Hu Jintao’s Strategy for Handling Chinese Dissent and U.S. Pressure – Tanaka Sakai

From Japan Focus:

It is said that the number of demonstrations against government mismanagement and corruption in China is rising. Since late last year, the media in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Europe, Japan, and the United States has frequently reported protests erupting at city offices and other public sites across the country.

People regularly barge into government offices to protest when local newspapers reveal incidences of corruption. News coverage leads to public anger when redevelopment projects provide almost no restitution for people who have been evicted to make way for construction, while the relatives of local officials get rich. Protests frequently prompt revenge. Local officials send gangsters to threaten and physically harm people who had raised their voices against government abuse.

Recently, many Chinese have seen their standard of living deteriorate as state-owned companies are privatized, as employees are fired with little compensation, and as businesses begin to charge for services, which were once free, at company-affiliated schools, hospitals, and apartments. In the meantime, the children of well-connected party officials are raking in money, building luxurious homes, and driving around in expensive cars. This situation heightens the dissatisfaction of average citizens, so when protests begin, they quickly expand as other people, who have different complaints, arrive.

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