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However, there is still a limit to how far people are prepared to protest in the knowledge that the government has not undergone any fundamental change, said Xujun Eberlein, an American Chinese writer and author of “Apologies Forthcoming.”

The Chinese people “know the risks and possible adverse consequences of mass actions. Generally speaking, unless problems are severe and the potential benefits are bigger than the risks, they will probably not take mass actions. There is a reality check that plays an important role here,” she said.