Update: it did not take long to find the possible bombing suspect:
Suspect is a local 33 year-old guy. http://t.co/wz94pSItvW So far 7 dead, 2 missing, 48 injured— Fergus Ryan (@fryan) September 30, 2015
* * *
Over the weekend when we reported that one of China's largest coal miners had laid off 100,000, or 40% of its workforce, we noted that China's hard-landing is starting to hit where it really hurts: employment, or rather the lack thereof, and the one logical consequence: "now, many migrant workers struggle to find their footing in a downshifting economy. As factories run out of money and construction projects turn idle across China, there has been a rise in the last thing Beijing wants to see: unrest."
Moments ago we may have witnessed the first direct, and deadly, manifestation of this unrest when as Xinhua reported, a series of at least 17 "massive" explosions rocked the southern Chinese city of Liuzhou earlier today, killing at least three six people and injuring more than a dozen, state media reported.
Web users post photos of a partly collapsed building in Guangxi following explosions; cause of blasts still unknown pic.twitter.com/up0rnbstuF— CCTVNEWS (@cctvnews) September 30, 2015
Update:3 killed, 13 injured in blasts, maybe by parcel explosives, in Liucheng county of S China's Guangxi (web pics) pic.twitter.com/Hm9JkImN7m— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) September 30, 2015
Bombs were apparently hidden in courier packages. The Chinese courier industry is huge & crucial as last-mile infrastructure for e-commerce.— Christina Xu (@xuhulk) September 30, 2015
Guangxi Daily put number of blasts at 17. 7 dead, 51 injured, 2 missing ??????17??? ?7?51?2??? http://t.co/BFyfGF5xXJ— Fergus Ryan (@fryan) September 30, 2015
Guangxi police say they know of over 60 suspicious parcels ??????:??????60?? http://t.co/0pHlTW2WTL— Fergus Ryan (@fryan) September 30, 2015
According to NBC, a local police chief told state news agency Xinhua that the 17 explosions hit locations including a hospital, a food market and a bus station, state news agency Xinhua reported.
State-run broadcaster CCTV cited a police chief saying the blasts were caused by "parcels containing explosives," without providing further information.
In other words, for the first time in recent years, someone in China proactively sent out mailbombs to heavily populated areas including a hospital, a market, and a bus station.
CCTV said at least 6 people had been killed and at least 13 injured. NBC News could not immediately confirm that tally.
Images posted to Twitter by the Chinese media outlets appeared to show partially collapsed buildings, rubble in the streets, and at least one plume of smoke above the city.
According to Xinhua, the incident is being investigated as a criminal act. Which brings us back to our conclusion from Sunday:
if there is one thing China's politburo simply can not afford right now, is to layer public unrest and civil violence on top of an economy which is already in "hard-landing" move. Forget black - this would be the bloody swan that nobody could "possibly have seen coming.
Three days later we may have the first manifestation of precisely this civil violence "bloody swan." Will today's deadly bombing be the end of it, or is it just starting?