A riot in Chizhou

Go to ESWN to see the amazing picures and read the odd story of the bicycle accident that sparked a 10,000-man riot.

I sided with the villagers in Huankantou and Shengyou. In this instance, I’d have to side with the police based on what I’ve read so far.

The Discussion: 23 Comments

It’s a ***mob. Until the $1.50-an-hour Honda job comes to Anhui, people will be unemployed, hopeless and be “willing to kill for 30,000 yuan.” Do you believe anyone, of a sound mind, no matter how desperate, will kill someone for 30,000 yuan or dollars?

June 28, 2005 @ 12:58 pm | Comment

No, I don’t think a person with a sound mind would do such a thing, but I’m afraid it happens all the time, often for far less money.

June 28, 2005 @ 1:05 pm | Comment

Class struggle!
There is the clear image of a corrupt ruling class and a ruled class in China right now. Without a massive, moderate, united, and strong middle class, the corrupt government employees and cruel capitalists are the combination forming a new prevleged ruling class, while those with or even without minimum living wage have formed the majority…ruled class. Meanwhile, more and more peasants are losing their land in the NEW ENCLOSURE MOVEMENT. Most of them have become the newest city residents either officially or unofficially without the pleasure they had dreamed for before 1980. Although the “new enclosure movement” have served and possible will continue serving as one of the most important engine in the next 20-50 years for China’s fast economic growth, unstable political situation in the future seems to be unavoidable. It is also the most worrying moment for me and sadly I don’t even believe that a democracy can solve the problem. SHI2 SHI4 ZHAO4 YING1 XIONG2. (Chaos make heros! )See who and which class will be the heros? …….and who is HU???????:) Hopfully!although I have a little doubt in my mind.

June 28, 2005 @ 3:34 pm | Comment

Lin is quite correct, the riot is a symptom of the greater disease of inequity that is the real issue. That such riots start every day in China now over equally innocuous things is proof that there are hidden tensions below the surface of society that lurk ready to erupt at the slightest provocation. In many ways the ‘new left’ controversy ignored what these scholars were getting at, which is that Chinese society is sick and in danger of collapse. All the GDP growth over the last few years has not solved these fundamental problems, in fact it has made it worse, because the wealth is perceived by the masses as being inequitably distributed.

June 28, 2005 @ 4:59 pm | Comment

I agree with everything you say Dylan. But i’m still not exactly sue why this riot took the shape it did and why the rage against the police was so fierce. I’m sure there is a story behind it.

June 28, 2005 @ 5:10 pm | Comment

I saw that in the China Daily last night, but I let it pass after I saw that the main source was the Epoch Times.

June 28, 2005 @ 6:00 pm | Comment

didn’t you notice the two sides are taxi motorists and local police? It’s a very typical pair of exploiting and exploited group in China. I would say you and ESWN is probably not very politically sensitive. If you had lived China long enough, you would have known the common but bitter daily experience of taxi drivers encounting police (or most other people simply without power or money, especially in small city, motorist taxi often illegal) Next time, when you visit China and sit in a taxi, try to ask the interactive experience between police and them. Most probably you will get some angry comments from them, although they are often con-artists themseleves. (I am not here to defend their image.) As your newer post has indicated, the power of local government employees, such as police, simply goes unlimited a lot of times. It’s usually tough to get attention from Chinese congress if there has no emergent need. However, even if there is a law, so what? In China the problem is the law enforcement. Never mention most of poor people don’t understand or don’t want to touch law at all.

June 28, 2005 @ 6:01 pm | Comment

Even with my limited Chinese, i’ve had some very interesting conversations with taxi drivers – a lot of them aren’t shy about telling you what they think of the government.

June 28, 2005 @ 6:53 pm | Comment

The truth is, in Beijing I never experienced the Taxi-Police feuding. As I hope you know, Lin, I tend to be very, very critical of the use of force and corruption by the Chinese police. In this case, I just don’t know, which is why I qualified my remarks by saying, “In this instance, I’d have to side with the police based on what I’ve read so far.” Based on what you’re saying, I’m willing to change my mind. Willing, but still not certain.

June 28, 2005 @ 6:56 pm | Comment

Are you serious, Gordon? I didn’t realize that. I find it odd, because you wouldn’t think China Daily would pick up stories from the Falun Gong’s rag.

