Chinese Appeal to Beijing to Resolve Local Complaints (New York Times)

In protest of the widespread corruption amongst local rural officials, common people are increasingly taking their complaints to the central government in Beijing. “The number of petitioners writing or coming to Beijing jumped sharply last year, as more ordinary citizens are demanding good government.

This is the high season for petitioners, who are eager to reach Beijing during the annual National People’s Congress meeting. In his opening remarks on Friday, Mr. Wen offered encouragement to the poorest citizens, promising a crackdown on corruption and illegal land seizures.

Yet human rights advocates say the Beijing authorities, fearing embarrassing protests, have been blocking protesters from reaching the delegates. Some say they are under virtual house arrest.”

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