Rising Protests in China

As China grows into its role as a 21st-century economic powerhouse, its government is struggling with the growth of popular unrest. Groups of Chinese citizens, from small bands of workers to entire villages, have been staging protests across the massive nation with increasing frequency. According to research by the Chinese Academy of Governance, the number of protests in China doubled between 2006 and 2010, rising to 180,000 reported "mass incidents." The uprisings are responses to myriad issues, primarily official corruption, government land grabs, Tibetan autonomy, and environmental problems. Late last year, the residents of Wukan -- angered by a land grab by corrupt officials -- rose up and briefly seized control of their village. After several days, the government gave in, admitting to mistakes and vowing to crack down on corruption. Villagers were also allowed to hold their first-ever secret ballot elections, apparently free from Communist Party interference. On February 11, 2012, Wukan residents elected their own governing committee, with a voter turnout of 85 percent.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.
Jump to Comments

Most Recent

  • Robert MacFarlane/AP

    Photos of the Week: 4/11-4/17

    This week, we have images of a visit to Coachella, raging fires in Siberia, Yazidi New Year celebrations, a burning Boeoegg in Zurich, the World Pole Dance Championships in Beijing, a gyrocopter on the the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the Paris Marathon, a robot from the new Star Wars movie, bubbles in Egypt, and much more.

  • Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

    The Cherished Empty Bedrooms of the Sewol Ferry Victims

    Tomorrow will mark the one-year anniversary of the sinking of the ferry Sewol off the coast of South Korea, and the loss of more than 300 people, including 250 students. Some of the families of those students have kept their children’s bedrooms intact to remember and honor their loved ones.

  • Reuters

    And Then There Was One

    Across China, where new developments are keeping pace with the rapidly growing economy, reports continue to surface so-called "nail houses."

  • Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

    The Vrontados Rocket War

    Every year, during Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations, members of rival churches sitting across a small valley stage a traditional "rocket war" by firing thousands of homemade rockets towards each other while services are held in the Greek village of Vrontados.

Join the Discussion