January 2, 2006


In rural China, a time bomb is ticking (Joshua Muldavin, 1/01/06, International Herald Tribune)

China's fabulous growth since the 1980s was achieved through environmental destruction and social and economic polarization which now threaten its continuation. This paradox puts the state in near panic as it tries to hold down the resulting widespread unrest in the countryside. While rural strife is not new - in 1994, I witnessed thousands of peasants in Henan Province fight a local government militia over unpopular taxation and state policies - its scope and frequency have increased greatly.

Rural unrest is the biggest political problem China faces today, even though lethal violence in such events is rare. In 2004, according to official estimates, there were 74,000 uprisings throughout the country - a result of widening gaps between rich and poor, and between urban and rural areas, and between the rapidly growing industrial east and the stagnating agricultural hinterlands.

Guangdong - a booming epicenter of foreign direct investment, with thousands of new factories of global as well as Chinese corporations - embodies these inequalities most intensely. It is not surprising that the province has become a focus of resistance to development as peasant lands are overrun with industries.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 2, 2006 9:26 AM

I've now bot 2 pieces of clothing w/blood stains in the fabric.

Posted by: Sandy P at January 2, 2006 12:40 PM