RAND_CT240.pdf (application/pdf Object)
For all the talk about the peaceful rise of China, it is important to focus also on the peaceful rise in China.
Over the years there has been a constant increase in what the authorities refer to as "mass incidents" of different sorts.
The Ministry of Public Security - a powerful body - has released statistics that talk about a annual rise in such incidents of the order of 10%. From 8 700 in 1993, they recorded 58 000 cases in 2003.
A closer examination of what's happening and its significance can be founded in the presentation by researchers from the RAND Corporation that I have linked to.
I don't think there is any reason to expect anything too dramatic to happen immediately - but I do think there is reason to be aware of the tensions in the system in particular if we were to see economic growth starting to falter, inflation coming back or something of this nature.