Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Shanwei Incident Implied the Cost of China’s Economic Miracle

The incident happened in Shanwei (汕尾)certainly demonstrated the weak capability of Chinese government to cope with the social crisis again. Many people even associated it with June 4th incident. There was another case similar to Shanwei incident taking place in Hanyuan city, Sichuan Province late last year. Government in Sichuan confiscated farmers’ lands, planning to construct a power plant near Dadu River. The peasants in Hanyuan who lost their lands stopped the plant's construction, demanding government to increase the compensation level. When clashes began, the Police opened fire. The incident was cracked down on by force, ending with tens of peasant's death.

Coincidentally, Australia broke out the massive riot due to the racial hatred on Dec.12nd. This is for the same cause with what happened in Paris last month. Although the riots there were serious, there were few death reports (only one man died in Paris). Whereas there are more than 50 nationalities in China, the racial violence case like the grim conflict between Hui (Chinese Muslim) and Han Nationality which led to tens of death toll in Zhongmu of Henan Province last year was rare, except for the hot spot regions like Xijiang and Tibet. Furthermore, when the riot was happening, nobody saw policemen. Every time what the police did was to arrest the rioters afterwards, and left behind the large casualties. It seems that the Chinese police aren’t to protect people, but merely protect the authority instead. People fight with each other; it’s none of my business. If you fight with me, I’ll open fire. Moreover, it's real gun. They won't even use stun guns, pepper sprays, tasers, rubber bullet or other intimidating purpose weapons which have also been criticized by international consensus.

The minister of Public Security, Zhou Yongkang said in June this year, 74 thousand demonstrations happened in China last year. Zhou said that most of them were triggered by economic reasons like land and property disputes, and power abuse by local officials like the Wanzhou incident (a city of Chongqing Municipality).

That sounded reasonable. However, if we look into the overall social situation in China, I would say the riots or violent activities will most probably go on happening. Chinese government hopes to mitigate the level of unrest which was dormant in the untold corners of society, by all means of keeping high economic growth rate. Paradoxically, the high economic growth in China depends much on depriving people’s rights. It was said that present Chinese economy was braced by 3“C”. That is, construction, car, and coal. Therefore, that is why there are so many cases about coal mine accidents, demonstrations for losing property, and traffic accidents (China amounted for over 20 percent of total traffic accidents in the world last year).

Shanwei incident not only implied the officials’ weak capability of good governance, but alarmingly signaled that China has gotten into very severe situation. If such abnormal model of economic growth continues without political reform, China might become the most powerful economic entity some day as somebody anticipates. However, China would also possibly strand deeply in the big unrest if his people can’t choose their popular governors, moreover, have been dissatisfying with their rulers.


陸婆婆 said...





Charles said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Charles said...