20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

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20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Iulus Cofield » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:04 am UTC

Inside Wukan: the Chinese village that fought back

Spoiler:
For the first time on record, the Chinese Communist party has lost all control, with the population of 20,000 in this southern fishing village now in open revolt.
The last of Wukan’s dozen party officials fled on Monday after thousands of people blocked armed police from retaking the village, standing firm against tear gas and water cannons.
Since then, the police have retreated to a roadblock, some three miles away, in order to prevent food and water from entering, and villagers from leaving. Wukan’s fishing fleet, its main source of income, has also been stopped from leaving harbour.
The plan appears to be to lay siege to Wukan and choke a rebellion which began three months ago when an angry mob, incensed at having the village’s land sold off, rampaged through the streets and overturned cars.
Although China suffers an estimated 180,000 “mass incidents” a year, it is unheard of for the Party to sound a retreat.
But on Tuesday The Daily Telegraph managed to gain access through a tight security cordon and witnessed the new reality in this coastal village.
Thousands of Wukan’s residents, incensed at the death of one of their leaders in police custody, gathered for a second day in front of a triple-roofed pagoda that serves as the village hall.
For five hours they sat on long benches, chanting, punching the air in unison and working themselves into a fury.
At the end of the day, a fifteen minute period of mourning for their fallen villager saw the crowd convulsed in sobs and wailing for revenge against the local government.
“Return the body! Return our brother! Return our farmland! Wukan has been wronged! Blood debt must be paid! Where is justice?” the crowd screamed out.
Wukan’s troubles began in September, when the villagers’ collective patience snapped at an attempt to take away their land and sell it to property developers.
“Almost all of our land has been taken away from us since the 1990s but we were relaxed about it before because we made our money from fishing,” said Yang Semao, one of the village elders. “Now, with inflation rising, we realise we should grow more food and that the land has a high value.”
Thousands of villagers stormed the local government offices, chasing out the party secretary who had governed Wukan for three decades. In response, riot police flooded the village, beating men, women and children indiscriminately, according to the villagers.
In the aftermath, the local government tried to soothe the bruised villagers, asking them to appoint 13 of their own to mediate between the two sides – a move which was praised. But after anger bubbled over again local officials hatched another plan to bring the rebellious village back under control. Last Friday, at 11.45 in the morning, four minibuses without license plates drove into Wukan and a team of men in plain clothes seized five of the village’s 13 representatives from a roadside restaurant.
A second attack came at 4am on Sunday morning, when a thousand armed police approached the entrance to the village.
“We had a team of 20 people watching out, and they saw the police searchlights. We had blocked the road with fallen trees to buy us time,” said Chen Xidong, a 23 year old. “They banged the warning drum and the entire village ran to block the police.”
After a tense two-hour standoff, during which the villagers were hit with tear gas and water cannons, the police retreated, instead setting up the ring of steel around Wukan that is in force today. The village’s only source of food, at present, are the baskets of rice, fruit and vegetables carried across the fields on the shoulder poles of friendly neighbours.
Then, on Monday, came the news that Xue Jinbo, one of the snatched representatives, had died in police custody, at the age of 43, from a heart attack. His family believe he was murdered.
“There were cuts and bruises on the corners of his mouth and on his forehead, and both his nostrils were full of blood,” said Xue Jianwan, his 21-year-old daughter. “His chest was grazed and his thumbs looked like they had been broken backwards. Both his knees were black,” she added. “They refused to release the body to us.”
Mr Xue’s death has galvanised his supporters and brought the explosive situation in the village to the brink. “We are not sleeping. A hundred men are keeping watch. We do not know what the government’s next move will be, but we know we cannot trust them ever again,” said Mr Chen. “I think they will try to prolong the situation, to sweat us out.”
From behind the roadblock, a propaganda war has broken out. Banners slung by the side of the main road to Wukan urge drivers to “Safeguard stability against anarchy – Support the government!” Nearby, someone has scrawled, simply: “Give us back our land.”
The news of Wukan’s loss has been censored inside China. But a blue screen, which interrupts television programmes every few minutes inside the village, insists that the “incidents” are the work of a seditious minority, and have now been calmed. “It is all lies,” said Ms Xue.
Her brother, meanwhile, said life had improved since the first officials were driven out three months ago. “We found we were better at administration. The old officials turned out not to have had any accounts in their office, so they must have been swindling us. And we have a nightwatch now, to keep the village safe. We have all bonded together,” said Xue Jiandi, 19.
With enough food to keep going in the short-term and a pharmacy to tend to the sick, the leaders of Wukan are confident about their situation.
But it is difficult to imagine that it will be long before the Communist Party returns, and there are still four villagers in police custody.
“I have just been to see my 25-year-old son,” Shen Shaorong, the mother of Zhang Jianding, one of the four, said as she cried on her knees. “He has been beaten to a pulp and his clothes were ripped. Please tell the government in Beijing to help us before they kill us all,”
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:29 am UTC

