Saturday, January 15, 2011

What China's rulers fear today

Blood and Treasure, one of my favorite blogs, suggests a leaked document as a guide to the current fears of China's leadership --  A General Notice from the Central Propaganda Bureau Regarding News and Propaganda in 2011. In bullet form, they are (emphases mine):

  • income distribution, the stock and real-estate markets, employment and social security, education and health, and safety in manufacturing.
  • reports on disasters and extreme incidents.  They "cannot include interviews or supervision from non-local areas".
  • reports on the requisition of land and forcible demolition, especially report on incidents of violent demolition or “suicides, self-mutilation, or collective action”
  • public selection of news, people, or events [jg: I think this refers to social reporting, public selection of topics]
  • incidents of collective action ... prevent reports on collective action from pointing towards and focusing on the party and the government.
  • anti-corruption cases ... Do not use the term “civil society” (gongmin shehui).
  • Do not conduct questionnaires or on-line surveys on housing prices.
  • instances of using a residential construction foundation to change a residential permit
  • problems related to Spring Festival travel, such as “difficulties in obtaining even one ticket.”

For China in 2011 it's all about real estate and land seizures. Yes, they have a housing bubble too, and it's going to blow soon. I am really tired of "interesting times".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The frightening prospect here is that there doesn't seem to be any kind of safety valve for public rancor.

Here in the U.S., after the financial crisis they decided to 'throw the bums out' and they did it again this last election as things hadn't improved much. The elections themselves provide a focus of activist sentiment when things are going badly.

With no equivalent mechanism in China for channeling this public anger into non-violent action, I fear that a popping real estate bubble might cause enough widespread anger to boil over into violence.