Having been away for a long bank holiday weekend, I am just now catching up on some of the news and comment that I missed. Probably the most interesting is this from yesterday's International Herald Tribune:
Examining the reasons for the social unrest, Carl Minzner, international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, concludes that official abuses and riots in Guangxi are natural outcomes of China's authoritarian controls and warns that if Chinese leaders are serious about addressing these problems, they need to undertake institutional reform.
Corruption in China: The anger boils overFor the past two months, local officials in the southwestern Chinese province of Guangxi have pursued a harsh campaign aimed at enforcing China's population planning laws.
In order to meet targets for allowable births, they forced pregnant women to have abortions. They threatened to demolish homes to make residents cough up fines demanded for excess children.
This month citizen anger boiled over. Thousands of angry rural residents took to the streets, smashing cars and sacking government offices.
Sadly, if our Foreign Secretary's recent visit is any indicator of the kind of international pressure being placed on China, local demonstrators are going to have an uphill battle before they see any substantial improvements.