I never quite know how to feel about situations like these. On the one hand, it's definitely good that people are fighting an oppressive government. On the other hand, it involves injuries and deaths and I'm never sure if I should weigh that more heavily.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby dedalus » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:36 am UTC

Define 'good'? I would say it's most definitely not good, in any ethical sense, that the villagers were put in the situation where they had to resort to this, and that's the fault of the corrupt administration. As for the villagers actions, I really don't see them as unjustified given what happened. That being said, I don't know if I'd attach a moral value of 'good' or 'bad' to this - I'd definitely say it's courageous (given the Chinese government's history of dealing with dissidents), and from the article I'd say they're in the right.

Either way, I'm fearing the worst for the poor bastards, for exactly the reasons bracketed above.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:39 am UTC

Obviously it's not good that they were put in this situation. But, on the other hand, perhaps it's good that they didn't submit. The morality and general "goodness" of the various factors in these kinds of things make it hard for me to know whether I should be glad it's happening or sad that it needed to.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:52 am UTC

Clearly all is not well within China.

In terms of rebellion to a government, in order to change it, this is the nature of the beast. Very few governments have been removed without some form of violence. Although I am very curious to learn if this is indeed just an isolated incident or a precursor of more notable rebellious movements.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Djehutynakht » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:38 am UTC

I am pretty much an opponent of the PRC Government. I'm not a fan of their strict totalitarianism. China may be good at many things (indeed, it is not the Chinese nation itself that I hate, only the government) but I'm not quite so sure their government makes it worth it.

I think it's time to start raising another Goddess of Democracy.

Or, at the very least, to be honest, these villagers probably wouldn't have given a damn (initially, at least. They must be fuming by now), so long as they had land to grow their food and a less corrupt government.

When the government does not fit the needs of its people, it is not truly a government of that people.

China needs change.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Hawknc » Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:25 am UTC

I have to wonder if this will happen more often as China's growth slows to more sustainable levels. It's interesting that they are appealing to Beijing for help; while our perception is that this is a possible precursor to more widespread revolt, maybe their perception is that the corruption is only an issue at the local level.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Ghostbear » Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:34 am UTC

I suspect things like this will be more common going forward with China, as regardless of what happens there's going to be conditions that influence it. Either growth slows down, and people start to revolt because they aren't benefiting enough from it anymore, or growth continues, leading to a more educated populace, causing them to want more individual liberties and voting rights. All the current Chinese regime can really hope for is that they either maintain growth without significant education advances or they manage to slowly cede power to the people in a way that leaves the people content while still leaving the ruling groups with more power than they'd have otherwise.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Zamfir » Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:44 am UTC

Or not. The future is difficult. People have been predicting the end of the current Chinese system for decades, pointing at every turmoil as a sign that the revolution is brewing. But in the end, you won't know if there is really broad support for a large change, until it happens. That's true for China, but for any other place as well. A foreign news station would have had no problem to paint the OWS movement as a sign of revolution rumbling in the oppressed bellies of the US people.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby johnny_7713 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:26 am UTC

Hawknc wrote:I have to wonder if this will happen more often as China's growth slows to more sustainable levels. It's interesting that they are appealing to Beijing for help; while our perception is that this is a possible precursor to more widespread revolt, maybe their perception is that the corruption is only an issue at the local level.


