China Beat Archive



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November 18, 2008 in The China Beat


Copyright November 18, 2008. Used by permission.


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.

1. The event that has drawn the most attention in recent weeks has been the taxi driver strikes in several major cities. Xujun Eberlein reported on the strike in her hometown of Chongqing at New America Media:

“In the early morning hours of Monday, November 3rd, however, passengers in Chongqing waiting to go to work by cab were the first to discover them missing from the streets. At the same time, some drivers unaware of the strike, were stopped by their colleagues. Tempers flared, and some 20 to 30 cabs had their top lights smashed, according to reports.