China has seen a surge in protests in cities all around the country, targeted at the country's Covid Zero policies. But nearly three years into this pandemic, why did they happen now? How does recent economic weakness factor into the demonstrations? And why did the government allow them to go on in the first place? On this episode, we speak with Victor Shih, a professor at the School of Global Policy & Strategy at UC San Diego and author of the new book, Coalitions of the Weak: Elite Politics in China from Mao’s Stratagem to the Rise of Xi. Shih explains this perilous moment for China, as it navigates the pandemic, a real estate bust and other assorted economic stresses.