We posted a little earlier on potential issues in Russia looking a little ugly for the current crop of ruling elite, and it has since turned ugly. We noted economic problems in China recently, and they also seem to be playing out poorly.
Tom Lasseter, McClatchy, 15 December 2011 (hat tip: NC)
WUKAN, China — It's the Chinese Communist Party's nightmare in miniature: Locals stage protests against their land being taken away by shady real estate deals, police respond with heavy-handed tactics and suddenly, with years of frustration and allegations of official corruption bottled up, an entire village erupts in open revolt.
The main road leading into town has been blocked by a police checkpoint on one end, and at the other by dozens of villagers manning a tall barricade of tree branches and boards with nails sticking out.
Authorities have made their escape from the town of 20,000 and are nowhere to be seen. McClatchy was able to sneak a brave reporter into the village.
The village scene as dusk fell Thursday seemed to partly rebut Chinese officials' long-standing argument that without tightly controlled governance all would be chaos. Life seemed almost normal in Wukan. Men sat around card tables. Young people wandered the sidewalks telling jokes and laughing.
There were worries about how long food supplies would last, but a few grocery stands were open with no sign of looting.
Standing outside the empty police station's gates, a 17-year-old surnamed Lin explained that security officers in the village caused more trouble than they saved.
"It doesn't matter that there are no police here," said Lin, a thin youth wearing a black and white scarf. "When they were here, they had no sense of responsibility."
Speaking of causing more trouble than they are worth, we have our own version here Metro [D.C] begins random bag inspections (Ann Scott Tyson and Mark Berman, Washington Post, 21 December 2011’ also hat tip : NC). But let’s not get distracted by our own fascist tendencies, let’s stay focused on the real fascists.
There is a Bloomberg piece that notes that there are 500 mass incidents (strike, riot, protest, etcetera) a day in China (I won’t link, because it seems to have been ambushed by a redirecting ad). On a more specific note:
China Digital Times, 13 December 2011 (they are quoting a Forbes piece.)
The problems in the export belt have triggered the ongoing series of strikes and protests, often numbering a thousand workers or more, in both the Pearl River delta in the south and the Yangtze River delta in the middle of the country. These large-scale demonstrations, in great cities like Shanghai and out-of-the-way locations such as Anji, are occurring when workers do not normally take to the streets.
Some factory owners say that conditions are more difficult now than they were in 2008, at the beginning of the global downturn. If recent history is any guide, the protests in China are about to become even larger, more violent, and more numerous after the country’s marks the Lunar New Year next month.