New Symbol of Protest in China Roils Censors: Blank White Sheets Of Paper

Photo Credit: Thomas Peter / Reuters (Fair Use)

On China’s heavily censored social media, a new target has emerged for internet police: blank sheets of white paper.

Platforms are rushing to remove images of people holding up the empty pages after protesters made them a symbol to express their frustration at China’s zero-Covid policies

Over the weekend, amid one of the largest nationwide demonstrations that China has seen in decades, demonstrators used few or no words at all to protest Beijing’s strict pandemic policies, which show little sign of ending even as most of the rest of the world moves on. 

Across multiple major cities and university campuses, many protesters held up blank pages, causing some online observers to coin it the “white paper revolution.” A Chinese stationery company issued a denial after rumors spread that it would suspend the sale of such paper.