THERE is a rebellion brewing in China. No guns, weapons and armaments of war. No actual fighting and skirmishes, and no blood flowing in the streets. There are no leadership structures; no single spokesperson articulating their demands, hopes and aspirations. There are no written manifestos and demands made on government. The rebels are China's youth.

Chinese youth is simply giving up. Their rebellion is unique as it started as gimmickry in social media, an online fad. They even have a name for it — bai lan, or let it rot! It is perceived principally as a rebellion directed at the Chinese Communist Party's (CPP) governance. It has disturbed and worried the CPP that President Xi Jinping had to make a direct and personal appeal to the youth reminding them that they are the hope of the fatherland. And the CPP came out with palliative policies that proved to be just that — ineffective.

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