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Videos: Chinese military convoys move through streets, prompt speculation of Tiananmen-style protest crackdown

A Chinese military vehicle drives down a street in Xuzhou, Nov. 29, 2022. (Screenshot)
December 03, 2022

Chinese military vehicles were spotted driving through the streets of at least one Chinese city on Monday. The military movements come as protests have spread around cities in China and some social media users have speculated the vehicles are on their way to Shanghai to intimidate protesters in that city.

Some social media users even drew comparisons between the Chinese military vehicle movements and the Chinese governments use of tanks and troops to violently disperse the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

One Twitter user shared a video of two Chinese armored personnel carriers driving down a street, reportedly in the eastern Chinese city of Xuzhou. The Twitter user linked the movement to ongoing protests in China, tweeting “The tanks passed through Xuzhou, are they going to Shanghai? #Shanghai #WhitePaperRevolution #ChinaUprising #ChinaUprising #chinaprotest.”

Another Twitter user shared the exact same video, with the comment, “Is This Going To Be a Repeat of 1989 June 4-5 #Tiananmen Square Massacre all over #China?”

Another Twitter user shared footage of additional tactical vehicles driving down a street and also linked their movements to a potential response to protests in China.

“#Breaking: Just in – Reports of armored vehicles on the move in the #Xuzhou district, the #PLA has been seen on the street of Wanda Plaza Yunlong Lake in #china, as anti-lockdown and #Covid protests getting bigger in the country.”

While it’s not uncommon for China’s military to move its vehicles around the country, this latest movement comes as protests have popped up in cities all over the country.

“These tanks drove through Xuzhou yesterday,” one Twitter user tweeted in French. “A priori, it is unrelated to the protests. Nevertheless, it has raised concerns on social media, where references to Tiananmen are prominent.”

The video showed what looked like a Chinese main battle tank leading a column of armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles.

Another video showed a large tracked vehicle leading a Chinese medical Humvee, a transport truck, two tractors in green camo paint and two SUV-type vehicles in green camo paint.

Another video purports to show even more armored personnel carriers driving down roadways in Xuzhou.

It’s unclear just how many Chinese military vehicles are actually on the move, exactly where they’re going and why.

People have been protesting throughout China for several days, in response to the country’s strict “Zero COVID” lockdown measures. Some protesters have even reportedly called for Chinese leader Xi Jinping and other leaders in the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to resign.