Xi has been trying to dispel the image of China’s leaders as a distant and wealthy elite, but his campaign to promote his accessibility may just be emboldening people to speak up. Even Xi’s slogan, the “Chinese Dream,” has been hijacked by parts of the public to symbolize the country’s social problems, not the rejuvenation of China as Xi intended.

Chinese censors have now deleted the photo of the petitioners outside Qingfeng from the Chinese microblog platform Sina Weibo, but that won’t prevent more discontent citizens from going there—and not just because of their delicious cheap steamed buns.

Gang Yang contributed additional reporting.

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