This morning the Los Angeles Times reported on a riot in Gansu that was touched off over disagreements on city planning issues. The report comes on the heels of an uptick in news in the last week on local protests in China. It is unclear if this increased coverage represents an actual increase in local protests (based on reports from the Chinese government in recent years, there are hundreds of local protests each week in China) or if the economic crisis has simply increased the relevance of these protests.
But much of the coverage we’ve been reading has been less concerned with how representative these protests are; rather China watchers are focusing on what the government’s response to both protestors and media coverage tells us about a new CCP public relations attitude. Below, a selection of recent reports.