The restrictions also coincide with a surge of local protests in many villages and cities across China for a wide range of reasons, from commercial disputes to environmental damage. There has been no sign, however, that the protests are centrally organized or pose any immediate threat to China's political system. (Emphasis mine).I realize that "or" is one of the weakest conjunctions out there, and makes no true implications. Both clauses on either side of the "or" seem perfectly credible. Nevertheless I can't help but feel that the implication of this sentence is that centrally organized protests are more dangerous to the PRC than a spontaneous, decentralized surge, which strikes me as exactly wrong. And so, oddly, the feeling you're left with at the end of the graf is, "hmm, something's really up." Even though that's exactly not what it's saying.
Mr. Ching is the chief China correspondent of The Straits Times in Singapore. Born in Shantou, China, and raised in Hong Kong, he holds a British National Overseas passport, which was issued to nearly half of Hong Kong's 6.8 million residents before Britain returned the territory to China in 1997. The passport does not entitle holders to move to Britain but does allow them representation by consular officials; a British consulate spokeswoman here said late today that Chinese authorities had denied access to Mr. Ching.That's particularly worrisome, as that British National Overseas passport was supposed to be a lifeline. I hope Britain doesn't take no for an answer.
In the latest incident on October 18, 40,000-50,000 demonstrators gathered before the local government offices in the Wanzhou district of southwestern China's Chongqing municipality, protesting the reported near-fatal beating by an official of a migrant worker.That's a lot of protesters. According to the China Digital Times, a Berkeley-based Chinese news blog, Rand Institute Researcher Murray Scott Tanner testified before a UC commission about "Rising Social Unrest" in China in April. And only today, from Reuters:
About 800 policemen clashed with armed villagers during a pre-dawn raid in southern China and arrested 47 people after residents defied a crackdown on illegal mining and went on a rampage, a local paper and officials said.With all the talk of a rising dragon, let's keep in mind who powers the dragon in the first place.
Spring 2006: Guest Bloggers!
Rishi | Scott | Emily
Echan | Robert | ToastyKen