As Bloomberg Reporter Is Beaten Up In China, Wen Jiabao Promises To Crack Down On "Power Abuse"

Tyler Durden's picture

With violent protests springing up like mushrooms, following recent appearances in North Korea and Vietnam, and following last weekend's failed attempt at a Jasmine Revolution, China's authoritarian regime is about to be put to the supreme test. Bloomberg reports that "Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao pledged to punish abuse of power by officials and narrow the growing wealth gap as police blanketed Beijing and Shanghai to head off planned protests inspired by revolts in the Middle East." In other words, beatings (and disappearances) will continue until morale finally improves. As for the beatings, Bloomberg's Stephen Engle managed to experience one up close and personal: "Security officers also detained several foreign journalists, including
Stephen Engle, a reporter for Bloomberg Television. The Wall Street
Journal saw Mr. Engle being grabbed by several security officers, pushed
to the ground, dragged along by his leg, punched in the head and beaten
with a broom handle by a man dressed as street sweeper." Yes, China may be the most repressive regime when push comes to shove, but should 1+ billion angry and hungry Chinese decide there is nothing all that unique about China compared to Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Ivory Coast, Vietnam, North Korea, Djibouti and countless more to come, not even the most convincing "blanketing" by police forces will do much of anything to prevent the only revolution that matters.

Bloomberg on China's latest desperate attempt to deflect public anger:

The root of corruption lies in a government that has too much unrestrained power, Wen said in a two-hour online interview with citizens yesterday. He promised to curtail food costs and tackle surging property prices. Wen also cut economic growth targets and said the government would focus on ensuring the benefits of expansion were more evenly distributed.

Wen’s comments came as hundreds of police deployed in Beijing and Shanghai at the site of demonstrations called to protest corruption and misrule. At least seven people were bundled into police vans near Shanghai’s People’s Square, while in Beijing several foreign journalists were forcibly removed from the Wangfujing shopping district.

China’s leaders have emphasized the country’s economic successes in their response to demonstrations both in China and in the Middle East. While the country’s economy has expanded more than 90-fold in the past three decades, Wen said rising inequality is threatening social stability.

“The party leadership needs to reassure the people that in the absence of political reform they can nonetheless meet the people’s rising expectations,” said Chinese University of Hong Kong’s adjunct professor of history Willy Wo-lap Lam. “The expectation for what the government should do for the people has increased” as a result of protests sweeping Arab nations.

And following all that is the only thing that matters:

An August report by Zurich-based Credit Suisse AG put income inequality levels in China at levels not seen outside of sub-Saharan Africa. High food prices, unemployment and anger over corruption helped spark the protests that toppled Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and have fueled rebellion against Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi.

As for what is really happening in China, we can't wait to see Bloomberg's Stephen Engle recount first thing tomorrow:

Police easily quashed last Sunday's call for protests at designated sites in 13 cities, including a McDonald's outlet in the popular Wangfujing shopping street in downtown Beijing. For this past Sunday, the online activists urged people to protest silently by simply "taking a stroll" at many of the same sites.

In Beijing, hundreds of security officers—including uniformed police, burly plainclothes agents with earpieces, public-security "volunteers" in red armbands, and at least one SWAT team armed with automatic rifles and body armor—were deployed to Wangfujing. They initially allowed people to move fairly freely, while checking identification papers, but later cleared out most people and blocked off a 200-meter section of the street as two street-cleaning machines swept up and down spraying water to either side.

Security officers also detained several foreign journalists, including Stephen Engle, a reporter for Bloomberg Television. The Wall Street Journal saw Mr. Engle being grabbed by several security officers, pushed to the ground, dragged along by his leg, punched in the head and beaten with a broom handle by a man dressed as street sweeper.

Bottom line: you can take the authoritarian despotism out of the procyclical capitalism, but... nah, who are we kidding.

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Yen Cross's picture

Ohhh, You are sucking me into the China syndrome

AnAnonymous's picture

 Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Ivory Coast, Vietnam, North Korea, Djibouti


What Chinese syndrome?

Ivory Coast is a totally different setting. IC is a country which was forced to hold a national election when the country was spilt into two and whose judge of election was a foreign power (the UN)

It  has very little to do with other countries.

The article also promises more to come. Yet when checking other countries, on important figures like national population, revenue per capital, PC spent on food, inflation etc, one has to notice that despite many bad performances, some countries are left untouched by the phenomenum.

Why so?

China might think that foreign agitators are in the mix. They might be on something as the phenomenum is extremelly select.