I believe historically many rebellions / revolutions have appealed to a far away higher authority (usually the king) to intervene against corrupt local governments. Or at the very least pledged their loyalty to the highest government level, while simultaneously rebelling against lower levels.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:58 am UTC

Time will tell for sure, but verily, totalitarian states generally don't survive very long in this world anymore. Hard to know exactly how it will happen but I am sure that the trend will be a move towards more political freedoms for the people of China, even if it is a very slow tendency.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Deep_Thought » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:46 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:Time will tell for sure, but verily, totalitarian states generally don't survive very long in this world anymore. Hard to know exactly how it will happen but I am sure that the trend will be a move towards more political freedoms for the people of China, even if it is a very slow tendency.

What's your definition of "totalitarian" and "very long"? North Korea and Burma are getting on just fine as far as I can tell. Libya lasted a good few decades. Just sayin...

On the appealing to Beijing issue - this does not surprise me. As I understand it a lot of the corruption in China is at the local level. The main income stream for town/city level government is via land sales, so there is huge pressure to find new plots to sell to developers. I wish I could remember the name of it, but there's a pretty large city where last year Beijing stepped in and carted the mayor off to prison for corruption, and parachuted in a replacement. Argh, it was in the Economist but my memory has failed me. Damn beer. They know the problem exists, but it must be pretty hard to keep tabs on every last low-level official in a country of 1,000,000,000 people plus.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Hawknc » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:32 am UTC

China's an odd version of totalitarianism. Obviously there's only one party, but there are elected representatives. Political dissidence is crushed but economic growth is encouraged. At this stage I would say the Chinese leadership doesn't maintain this structure because it gives them power, like so many dictators, but because they honestly believe stability and a strong guiding hand are in China's best interests.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:00 pm UTC

Or perhaps they're trying to stay in power with the maximum amount of totalitarianism they can pull off. I'm not saying that's necessarily the case, but I'd probably avoid making guesses about the overall motives of the government in charge of the largest population on the planet.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:07 pm UTC

Your phrasing indicates that guesses are only problematic because no other government has more constituents. I don't think that actually disqualifies anyone from making guesses, speculations, or inferences as to its motivations.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Hawknc » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:52 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Or perhaps they're trying to stay in power with the maximum amount of totalitarianism they can pull off. I'm not saying that's necessarily the case, but I'd probably avoid making guesses about the overall motives of the government in charge of the largest population on the planet.

I'm guessing Hu Jintao isn't going to just up and say he's in it for the bitches and the money, so guessing is kind of all we've got? Of course I'm speculating on little more than my own observations, but that's fun sometimes.

Back to the topic, what do people think is going to be the endgame of this? It doesn't seem likely that the Chinese government will want to be seen to be supporting open rebellion.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Zamfir » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:00 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:China's an odd version of totalitarianism. Obviously there's only one party, but there are elected representatives. Political dissidence is crushed but economic growth is encouraged. At this stage I would say the Chinese leadership doesn't maintain this structure because it gives them power, like so many dictators, but because they honestly believe stability and a strong guiding hand are in China's best interests.

I don't think this is the odd version of totalitarianisn, but the normal one. Very few people consider themselves Dr Evils, and such people as a rule don't get much support either (not just from the people at large, but also from specific powerful people in society). Crush dissidents, encourage economic growth, stability, a strong guiding hand, it's the standard recipe of concentrated power.

People also cling to power, and power corrupts, but those are not unique to totalitarian regimes. Most people in power can excuse their power and some abuses of it, to themselves and to others. From dictators to the treasurer of the high school soccer team.

The CCP does seem to have developed a fairly smooth system of transferring power evenat the highest levels, and that might help to prevent the most powerful people from acting too much in their personal interest or whim. Though it does seem to become ever more accepted that the families of high officials and generals become wealthy in business.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Hawknc » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:13 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:I don't think this is the odd version of totalitarianisn, but the normal one. Very few people consider themselves Dr Evils, and such people as a rule don't get much support either (not just from the people at large, but also from specific powerful people in society). Crush dissidents, encourage economic growth, stability, a strong guiding hand, it's the standard recipe of concentrated power.

