One year after he hung an anti-Xi-Jinping banner on Beijing’s Sitong Bridge the whereabouts of the activist remain unknown.
by Hu Zimo
Where is Peng Lifa? This is not a video game, and Peng Lifa is not a fictional character. Although an unexpected character he was, when on October 13, 2022, he dared to climb Sitong Bridge in Beijing to hang a banner protesting Xi Jinping’s idiosyncratic COVID-19 policy and demanding that the President resigns. Nothing similar had ever happened in Beijing.
Peng Lifa, who was active on social media as “Peng Zaizhou,” was immediately arrested. The CCP recruited Party members to keep watch 24/7 on all the bridges of the Beijing region, which are in the thousands. The address of Sitong Bridge also mysteriously disappeared from Baidu GPS—least something would visit it to pay a silent homage to Peng Lifa. In Chinese Internet search engines “Peng Lifa” and “Sitong Bridge” cannot be searched. Peng’s wife, two minor daughters, and father-in-law, as well as his brothers and sisters are kept under strict surveillance, cannot be active on social media, and can barely talk with outsiders.
Neither they nor anybody else know where Peng Lifa is nor whether he is still alive. A usually reliable source close to the highest echelons of Public Security told “Bitter Winter” that Peng is alive and in a psychiatric hospital but we have no hard evidence of this.
Whatever his fate, Peng is a hero for those who are not victims of the CCP propaganda. He was included among the top 100 people of the year 2022 by “Time Magazine,” and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by politicians of different countries.
Peng’s sacrifice was not in vain. He inspired the massive protests against Xi Jinping’s Zero COVID policy that led to its sudden and spectacular reversal. These demonstrations proved that massive protests against the CCP are not impossible in China, may become so widespread to make the costs of a bloody repression too high for the regime, and may achieve some effects. For all this, all friends of freedom in China and internationally should spare a tear and an applause for Peng Lifa, one year after he was last seen.