YHC-FTSE's picture

My thoughts exactly, but since I haven't been to mainland China for ages and don't have a clue, we can only rely on 2nd hand accounts. Besides, I've learned not to ignore articles like this on ZH. Some are obviously clueless, but others are astute. A Bloomberg cretin got tapped by a 90yr old road sweeper, and that somehow translates into a police crackdown. He should try loitering outside the School of Americas in Fort Benning.

Twindrives's picture

Bring the Chinese into the Bloomberg and CNBC studios and instruct them to beat the dog shit out of all of these ass clowns. 

Now that would be entertainment to the masses! 

New_Meat's picture

Mayor B. not happy with this.  He's going to order a) no smoking in any park or road in Bejing, b) removal of all trans-fats in the restaurants, and c) chefs can not add salt to the food.

That'll do the trick!

- Ned

mynhair's picture

Welcome to the TSA, Mr. Engle.

Am I supposed to be shocked?

Coulda been a Laura Logan moment, or hour, ....

SpeakerFTD's picture

Engle was planning a bearish article on Chinese solars.

percolator's picture

So then the street sweeper was Leo?

mynhair's picture

Leo work?   (pukking my guts out in laughter)

DirtySouth's picture

"...pushed to the ground, dragged along by his leg, punched in the head and beaten with a broom handle by a man dressed as street sweeper..."

You sir, are a vagina.

snowball777's picture

And you're saying that from the safety of the confines of your nicely appointed golden cage.

mynhair's picture

Please wear a flag, so we know who to target.  Oh, you ain't in the US.

Never mind.

Bob Sponge's picture

Note to the Chinese People: You can't count on the people in government who caused your problems to now fix them.

Michael's picture

Raw Video: China Police Prevent "Jasmine" Demos

The housing bubble in China is about to pop. Jasmine will turn into Joshua Trees.

"The World Bank has cited real estate crashes in Japan and Ireland as a warning to Chinese officials to rein in their finances. “China must carefully study the cases of Japan and Ireland, where the collapse of the real estate bubble caused a financial crisis and economic stagnation,” the World Bank’s chief economist Justin Yifu Lin told a Beijing University symposium recently."

"Properties in the new and booming Central Business District (CBD) in east Beijing, for instance, start at 50,000 yuan per square metre.

A typical three-bedroom property in CBD, considered an upscale area with many foreigners and wealthy Chinese, runs about nine million yuan ($1.34-million), or 90 times the average annual salary of a civil servant.

The average cost of a two-bedroom apartment along the more affordable Fourth Ring Road area - considered the edge of central Beijing - is three million yuan or $447,000.

“It’s very, very expensive. Only very rich people can afford to live in this area,” said Heather Liu, 36, a private real estate agent dealing in high-end properties in the city. Though she called recent price increases “unbelievable,” she said she has already seen a slowdown in sales as clients find it harder to obtain mortgages."

Oh regional Indian's picture

Michael, even the housing bubble popping talk is a distraction from massive structural problems faced by China.

IChina's recent growth has been like putting a kid on steroids from 6 months old and expecting them to "normalize" when they become teenagers.

China and India (and a host of smaller nations too) are dying under the yoke of frankenglobalization. Too much, too fast, too soon.

Explosions ahead for sure. I've never found it again, but HG wells had a superb quote, close to a hundred years ago, about how Bombs of every kind would be th elingua franca of the 21st century.

I don't think he was prescient. He just knew the plan.



Michael's picture

Oman, north of Yemen may be on the verge of collapse. 6 dead in protests.

Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, the country’s ruler since 1970 number is up. Check Intrade.

"Six people were killed in Oman on Sunday, a government hospital said, after police opened fire with rubber bullets at protesters demanding political reform.

Earlier reports on Sunday had put the toll at two.

The roads to the Gulf state's key industrial area Sohar, home to a refinery port and aluminium factory, has been blocked by protesters and a supermarket has been set on fire, witnesses said on Monday."

Oman clashes widen protests in the gulf

Oman Stocks Slump the Most in 15 Months as Protests Spread; Dubai Retreats

snowball777's picture

What's Mandarin for 'Flash Mob'?


ThirdCoastSurfer's picture

Anytime the MSM decries a foreign crackdown the cry "FOUR DEAD IN OHIO" should be referenced,  lest we forget. Based on his recent discussions with his staff Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker, needs a reminder that foreign potentates are not the only ones who wave a flag, make empty promises and then open fire on peaceful demonstrations.  

Papasmurf's picture

It coulda been worse.  He could have had a run-in with TSA at LAX.

