Wave of civil unrest grips China 'in largest anti-government protests since Tiananmen Square'

China is facing its largest anti-government protests since the Tiananmen Square massacre after activists filled the streets to openly call for an end to the rule of President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Hundreds of students at Tsinghua university in Beijing joined waves of demonstrations as unrest grows over the ruthless zero-Covid policies pursued by the authoritarian government.

The crowds carried a series of placards touting anti-regime slogans and erupted into a series of chants, calling for 'democracy' and 'freedom of expression'.

The university in the Chinese capital is the latest public location to be rocked by unprecedent civil unrest and demonstrations on a scale unseen since the infamous Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 which ended in hundreds of deaths when the army was deployed to quell the uprising.

'At 11:30 am students started holding up signs at the entrance of the canteen, then more and more people joined. Now there are 200 to 300 people,' one witness told an AFP journalist.

Participants sang the national anthem and 'the Internationale' - a standard of the international communist movement - and chanted 'freedom will prevail' and 'no to lockdowns, we want freedom', they said.