I have been warning for years of the brittleness of the regime in China, despite (actually because of) its seemingly limitless autocratic power. While democratic India has trouble finding land for new steel mills and airports, roads and refineries, and above all electrical power plants, thereby limiting its growth, in China the regime just clears people out, more or less.
Except that the Chinese people, human beings like you and me, hate this treatment. And they rebel against it tens of thousands of times a year. Mostly we don't hear about it, but violent civil unrest is a daily fact of life there. News rarely comes to the West, because China exercises censorship whenever it can. But a new riot has made the Western press:
The International Herald-Tribune reports:
The grievances are multiple, I am sure. China is corrupt, and the rich have gotten very rich very quickly, often with the connivance of officials. Throught its thousands of years of history, Chinese regimes have fallen in the face of mass upheavals. The rulers in Beijing as well as the people, know this history well. Foreign investors delighted that business has such a free hand should be aware that things are not so peaceful as they seem in the airconditioned hotels of the major cities.
An intensive campaign to enforce strict population-control measures prompted violent clashes between the police and local residents in southwestern China in recent days, witnesses said, describing the latest incident of rural unrest that has alarmed senior officials in Beijing.
Villagers and visitors to several counties of the Guangxi autonomous region in southwestern China said rioters smashed and burned government offices, overturned official vehicles and clashed with the riot police in a series of confrontations over the past four days.
They gave varying accounts of injuries and deaths, with some asserting that as many as five people were killed, including three officials responsible for population control work. A local government official in one of the counties affected confirmed the rioting in an interview by telephone but denied reports of deaths or serious injuries.
The violence appeared to stem from a two-month-long crackdown in Guangxi to punish people who violated the country's birth control policy. The policy limits the number of children families can have legally.
Hat tip: Joseph Crowley