2003 March 31 Monday
China Cuts Anti-War Protest Size From 100 to 40

One can watch anti-war demonstrations in the Middle East that have thousands and perhaps even tens of thousands of people. In London and other European cities even larger demonstrations have taken place. However, CNN Senior China Analyst Willy Wo-Lap Lam reports that when a pair of Chinese activists wanted to hold a demonstration with 100 protestors in Beijing the authorities would allow only 40 participants.

However, organizers Li Ning and Tong Xiaoxi said they were told by police last Saturday that only 40 people, not 100 as planned, could take part.

Let's think about this. China's regime is so afraid of protestors that it will not allow even 100 people to gather. Is the Chinese regime stable? Is its hold on the reins of power secure? Why did the government restrict the protest? Fear? Could a big crowd grow bigger and suddenly shift its political anger toward the Chinese regime?

Another possibility is that Chinese government want to keep the political temperature of the Chinese people down on foreign policy topics at a lower temperature in order to give the regime more flexibility in decision making. A populace that is whipped into too high of a frenzy against the United States will be angered if the Chinese government negotiates understandings with America in United Nations votes or on other matters relating to the issues where Chinese people are supposed to oppose the US.

I don't know what the motives are for the Chinese government decision on this matter. But it is a curious choice.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 March 31 09:12 PM 


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