China: demonstrable discontent
Dedicated to preserving stability and maintaining its monopoly on power, the Beijing regime sings the praises of China’s booming economy. Meanwhile, with China’s reforms crippled by political corruption and the rising gap between rich and poor, the Chinese Government is facing serious challenges from those who have been socio-economically disadvantaged. The Oriental Outlook Weekly reports 58,000 relatively large disturbances and riots occurred in 2003: an increase in social unrest of 15 per cent compared with the previous year. According to a separate (official) report, 3.1 million people took place in marches, demonstrations, rallies and petitioning expeditions during September 2004 alone. In more than 100 instances, city and county government offices were damaged or forcibly occupied.