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2013年11月10日 (日)

中国連続爆発 共産党統治への反発の表れか

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 10, 2013
Do Shanxi bombings reflect anger at Chinese Communist Party rule?
中国連続爆発 共産党統治への反発の表れか(11月9日付・読売社説)

Another violent incident has occurred in China, underscoring the seriousness of the social unrest in the country. Does this represent repugnance over the Communist Party’s rule?

A series of explosions occurred at the Communist Party’s provincial committee headquarters in the inland city of Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, on Wednesday, killing one person and injuring eight others.

The provincial authorities have detained a 41-year-old Taiyuan resident. Handmade explosive devices and other material evidence were reportedly found at his home, but the background and motives behind the bombings are not yet known. The Communist Party’s provincial committees have supreme power in their respective provinces, and the Taiyuan incident apparently stunned the party.

The latest incident came after a car crashed and exploded in flames in a deadly attack late last month in front of Tiananmen Gate in central Beijing, which features a huge portrait of Mao Zedong.

Investigative authorities determined that the attack was committed at the direction of an international terrorist organization. But there are strong suspicions among some people that the attack was committed by Uygurs with personal grudges against the Communist Party.

Shanxi Province, where the latest incident took place, is known for its huge coal mining industry. Like other regions in China, the gap between rich and poor is wide.

Mine operators are known for using their financial muscle to buy up real estate in such urban areas as Beijing and Shanghai. Corruption has long been said to involve officials with the power to grant mining rights.

Many coal miners work in poor environments, and many of them are believed to have lost their jobs as coal prices have fallen due to the slowdown in economic growth in recent years.

Coal miners are not the only Chinese who are discontent. The petition counter at the provincial committee’s headquarters building, the scene of the latest incident, is said to be overflowing with petitions from residents protesting unfair court decisions and forcible expropriation of land.

In the eyes of workers and farmers, party leaders appear to be using their power to enrich themselves.

Huge number of protests

Public discontent against the Communist Party and the government has triggered numerous incidents in various parts of the country. According to some sources, there are about 180,000 mass protests a year.

In April, about 4,000 residents of Xiamen (Amoy) in Fujian Province stormed into the provincial government building to protest unfair land transactions by the authorities concerned. In August, about 10,000 residents of Guanxi Zhuang Autonomous Region clashed with police during a protest rally over deaths allegedly caused by the discharge of water at a dam.

To deal with these incidents, the administration of President Xi Jinping has ordered thorough implementation of antiterrorist measures. In line with this harsh approach, the president has inspected poor farming communities in an effort to show his concern for local residents. But it is open to question whether these efforts have had the desired results.

The Xi administration, which will shortly enter its second year, opens the third plenary meeting of the Chinese Communist Party’s 18th Central Committee on Saturday. Focal points of discussion at the meeting will be economic structure reforms aimed at correcting the gap between rich and poor, among other issues.

Can China achieve stable growth while reining in public anxiety? The Xi government faces a difficult job steering the country.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 9, 2013)
(2013年11月9日01時30分  読売新聞)


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