the sensors come in and knock it down. Sensors have been working overdrive in this case because it's highly political and highly sensitive issue. Pictures of Winnie the Pooh often used as a proxy for Xi Jinping had been scrubbed from the Internet.
>> The Communist party's grip on free expression has grown tighter under Xi, and despite pockets of decent, citizens are unlikely to publicly protest his power play, for now at least.>> One analyst we talked to said that over the course of the past 35 years, 40 years of reform because of this grand bargain where the government has reformed the way it does business, allows Chinese people to prosper while they stay out of politics.
The middle class that's come up has really come up as an apathetic body. While it may have views on politics, it doesn't know how to use its voice. There is no voice for these people and there is really not the space in society today, especially under a strong leader like Xi Jinping, to descend, openly.
>> Most people interviewed by Reuters for this story, declined to be named out of fear, even if they had relatively mild views on China's leaders. One retiree said, if the Communist party tells us the sky is black, then the sky is black.