Global Tuidang Center



Identity of the Man Who Pulled Off Protest on Beijing Overpass Amid Unprecedented Security Before the Chinese Communist Party Congress

Peng Lifa, disguised as a construction worker, was seen hanging up one of the two banners on Sitong Overpass. Photo: social media

China Change

Based on information online that we have gathered so far, the man is Peng Lifa (彭立发), known online as Peng Zaizhou (彭载舟), who displayed two large banners demanding the removal of Xi Jinping on Sitong Overpass (四通桥) on the Third Ring Road, north section, in Beijing Haidian District around 2 pm Beijing Time on October 13, the day after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) concluded the 7th Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee. 

One banner reads: No PCR test, want livelihoods; not lockdowns, want freedom; not lies, want dignity; not Cultural Revolution, want reform; not a supreme leader, want ballots; not to be slaves but citizens.

The other reads: Students strike, workers strike, remove the dictator and state thief Xi Jinping.

The Sitong Overpass is 280 meters in length and located in a busy part of the city with a concentration of universities and tech companies. It is a 6-lane city speedway overpass that can only be accessed through traffic from either direction. This gave Peng some time to carry out his action before the security responders arrived. 

He disguised himself as a construction worker wearing an orange work suit and a hard hat and set something on fire that gave off a plume of black smoke to attract attention. He also appeared to have pre-recorded his message and broadcast it loud and clear on a loop.

His action obviously was well-planned, meticulously timed, and perfectly executed. So much so that the police may not be convinced that it was the act of one man.

He maximized the impact he could make in the few minutes he had and succeeded in getting attention and getting his messages out: photos and video clips widely circulated on Chinese social media before censorship kicked in. Sitong Overpass, Peng Zaizhou, Peng Lifa, Haidian, brave man, Third Ring Road North, bridge + fire, banner (四通桥、彭载舟、彭立发、 勇士、海淀、北三环、北四环、桥+火、横幅) have since become sensitive words subject to account deletion and suspension. Rumor has it that WeChat has blocked 600,000 accounts for posting pictures of, or commenting on, the Beijing Sitong Overpass incident. A journalist reported that his account was suspended for 60 days for merely saying “I’ve seen it.” 

Chinese netizens already dubbed Peng “The Bridge Man”, echoing The Tank Man of 1989.

It looks like he has two Twitter accounts @lifa_petter and @peng_phy. He posted similar messages in reply to some popular Chinese accounts the day before (Oct. 12) and in the early morning of Oct. 13, calling for a strike by students and workers, a military uprising, and drivers honking on October 16, the day the CCP is set to open its 20th Congress in which Xi is expected to go on to a third term as the Party’s General Secretary – breaking the term limit rules. These tweets have now been removed.

He wrote, “We want Xi Jinping the tyrant to know that, there are men in China on the path to pursue freedom” — a reference to Xi’s laments that the Soviet Union didn’t have a man who was man enough to save it from collapse.

Peng has a background in physics and published a paper, which he tweeted, about electromagnetic force in Science and Technology Innovation Herald (科技创新导报), a state aerospace publication, as recently as 2021. Interestingly, on the website where his paper is available online, he has a tag that reads “Universal Suffrage Committee of the People’s Republic of China”.

He is also a partner at a company called Beijing Melon Network Technology Co., Ltd. (北京甜瓜网络科技有限公司) that sells acrylic products.

Based on China’s playbook in recent years, we fear that Peng will be tortured severely and locked up for years, and may even die, in prison. Like the Tank Man, we may never hear about him again.

Earlier this year, he tweeted photos of Beijing spring, him donating blood, and a recent photo of what seems like a family outing rafting in Baihe Grand Canyon in northern Beijing.

The Chinese public’s anger, frustration, and resentment toward Xi are palpable, widespread, and intense as his tyrannical zero-Covid policy continues to sap businesses and societal vitality by subjecting millions and millions of people to unpredictable lockdowns and hardship.

From how it is decided upon, to the fact that everyone knows it is a terrible mistake but no one is able to correct it, the zero-Covid madness, we contend, is the equivalent of Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward, and will inflict comparable disasters on the people of China.

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