Police Clamp Down On Truckers Protesting In China

Hundreds of truck drivers in Shanghai have been protesting for the past two days against rising gas prices and fees. AP reports:

About 40 trucks gathered Thursday at a cargo-handling center in Baoshan district in the city’s northeastern outskirts, but there was no repeat of Wednesday’s violence, when a trucking company owner said eight or nine truckers were arrested when they tried to overturn a traffic patrol car.

The protest comes as China’s communist leaders try to defuse mounting public frustration over inflation that spiked to a 32-month high of 5.4 percent in March, driven by an 11.7 percent jump in food costs. Inflation is politically dangerous for the ruling party because it erodes economic gains that help to support the communists’ claim to power.

Chinese leaders have declared taming prices their priority this year. Cities have raised minimum wages by 10 to 20 percent, but that has failed to keep pace with climbing living costs in many areas.

Authorities reacted quickly to the Shanghai truckers’ protest, deploying police and removing accounts of the unrest from Chinese websites.

See also reports from Al Jazeera and Shanghaiist.

April 21, 2011 10:30 AM
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