Tiananmen Square redux? China rolls out tanks against people seeking to withdraw bank deposits

In a bid to crack down on people protesting for the release of their savings frozen by banks, the Chinese government deployed large, armoured tanks on the streets to disperse the agitators. The incident reminded many of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre where thousands of student protesters were killed while seeking greater political freedom.

Scores of people have been protesting on the streets for the past several weeks after the Henan branch of the Bank of China declared that the people’s savings in the branch are now ‘investment products’ and can’t be withdrawn. The order was rolled out in April this year.

Local media reports claimed that China’s Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) rolled out tanks on the streets to protect the bank.

The videos that have surfaced online show more than 1,000 depositors gathering outside the Zhengzhou branch of the country’s central bank, Bank of China, to launch their largest protest. According to reports, the video is from July 10, but went viral on July 21.

Watch | China deploys tanks to prevent depositors from reaching crisis-hit banks

As per the notice by Henan Provincial Financial Supervision Bureau, some bank depositors in Henan villages and towns were supposed to get their deposits back on July 15, reports ANI news agency.

Chinese state media has so far not posted anything about the repayment.

Meanwhile, according to a Bloomberg report, Chinese authorities have assured to repay more victims as it seeks to placate angry customers.

According to the local offices of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, clients from the four rural banks in the central province of Henan and one in Anhui with deposits of up to 100,000 yuan ($14,800) will be repaid from July 25,

There are nearly 4,000 small and medium-sized banks in China that collectively control almost $14 trillion in assets, according to Bloomberg.

(With inputs from agencies)


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