Is it though? If you compare China to Zimbabwe, Libya or Saddam's Iraq, the general populace has unprecedented levels of economic freedom. The standard of living for the entire nation has risen massively over the past 50 years. Most totalitarian regimes maintain power by starving their populations of the means to rebel, but China simply hasn't given enough of its population a reason to. If growth and upward mobility stalls, though, that could be a catalyst for more widespread unrest.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Oktalist » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:39 pm UTC

The BBC says the national PRC government has yet to get involved, and the villagers are hoping it will intervene on their behalf, against the local government. The protestors' slogans include "Long live the Communist Party," according to the BBC.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-16195113

So it seems a bit premature for the Telegraph to claim that the Party has lost all control, and for the subject of this thread to say "PRC sieges town."
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Zamfir » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:56 pm UTC

Is it though? If you compare China to Zimbabwe, Libya or Saddam's Iraq, the general populace has unprecedented levels of economic freedom. The standard of living for the entire nation has risen massively over the past 50 years. Most totalitarian regimes maintain power by starving their populations of the means to rebel, but China simply hasn't given enough of its population a reason to. If growth and upward mobility stalls, though, that could be a catalyst for more widespread unrest.

That's surely true for Iraq, but let's not forget that our image of Saddam comes mainly from thelate 1980s and especially the 1990s, when the country was surrounded and cut-off, a dead end of the world. That's what brings the paranoia out, and made economic freedom pointless.

In the 1970s you could describe Iraq in vaguely similar terms as you do about China: stability in a country plagued by a history of sectarian violence, nationalized oil used for fast economic development, combined with generous and effective social services. saddam brought the country to regional prominence, and balanced the country effectively between the US, Europe and the Soviet Union.

I am pretty sure that Saddam considered himself as the strong man who made that all possible, and without whom the country would have declined in poverty and weakness. And a lot of people both inside and outside the country thought so too, perhaps even correctly.

That only changed after he gambled wrong twice, in Iran and in Kuwait. Had he won either of those, or not played at all, he could have afforded a lot more generosity and less repression towards his people. Iraq would have been fairly China-like: OK to live in if you keep in line, the police beats you up otherwise, and the outer regions get the short stick.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:58 pm UTC

I have to admit, I'm a little less disturbed that the government is selling off what appears to be unowned township land, and significantly more disturbed that the towns representative was found to be tortured in police custody.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:32 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I have to admit, I'm a little less disturbed that the government is selling off what appears to be unowned township land, and significantly more disturbed that the towns representative was found to be tortured in police custody.

I have to agree. My understanding is that the population of China is generally okay with communism, but I rather doubt they're cool with torturing dissenting politicians.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Zamfir » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:45 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I have to admit, I'm a little less disturbed that the government is selling off what appears to be unowned township land, and significantly more disturbed that the towns representative was found to be tortured in police custody.

The two are hard to separate. If you risk to die from torture at the local police station, you will be far more willing to agree that a piece of land is "unused" and can be sold with the profits going to mates of the local leaders. Corruption and violence are two sides of a coin, and less violence can simply signal that people don't dare to protest the corruption.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:01 pm UTC

Oh of course, I'm not suggesting robbing an entire town of it's ability to sustain itself (over time too, more insidious) is somehow legitimate, but an already somewhat communist government taking land from small townsfolk doesn't set off the same kind of warning bells, for me, that 'government kidnaps town leader and tortures him to death' does. And yes, I recognize that robbing a town of it's land could effectively be a slow form of torture.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby sardia » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:02 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I have to admit, I'm a little less disturbed that the government is selling off what appears to be unowned township land, and significantly more disturbed that the towns representative was found to be tortured in police custody.

The standard for living in China is that you can do what you want as long as you don't question the authority of the party. It's a little more complicated than that, since you have to factor in your wealth, connections, and whatnot. By question, I mean complain, appeal to higher ups in the government, file suit, run for office, etc etc. It's really easy to be branded a threat to the party.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Adacore » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:42 am UTC

Oktalist wrote:The BBC says the national PRC government has yet to get involved, and the villagers are hoping it will intervene on their behalf, against the local government. The protestors' slogans include "Long live the Communist Party," according to the BBC.

This is quite an important point, and one most people don't really seem to be taking into account. In general, I believe the modus operandi of the PRC central government when faced with dissent or problems like this is to subtly (or not so subtly) indicate that the local government is responsible for the problem, then move in and clean house. To be fair to them, there's normally a bit of truth in that. The Chinese people, in general, see the central communist party as an extremely good, robust institution - they will readily admit to corruption and abuse in regional governance, but the top level is regarded as whiter than white (or, in this case, I suppose, redder than red) by almost everyone.

