Migrant Worker Riots In Southern China Intensify

Tyler Durden's picture

In an indication of the prevailing popular mood among the key marginal economic force in China - its migrant worker population - hundreds of protesters rioted in the southern China city of Gunaghzou after a young pregnant street hawker was harassed by security guards, media reports said Monday. From Reuters: "Hong Kong television showed seething crowds of migrant workers from the southwestern province of Sichuan running through the streets of Zengcheng, smashing windows, setting fire to government buildings and overturning police vehicles. Riot police were shown firing tear gas Sunday night, deploying armoured vehicles to disperse the crowds and handcuffing protesters. Witnesses said there were more than 1,000 protesters and at least one government office had been besieged. "People were running around like crazy," a shopowner in the area told the South China Morning Post newspaper. "I had to shut the shop by 7 p.m. and dared not come out." While China reported slowing monetary conditions, with a miss in both the M2 and loan issuance in May, it is unclear what the Chinese equivalents of Bernanke's 15 minutes to Inflation: OFF is: as a reminder the upcoming CPI print is expected to come at a record 5.5%, which is the only piece of data that truly matters in China. If inflation continues its runaway rise, whether due to climatic conditions, or importing Bernanke's monetary policies, expect to see many more stories of violent popular unrest.

From Reuters:

Thousands of riots, protests and other forms of unrest break out across China each year, with fast economic growth sometimes amplifying grievances over problems ranging from rampant inflation to corruption, a big wealth gap, industrial pollution, forced demolitions and abuse of power.

News reports said the incident in Zengcheng was sparked on Friday night when security personnel in nearby Dadun village pushed pregnant hawker Wang Lianmei, 20, to the ground while trying to clear her off the streets.

"The case was just an ordinary clash between street vendors and local public security people, but was used by a handful of people who wanted to cause trouble," Zengcheng Mayor Ye Niuping was quoted as saying by the China Daily newspaper.

Other clashes have erupted in southern China in recent weeks, including in Chaozhou, where hundreds of migrant workers demanding payment of their wages at a ceramics factory attacked government buildings and set vehicles ablaze.

And, as a reminder, here are the latest directives from the Chinese Ministry of Truth, or the stuff they really don't want everyone else to know.

May 31

Beijing: War Time Coordination Mechanism of Intelligence and
Information for Maintaining Stability during the June 4th Sensitive

From the Beijing Municipal Government internal document “War Time
Coordination Mechanism of Intelligence and Information for Maintaining
Stability during the June 4th Sensitive Period” … All units are
requested to collect and report information regarding potential treats
to stability of the Capital as well as all work unit activities
conducted during this sensitive period.


May 29

Few Examples of Today’s Banned Keywords (usually phrases) for Sina’s Micro-blogging site:

“Inner Mongolia” (and its abbreviation in Chinese), “Xiwu County”
(part of Xilinhot), “Mo Rigeng” (an Inner Mongolia resident), “Ethnic
Minority Protesting in Inner Mongolia,” “Ethnic Conflicts between Han
Majority and Mongol Minority,” “Student Protest,” “Hohhot” (Capital of
Inner Mongolia)

[All of the aforementioned keywords are in response to the series of protests by ethnic Mongolians against the killing of a Mongolian herder by Han Chinese.”]

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“??”?“???”?“???”?“???????”?“????”?“????”? “???”?“????”

May 28

From a Provincial Internet Administration Office: Reporting of news
related to the recent ethnic conflicts between Mongol minority and Han
majority in Xilinhot or Foxconn’s new suicide incident are
prohibited. No discussion of any form on all micro-blogging sites,
blogs, and discussion forums. Violators will be subjected to a RMB
30,000 fine.


From the State Council Information Office: All websites are requested
to immediately remove photos and news reports regarding Chengdu bus
explosion incident from front pages. Interactive spaces must immediately
work on preventing the spread of related information and commentary.


From the Central
Department: To all print and TV media: The serial bombings in Fuzhou,
Jiangxi must be referred as “5.26 Criminal Case.” No mentioning of
“administration building” or “bombing incident” in titles will be


May 26

From the State Council Information Office: In regard to the serial bombings in Fushun, Jiangxi, all discussion and comment sections of all websites must be shut down. All interactive spaces must be managed well.


From a Provincial Internet Administration Office: Urgent: All
discussions of the Jiangxi serial bombings are requested to be
immediately and thoroughly deleted. No discussion should be allowed if
posts cannot be managed. All photos of corpses need to be deleted.

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From the State Council Information Office: Urgent: Another
worker committed suicide. No reporting of any form will be allowed on
interactive spaces including all discussion forums, micro-blogs, and

[Foxconn is a major contract manufacturer of Apple’s iPods, iPhones,
and iPads. There was a series of workers’ suicide incidents within the
manufacturer in 2010.]


From the Central Propaganda Department: Urgent: In regard to the
serial bombings in Fuzhou, Jiangxi, all print and TV media are requested
to only use copy circulated from Xinhua News Agency. No independent
interviews or reports are allowed. Do not post any related photos, video
clips, or special reports. Any reports violating this regulation are
subjected to immediate removal.

From the Central Propaganda Department: In regard to the arrest of Ai
Weiwei for economic crimes, Xinhua News Agency has its official
response to foreign press. All local media outlets are not to conduct
independent reporting.

May 25
From the Central Propaganda Department: In regard to the
soon-to-be-released official compensation plan of the deadly Shanghai
high-rising building fire, all media are to use copy circulated from
Xinhua News Agency. No independent reports will be allowed.
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May 23
From the State Council Information Office: In regard to
information relating to low-income housing, all websites are requested
to strictly enforce the regulations and control of online opinion. No
recommendations or discussions of related topics will be allowed. Any
questioning, attacking, or action-calling posts need to be immediately
[There have been a series of low-income housing scandals exposed on the
Internet. Many state-owned companies are accused of selling most of
their housing projects (built as part of the public low-income housing
project) to internal employees at a mere fraction of market value,
whereas the housing projects are supposed to be open to low-income
families only. ]

From the State Council Information Office: In regard to the “Mongol
shepherd run over and killed for protecting grassland” incident, all
websites are requested to strengthen control and immediately remove
negative comments. No recommendations or discussions are allowed on any
interactive spaces including discussion forums and blogs.