Chinese President Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power has cleared the path for him to break China’s cycle of debt-driven growth and put the economy on a more sustainable footing. But there’s a big problem: He’s failing to convince the nation that’s a good idea.

As the world’s second-biggest economy undergoes a prolonged slowdown, Xi’s move to shun the old playbook of unleashing broad stimulus is spurring discontent. The China Dissent Monitor, a project of U.S.-based Freedom House that collects information on protests, says economic demonstrations have remained elevated since August, with many focused on labor disputes and a real estate crisis that’s cutting into household wealth.

Thousands of angry retail investors last month flooded the U.S. Embassy’s Weibo page with criticism of the government’s handling of the economy in the midst of a $7 trillion stock rout. Elsewhere on the platform, some even insinuated that only a change in the top leadership would spur markets — comments that managed to skirt censors before they were eventually taken down.