June 28, 2005 @ 7:09 pm | Comment

We’re all on the same page on this one. Until there are real means to achieving justice (i.e. a functioning legal system), volatile social forces are going to continue exploding in scenes like this one.



Since we can’t comment on your own site, I’ll post this here in case you wander by. You noted the looting of the supermarket and lamented that you wouldn’t want to live in a China governed by this type, either.

My advice: Don’t loose perspective, that was nothing more than the work of opportunists taking advantage of a situation.

During the Rodney King riots in LA a few years back, similar looting took place. The fact of the looting should not eclipse the core reason for the riot. The looting is not a sign of the agenda of the aggrieved, it’s more like another symptom of what’s wrong.

June 28, 2005 @ 7:17 pm | Comment

ESWN is a f*cking shill for the CCP, and Richard is still a f*ucking hypocrite! He is as bad as Mao.

June 28, 2005 @ 7:25 pm | Comment

Hi Pogai, nice to see you back. First time I’ve been compared to Mao and I’m flattered.

Slim, you make a good point about the looting. A lot of the 10,000 people who were demonstrating weren’t there to loot supermarkets — there was a huge groundswell of passion and anger behind their congregating. Unfortunately, the looting casts them in a negative light, fairly or not.

June 28, 2005 @ 7:33 pm | Comment

Sorry Richard, I meant Daily China which is a Korean news agency.


June 28, 2005 @ 7:34 pm | Comment

Gordon, that makes A LOT more sense!!

June 28, 2005 @ 7:40 pm | Comment

How many of the 10,000 were demonstrating, and how many were there to gawk at a show? In my exp., when the police or others are involved in a street altercation, a crowd quickly gathers. I have seen 50 to 75 people gather to watch two men and a policeman argue. I am inclined to think that this number of 10,000, is, at best, the number of gawkers just there on the scene, and that the number of active participants was far lower.

That said, I am very interested in learning how many of the crowd just happened upon the scene, and how many came because they were informed by mobile or sms? I truely believe the CCP will have a serious time trying to control mobs if they may organize themselves so readily via our modern communication methods. According to ESWN there was a “bottleneck” as one group tried to get the authority to crack down. During the delay, the entire city could have erupted. The police will have to perfect their crowd control techniques and emergency response time if they wish to have some semblance of order in the future.

June 28, 2005 @ 7:43 pm | Comment

I think it’s a rare form of dyslexia. 😛

China Daily, Daily China. Yikes.

June 28, 2005 @ 7:43 pm | Comment

Incidents such as this one give the lie to the CCP’s claim that their suppression of freedom of speech is designed to protect social stability. I don’t think there have been any riots this year which could be attributed to people such as Liu Di (Stainless Steel Mouse) or any of the other people jailed for criticising the CCP. If the CCP were interested in stability they would tolerate freedom of speech and crack down on corruption, rather than the other way around.

June 28, 2005 @ 8:11 pm | Comment

Peter, that is so logical — so don’t expect the CCP to ever understand it.

June 28, 2005 @ 8:14 pm | Comment

Richard, probably you misunderstood my comments. I simply gave out the possible reason of this riot. I am not siding with the violence, and I do think every criminal should be prisoned for what they did. But corrupt police might be criminals too. However because they belong to the ruling class……their daily pesudo crime goes unconvicted. Former prime minister Zhu Rongji completely failed in his reform of governmental administration. The only consequence of his reform is the much higher salary of government employees, who belong to one of the most corrupt administrative group in the world. Now, ironically a large portion of middle class in China are working for government. It is just dangerous to rely on chinese middle class to take the responsiblity to reform the society when you realize a division of them will always side with the corrrupt ruling class for keeping their previleged rights.

June 28, 2005 @ 8:19 pm | Comment

You don’t want a new and authentic CCP, do you? 🙂

June 28, 2005 @ 8:21 pm | Comment

Lin, what does a new and authentic CCP look like? If it was prepared to enforce their existing human rights legislation, and try to do something about the appalling abuses of power which occur at every level of government, from the lowest village chief to the State Council, then I would be the first to support it.

June 28, 2005 @ 8:49 pm | Comment

I think an unfortunate part about this one is that the police seemed to have done their job properly at first, ie arrest the honda guy and take the kid to the hospital.

June 28, 2005 @ 10:46 pm | Comment

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