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Accueil du site > 08- Livre Huit : ACTUALITE DE LA LUTTE DES CLASSES > China : Latest statistics confirm regime’s fears of rising instability

China : Latest statistics confirm regime’s fears of rising instability

lundi 11 mai 2009, par Robert Paris

China : 58,000 "mass incidents" in first three months of 2009

Tue, 5 May 2009.

Latest statistics confirm regime’s fears of rising instability

chinaworker.info

The first three months of this year, as the pace of job losses and migrants returning home has skyrocketed, China has seen an astonishing 58,000 so-called ’mass incidents’. This is government-speak for strikes, street protests, road-blocks and other forms of popular struggle. The new figures come from Hong Kong agencies monitoring political stability in mainland China. These state that in the period January to March 2009 there were 58,000 incidents involving 25 or more people. Should this trend continue all year, then 2009 would break all previous records with over 230,000 ’mass incidents’, compared to 120,000 in 2008 and 90,000 in 2006.

The ruling ’communist’ party is reluctant to divulge the scale of popular discontent and protest, fearing this will itself encourage others to take to the streets in pursuit of redress for a range of grievances, the most common of which are land seizures, wage arrears, factory closures, salary cuts or pollution threats. This year the regime is especially nervous due to the severe effects of the economic downturn and ’global financial crisis’, which is actually now also an industrial crisis and as much a local crisis as a global one. Up to 30 million migrant workers have lost their jobs since last summer, and millions have been forced to accept lower wages this year in order to find new jobs.

The ’communist’ authorities are especially spooked by workers’ protests and any signs of workers linking up from one city to another or internationally. The regime’s view is that workers are not capable of organising themselves and, where they succeed, must be receiving help from outside. A spectacular example of struggle occured on Labour Day, 1 May, when hundreds of coal miners in Jiangsu province staged a wildcat strike and demonstration demanding pay rises and more investment in mine safety. The workers’ action was in defiance of extensive attempts by police, mine managers, and the goverment of Jiangsu to prevent the protest (a full report of the Jiangsu miners’ struggle will appear soon on chinaworker.info).

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