I think China in general (and possibly the whole region) will have some very tricky times in a few decades once the economic growth subsides. It's relatively easy to keep people happy in a booming economy, but when it starts to stagnate there are going to be some real problems. Having said that, centrally controlled capitalism seems like a pretty darn efficient economic model, so maybe China will continue to be prosperous for a long time.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:01 am UTC

Centrally controlled capitalism is so mid-20th century.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:39 am UTC

Deep_Thought wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Time will tell for sure, but verily, totalitarian states generally don't survive very long in this world anymore. Hard to know exactly how it will happen but I am sure that the trend will be a move towards more political freedoms for the people of China, even if it is a very slow tendency.

What's your definition of "totalitarian" and "very long"? North Korea and Burma are getting on just fine as far as I can tell. Libya lasted a good few decades. Just sayin...


A totalitarian state would be one wherein the people do not have self-determination. And very long? On the order of decades. North Korea has been having serious famine issues for a long time and is still dependent on foreign food aid. The people of Burma have supported Aung San Suu Kyi in elections and I have no doubt that she will lead Burma in the not too distant future, years perhaps. Both of these Governments are not long of this world.

China is clearly much more stable than either North Korea or Burma and the possibility of open revolt of open revolt against the Party seems almost non-existent. I would expect though, that slowly more political freedoms will be granted. It will be interesting to see how Beijing will play this crisis, I expect they will try and stay out of it as much as they can, hoping the local government and the village can come to an arrangement on their own terms.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Cleverbeans » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:05 am UTC

Reminds me a lot of the 1992 LA riots.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Adacore » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:35 am UTC

Cleverbeans wrote:Reminds me a lot of the 1992 LA riots.

How so? The only tenuous connection I can see is that there was police brutality in both cases. Aside from that, in LA the victim was a criminal, whereas here the victim was a local politician. LA is a city of ~5 millions people, as compared to a town of 20k, there were no issues with confiscation of resources/land, and there wasn't any 'seige' that I'm aware of in the LA riots. Conversely, there was a lot of mob violence, as opposed to the (I believe) largely non-violent tactics employed by the protestors in China.

The two events seem to me about as far removed as two incidences of civil disobedience can be.

EDIT: This post originally stated that police brutality was not a cause of the Chenese 'rebellion', but it clearly was. So there's more truth in the parallel than I thought at first glance, but I still don't think there's a strong resemblence.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Deep_Thought » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:45 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:A totalitarian state would be one wherein the people do not have self-determination.

But you see the thing is, China does have some limited self-determination. They hold elections. I am not aware that they are rigged. The difference is, they vote for people rather than parties. All politicians belong to the Communist party, but there are still people to choose from at the ballot box. I have worked alongside people from China who honestly think their system actually gives more choice in some respects, because in Western elections there are often only 2 or 3 parties with a real chance of winning to pick from, whereas they often have lots of candidates.

The big difference in the systems of course comes from how much dissent/lobbying/conflicting sides of the argument are allowed to be heard. That's where I think the Western system excels. But, as you have said yourself, it is likely that China will open up, gradually, over the next decade or so. At least I hope it will.

North Korea has been having serious famine issues for a long time and is still dependent on foreign food aid. The people of Burma have supported Aung San Suu Kyi in elections and I have no doubt that she will lead Burma in the not too distant future, years perhaps. Both of these Governments are not long of this world.

While I hope you are correct, particularly in the case of North Korea I don't see much changing, depending on how well the succession is managed.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby sardia » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:32 pm UTC

Deep_Thought wrote:But you see the thing is, China does have some limited self-determination. They hold elections. I am not aware that they are rigged. The difference is, they vote for people rather than parties. All politicians belong to the Communist party, but there are still people to choose from at the ballot box. I have worked alongside people from China who honestly think their system actually gives more choice in some respects, because in Western elections there are often only 2 or 3 parties with a real chance of winning to pick from, whereas they often have lots of candidates.

The big difference in the systems of course comes from how much dissent/lobbying/conflicting sides of the argument are allowed to be heard. That's where I think the Western system excels. But, as you have said yourself, it is likely that China will open up, gradually, over the next decade or so. At least I hope it will.