Josh Randall's picture

Go long ROOSTER SAUCE B!tchez



Bolweevil's picture

#CN227 Twitter
timely updates, reported homeboys beatdown hours before bberg. Photos of street sweepers (jackboot thugs).

Sizzurp's picture

Tiananmen Square taught the chinese leadership that they can crack down on rebellion and get away with shooting a few thousand people every now and again.  Within a generation it is hardly remembered.       

xenophobe51's picture

They call that technique the "Hillary Hush-up."

Hearst's picture

Looks like Vietnam is following Egypts lead by banning Gold in the free market.

GoinFawr's picture

Hunh. Article, doesn't mention anything about real estate (private), so I guess the Vietnamese will still be using gold for that market?


Dr. Porkchop's picture

It seems to me that the way to ensure the mass exodus of gold out of your country is to ban the free market.

Dr. Porkchop's picture

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Dr. Porkchop's picture

Official government cable:

iPads for everyone!


Nope..wait...mistranslation - that's:

Jobs making iPads for everyone!


Misean's picture

Wow, I heard he was quite ill.

Aristarchan's picture

He is, but scientists at Foxconn - in order to protect their company's interest - have developed a genetic cure for whatever he is afflicted with that is being withheld from shareholders in order to keep Apple stock high and keep the underage slaves in the Foxconn factories going full tilt while preventing them from hanging themselves from the rafters so Stevo can hang around long enough to buy off on the latest Apple technology in hopes somebody can be groomed to take his place to prevent Apple falling on its ass - which it has done every time he left or was pushed out, so Foxconn can keep producing expensive toys for its consumer masters in the good old USA. Wait...did I say "consumer masters?" Does that mean that without a viable US consumer the Chinese are in deep shit? So, does that mean to break the Chinese system, the US consumer first has to destroy American companies...since that is the conduit of their wealth? hhmmmm....

Misean's picture

I guess their population policy is prohibiting them from cloning him...and to think that Steve lifted his ideas from Xerox...irony bitchez!

Aristarchan's picture

Yeah, Xerox PARK got a sweet spot on the Apple IPO for "lifting the Kimono" to Jobs. But, initially, it was Steve Wozniak who made Apple.

Michael's picture

I predict teachers will be cutting back on their I-shit purchase as their benefit bills increase.

snowball777's picture

Here's hoping you become deathly ill right as Medicaid is wiped out and then denied coverage, gaping asshole.

Bobbyrib's picture

I said this in another thread, if you can afford it buy American made products and do not support "American" corporations that outsource tons of jobs.

Bob's picture

"American companies." 

I'm thinking it is time we stopped dignifying these transnational corporate sociopaths with the "American" name.   They renounced their citizenship responsibilities long ago.  They no longer even earn their keep . . . even as they ready themselves to buy our elections outright (rather than the old undercover routine.) 

If China is, on balance, not our friend, certainly the corporations that dealt them into the game in exchange for trillions of middle class American wealth cannot claim to be on our team. 

Is it time to stop referring to them as American companies?

Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

It would appear that we are in sync this morning.

If they don't pay their fair share of tax and if they don't hire American workers, while they are benefitting from the pax americana paid for by the American people in both blood and taxes, they are simply manipulating the American people.

Why are they then American companies? They are no longer ... off with their heads.

Bob's picture

They're the fat assed unemployed 35 year old crack head living in the basement who jacks the familiy car, writes bad checks on Dad's account, steals Mom's jewelry and beats her down when she complains, while collecting welfare and cashing the parental units' social security checks before they can get to the mailbox. 

Time to toss that sick bastard onto the street and let him make his own way.

Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

The US Consumer is swallowing itself whole, like the Ouroboros. The US Consumer is dead.

What lies beyond? I know it's a difficult concept in this day and age, but what about the US Citizen?

You can clearly see where this would leave multinational corporations who have allegiance to nothing but profit ...

Overflow-admin's picture

Jobs for everyone! make iPads!

snowball777's picture

"Jobs making iPads for everyone!"


Everyone make iPads for Jobs.

dwdollar's picture

The national thugs in Beijing like to play the sympathizers while they secretly order the local thugs to bash heads in.  China is not the future.  China is a sick joke.

GoinFawr's picture

It sure would suck to have them as your biggest creditor.

Sqworl's picture

Tyler: Congratulations on Oscar for Inside Job..Zerohedge was catalyst for this win..xoxox

Cursive's picture


See my comment two below.  Did you see the Aaron Sorkin comment?