Rural riots and denial in China

Our contributor Brian Schwarz highlights in his blog China Challenges the deep denial of Chinese authorities about the escalating domestic unrest they face.

Last month, Beijing reported that the number of disturbances to public order rose 6.6 per cent last year to 87,000.  According to the SCMP, it seems some officials are still in deep denial over the massive problems in the countryside.  Vivian Cui writes:

Mainland police have played down the growing wave of social unrest sweeping the country, describing it as a phase common to fast—growing economies worldwide.  Ministry of Public Security spokesman Wu Heping said in Beijing yesterday that the rural riot was "a concept that does not exist".

"In the phase [of fast economic development], the interests, relations and positions of different parts [of society] are undergoing adjustment. In the process of adjusting, there will accordingly be an increase in [the number of] common people who, in order to defend their own interests, express their pleas to government and relevant departments through various channels," Mr Wu said.

Somehow I must have missed the wave of riots which accompanied Japan's period of rapid economic growth in the 1960s. Sure, there were demonstrations over political issues and student issues, but nothing comparable to the violent unrest roiling China.

Thomas Lifson   2 08 06

Our contributor Brian Schwarz highlights in his blog China Challenges the deep denial of Chinese authorities about the escalating domestic unrest they face.

Last month, Beijing reported that the number of disturbances to public order rose 6.6 per cent last year to 87,000.  According to the SCMP, it seems some officials are still in deep denial over the massive problems in the countryside.  Vivian Cui writes:

Mainland police have played down the growing wave of social unrest sweeping the country, describing it as a phase common to fast—growing economies worldwide.  Ministry of Public Security spokesman Wu Heping said in Beijing yesterday that the rural riot was "a concept that does not exist".

"In the phase [of fast economic development], the interests, relations and positions of different parts [of society] are undergoing adjustment. In the process of adjusting, there will accordingly be an increase in [the number of] common people who, in order to defend their own interests, express their pleas to government and relevant departments through various channels," Mr Wu said.

Somehow I must have missed the wave of riots which accompanied Japan's period of rapid economic growth in the 1960s. Sure, there were demonstrations over political issues and student issues, but nothing comparable to the violent unrest roiling China.

Thomas Lifson   2 08 06