18 Dec '11, 3am

Unrest challenging China before leadership change

Unrest challenging China before leadership change

BEIJING: An open revolt against officialdom by Chinese villagers last week demonstrated the challenge social unrest poses to the Communist party as it prepares for a generational leadership handover. Angered by decades of government land grabs, the villagers of Wukan drove out local Communist officials and police, erecting roadblocks to stop them re-entering and electing their own leaders. The protest has become a symbol of rising public anger over a plethora of perceived injustices, from corruption to income disparities, that analysts say will bring growing difficulties for China's leaders as economic growth slows. "What's enabled the leadership to maintain stability is the economic pie's growth. If the pie shrinks, the unrest is more likely to grow," said Willy Lam, history professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Wukan is located in the wealthy southern provinc...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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