The New York Times
March 14, 2002
Prime Minister Wen Jiabao says land grabs by officials eager to cash in on China’s booming economy are provoking mass unrest in the countryside and amount to a ‘historic error’ that could threaten national stability.
Shanghai: Land grabs by officials eager to cash in on China’s booming economy are provoking mass unrest in China’s countryside and amount to a “historic error” that could threaten national stability, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said in comments published today.
His message underscored the increasing urgency of the government’s campaign to curb abuses against peasants and migrant workers, roughly two-thirds of China’s 1.3 billion people, who have relatively little to show for one of the most spectacular economic expansions in history.
Mass uprisings and riots over pollution, corruption and seizures of farmland have risen sharply in recent years and prompted growing worries in Beijing that economic growth alone is no longer enough to ensure social stability and the Communist Party’s grip on power.