Social media users condemned China’s use of military tanks to intimidate customers of banks protesting the freezing of their savings. Some people claimed that the deployment of military tank forces the country to confront its economic problems. The issue is seen by crypto proponents as a vindication to their long-standing argument.
Social media users have criticized the Chinese authorities’ reported decision of deploying tanks around the Henan central bank’s offices. This is where bank customers protested against the freezing their savings. According to reports, the Henan Province central bank told protesting clients that their savings are now investment products. This meant that affected bank clients couldn’t withdraw their savings.
Some videos show military tanks rolling around in the vicinity of the Bank of China’s offices. Two weeks ago, Bitcoin.com News reported on angry bank customers arguing with security guards at the Bank of China’s premises.
Some Twitter users still doubted that the videos were shot in Henan, even though they were posted on July 20. An user, Angelo Guiliano claimed that the video was actually shot in Rizhou City in Shandong Province. This is some 440+ km away.
Aftermath Protests invoking Tiananmen Square
However, there were no doubts as to where the video was taken. This did not stop it going viral and drawing a response from Twitter users. According to reports, Chinese authorities might be trying to placate angry customers by reminding them of the government’s brutal suppression of protests in 1989. A student-led protest against corruption and inflation was held at that time. The government responded with armed troops to Tiananmen Square, where the protestors gathered.
The deployment of tanks and images of tanks crushing protestors helped to stop the demonstrations that lasted nearly three weeks and a month. Thousands of protestors were killed in the Tiananmen demonstrations, and many more were injured.
A report from The Print states that the purpose of the deployment of tanks was to intimidate bank customers protesting. Some of these customers are also seen in another video pushing security guards at Bank of China premises and throwing water bottles at them. However, the Chinese mainstream media did not report on the alleged deployment of tanks.
Social media users find fault in the country’s economic system
Some users on social media suggested that the use of intimidation tactics by authorities points to larger economic problems.
Chelsea Dan, another user, responded to a Wall Street Silver tweet in which a video showing the tanks was shared. The user stated
“Communism everywhere and to believe that some people in this nation support it.”
Other users, such as Matt Edgley, stated that Henan’s problems are a sign that the Chinese real estate bubble is about burst. The user warned that there would be “blood on the streets soon.”
Others, such as Twitter user Eddie Gahan, suggested that the problem might not be related to communism. Gahan tweeted:
This was actually capitalism. Many developers are defaulting because of the banks’ excessive lending to property developers.
Advocates of cryptocurrency believe that China’s use military force to stop bank customers who are upset from demanding their funds is a vindication of their argument for decentralized financial systems.
Shivamadan, a Twitter user, used the tank deployment to emphasize the importance of a decentralized cryptocurrency.
China’s Housing Bubble
Reports of Chinese tank deployment coincide with reports that there has been an increase in homebuyers who have stopped making loan repayments. CNBC reports that defaulting homebuyers are protesting delays in construction. According to some analysts, if the problem continues unchecked, it could encourage other homebuyers not to repay.
The report stated that a larger number of defaulting customers could put pressure on cashflows for China’s highly indebted developers, which could result in more delays and the abandonment of more projects.
Some, such as Dai Xianglong (the former head of China’s central bank), have said that China won’t experience anything like the U.S. subprime crisis. However, one state-backed media outlet called Securities Times warning of the possibility of a larger crisis.