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Lecture

JPA331Y Feb 14th Notes


Department
Political Science
Course Code
JPA331Y1
Professor
Lynette Ong

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Social Unrest in China and State's Responses
Most exciting lecture
-how state deals with social unrest and how many types
-on rise in china
indicators of social unrest
-social unrest: generally more mredia on it then before, could just be reflection
of commercially minded media. there's more news paper today than long ago,
maybe taht's why. the paper competes in market economy and thus work
harder to report news they didn't report before
-so therefore increased report could be due to that and not due to increased
social unrest per say
-available data do point that social urnest is rising and at an alarming rate.
-let's first look at definition of social unrest
-2 indicators of social unrest: mass incidents + public order disturbance
-mass incident: defined by how many people are involed
-public order disturbance: diescribe the characteristics of the actions/activities
-so the offical data on social unrest when it used to be reported ministry of
public support, reports number of mass incident rose from 8700 from 1993,
and in 1999, the number rosed to 32000
-"ministry of public security" reported these
-after 1999, stopped issuing data
-and in 2004, government issued another indicator, which was 81600
-another set of data called "public order disturbance" beggining in 2004
-mass incidents is above 500, or above 1000, etc
-but public order disturbance is about a characteristic of action like vandalizing
car, or if dozens of people go burn the building. but if there's above 500 ppl
doing it, it might be considred mass incident
-there's some unofficial estimate by a researcher in tsinghua university, the
most recent estimate suggests that in 2010, the mass incident climbed to
180,000.

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-What constitutes a mass incident or POD has not been well defined by
authority, but it seems mass incident is based on numbers of people invovled
-jiangshou local gov report: important mass incident 1000-5000 and
extraordinary mass incident includes more than 5000 people, but less than
1000 can still be mass incident but not so important, but we don't know the
minimum threshold.
-as for POD, the definition is charactereidzed by nature of event like gambling,
underworld criminal organizations, obstructions of official business, computer
hacker, mob fighting, making and using fake police uniforms, burning national
flag, and just about anything that is deemed disturbance to public order
-is this number of social unrest related to economic growth?????!!!!!!!!!!
-it is inversely related, greater economic growth, less mass incidents/POD
-but if we look at this graph which plots, it's not exactly straight forward, not
inversely related or positively related which makes analysis a lot trickier
-yeah, pretty striaght forward.
IMMEDIATE CAUSES OF SOCIAL UNREST
-PRIMARY CAUSE today is land dispute, which are reported to account for
65% of all cases, and in some instances, local governments expropriate land
illegaly from farmers soemtimes in cohesion with real-states developer to avoid
sharing land proceeds with high level government
-transaction of lands: befoe farmlands can be used for urban usages like shopin
centers or airports, it needs to be converted to state ownership, so this means
that local government the only one playing the intermediate role, only one
giving power to appropriate lands from farmers at a very low price, which has
some regulations which sets a maximum price cieling which is super low, and
then sold via like auctions and sales and all sorts of method for ridiculously
high prices, the prices sold to private developpers are usually way higher than
when expropriated from farmers
-so how do social discontent or social unrest arise form these cases, often case,
the government fails to consult with farmers, this big plot of land might be
farmed by few villagers, few nmight conscent, but a majority might not conset
with them so government often don't give a shit, stomp the farmers, they ahve
their little village commitee meeitngs but the meetings are not usually well
represented by the villagers.
-and if they are forced to be move, the government would just move in with
tractors, send in gangs (collusion between local and gang) to force farmers to

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vacate
-iandequate compensations: Hersuai city over christmas, some outskirt of the
capital city. 12,000 YUAN given, and 300 YUAN subsidies per month, and lose
all rights to profit/farming from the farms.
-CURIOSITY FROM WHITE BOY: how much is it to rent a piece of farmland for
yourself.
*CAN YOU SEND ME LAST WEEK'S NOTES?* THANK YOU.
-farmers can actually save a lot of money by growing their own grains,
vegetables, raising pigs and not have to buy essential goods themselves, their
life style cahnge drastically after losing lands, gotta buy everything now,
expedintures have almsot always increased but income not necessary income
-in place prof did her work, the farners wre given a small apartment, the
location was arbitratrily allocated, they couldn't choose where to live. There
was no re-employment , no skill-train, no subsidies, etc.
-land dispute might happen in urban fringes too, not just rural prarie areas.
Urban disputes can happen when government seek to take down residental
places for office space or high rise complexes, etc.
-Land disputes basically can happen rural or urban area.
environment-related grievances
-local government pollute and violate environment
-450 cancer villages
-cancer village describe village withe xtrodinary high number of cancer
patients due to contamination of water from local factories
-some villages have successfuly engaged NGO to fight the cause, thre's an
NGO called Green Anwei, helps em villagers,
-we will watch documentary about a cancer village after reading week
-villages mostly uneducated so the NGOS came in to help them, put together
evidences annd appeal to media for attention, and then became very
successful, and directed by a Chinese Canadian
-they were ultimatley very successful at getting the factory to shut down, prof
was at beijing during preimer of the documentary
-another type of environmental protest less to do with adverse of immediate
environemtnal damage, but more protest by rising middle-class
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