David J. Lynch wrote this on USA TODAY: “……the continuing siege in this village of 600 people illustrates that beneath a veneer of authoritarian rule, economic strength and Olympic success, popular discontent is bubbling in China. Last year, there were 58,000 “mass incidents” across China, according to government statistics cited in the Chinese magazine Outlook. That’s more than six times the number of protests and demonstrations the authorities admitted to in 1993.
The increasing willingness of individuals to confront state authority is powerful evidence of the emergence of what political scientists have labeled “rightful resistance.” As China’s economy grows freer and more tumultuous, these government-tolerated grievances are starting to hint at what a more open political environment might entail. They illustrate both the partial loosening of restraints on popular action and the very real limits that remain. ”
Read the full article here.