As the economy booms, so does unrest – Economist
Though protests are increasingly common in China, the violence in Dongzhou was uncommon. Rarer still was the reaction of the authorities. Rather than deny the police crackdown”though efforts were made to downplay it”the government of Guangdong province at the weekend criticised the “wrong actions” of the commander of the paramilitary forces responsible for the deaths. Civilian officials then detained him, an extraordinary response which suggests high-level concern that the incident was badly mishandled. China last year saw 74,000 cases of mass protest, up from 10,000 a decade earlier, say police. But protesters are usually dispersed with truncheons and tear gas, not live bullets. In Dongzhou, some police were said to be carrying AK-47 assault rifles.