The only elections are for a rubber stamp parliament, and if you try to run for that, you have to be a loyal party members, else they'll cross your name off the list and haul you to jail. You have no idea just how important maintaining their grip on power is to the ruling party in China.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/05/world ... ion&st=cse
If you view their actions through the paranoid lens of political "stability" and social harmony, their actions make some sense. Speech is ok as long as you don't paint anything from the party in a bad light. You can't mention anything regarded as taboo because you might question the party. Complaining or appealing to higherups is really bad because you made the party look bad.

For example, say you implicated that your local representative has committed a wrongdoing, and now the higherups have to clean up. In addition, the guy you just accused is gonna lose his year end bonus and prestige because he got caught, not that he did something wrong. Or...They can haul you off to jail and say you died of a heart attack from a severe case of TheyBeatTheHellOutofYouitis. What's more likely to happen?

If you think China is gradually opening up, this is how it's happening. This article here is what Chinese people asking for one of their rights looks like. Your local representative takes as much as he can to enrich himself, and when you complain, he sends thugs after you.
The best you can hope for is for news to spread faster than they can censor it, and then pray that the government doesn't shoot them all. Public outrage helps, but if only the West hears about it, then those villagers don't have a chance.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Deep_Thought » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:50 pm UTC

Hmmm, good points. I was perhaps being overly contrary to BattleMoose for contrariness' sake.

I should probably visit China before commenting further. My only experience of the country is from talking to Chinese research students in my beloved UK. They have, by and large, either been actively supportive of or at least not-critical of the Chinese regime. However, they are precisely the kind of people who have benefited from recent Chinese history. They were all city born, educated, and from comfortable backgrounds. One was even going to receive a promotion upon returning from a year in the West. He was also the most pro-China person I've met.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Zamfir » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:13 pm UTC

My wife lived in China for short while when she was learning Chinese. She says people mostly don't like to talk about politics with foreigners, or gave standard formulations like "I am sure the party has selected good candidates for the elections". That's even for people that she knew fairly well, visited at home , spoke about relationship issues, etc.

For an outsider, English-speaking Chinese on the internet might well be more reliable source to know what people really think about political topics, unless you live in China long enough to build up very trusting relations with people. I spend some holidays in the country, which surely gave me some experiences that you can't see from abroad. But I never got the slightest feel for the political views of people, and what they really thought of the authorities.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:06 am UTC

Zamfir wrote: "I am sure the party has selected good candidates for the elections".

Do they actually believe this, or are they just using it as a dodge? If they actually think that, it kind of worries me. I know a lot of countries have parties that choose their elected officials, but you have multiple parties to choose from there.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Ptolom » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:00 pm UTC

I wish them the best of luck. I've often wondered about what a revolt in China, a country which has already redefined Communism to match whoever constitutes its government at the time.
Whether or not there will be any wider repercussions will depend on how well the authorities manage to censor news about the uprising. And if enough people are equally dissatisfied economically.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Steax » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:13 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Zamfir wrote: "I am sure the party has selected good candidates for the elections".

Do they actually believe this, or are they just using it as a dodge? If they actually think that, it kind of worries me. I know a lot of countries have parties that choose their elected officials, but you have multiple parties to choose from there.


Judging from how many Asians in general are, I think they're more "we don't really care, we just want to get on with our lives". As shown, they fight back when made necessary, but in general they don't want to waste their time on it.

So it's a bit of both.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby Deep_Thought » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:53 pm UTC

Steax wrote:udging from how many Asians in general are, I think they're more "we don't really care, we just want to get on with our lives". As shown, they fight back when made necessary, but in general they don't want to waste their time on it.

To be fair, there's an awful lot of Westerners with similar attitudes.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:57 pm UTC

Deep_Thought wrote:
Steax wrote:udging from how many Asians in general are, I think they're more "we don't really care, we just want to get on with our lives". As shown, they fight back when made necessary, but in general they don't want to waste their time on it.

To be fair, there's an awful lot of Westerners with similar attitudes.

i.e. those not on this forum.
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Re: 20k Chinese townspeople rebel, PRC sieges town

Postby nitePhyyre » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:29 pm UTC

I don't know, it seems there's more people talking about OWS than people participating in it.
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