26 Jan '11, 5am

DTN Singapore: China PM meets petitioners in rare move: BEIJING: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has met with citizen...

BEIJING: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has met with citizens complaining about unpaid wages, home demolitions and land grabs, state media said on Wednesday - a rare move as Beijing tries to ease public discontent. Wen's visit to the State Bureau for Letters and Calls, where petitioners go to file complaints with authorities, was the first such trip by a premier since the foundation of the People's Republic in 1949, state media said. Amid rising levels of public protest across China, Wen's conversations with unhappy citizens received widespread coverage in print and broadcast media, but Human Rights Watch called them a political show. Under a system dating from imperial times, Chinese people can petition government authorities in Beijing or provincial capitals over injustices or unresolved disputes such as illegal land grabs or police misconduct. However, many such petitioners...

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

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