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'No chance of Gulf style riots in China'

By K J M Varma
March 06, 2011 17:45 IST
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The Chinese government has dismissed chances of West Asia style revolution in the Communist nation, saying it has brought development to the masses, even as it has stepped up security to avert attempts by dissidents to stir up protests.

Recent riots in the Middle East and North Africa will not be repeated in China as the government is doing a good job and taking people's demands seriously, Zhao Qizheng, spokesman, Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), an advisory body told media.

"Some media have said the problems in the Middle East will infect China, and that there have been such signals in China. I have said explicitly, with confidence, that such comparison is very absurd and does not match the facts," he was quoted in the official media.

As for social problems such as surging housing prices and the deepening income gap between rich and poor, Zhao said the government has made wise decisions, though they need time to show effect. "We are to build 10 million apartments in one year, can you hear about that in any other country around the world?" he asked adding that China plans to build 36 million government-subsidised apartments in the coming five years, including 10 million in 2011, so more apartments will be available for low-income residents.

"So be relieved, that (the riots) will not happen,"he said. His comments came as Chinese made a massive show of strength in Beijing and different cities to avert "strolling protests" called by overseas dissident groups on their US based website.

While trying to avert any semblance of protests taking place, China has also warned foreign media of serious consequences including cancellation of their media accreditations if they violate rules in covering suchincidents.

Some foreign media personnel were assaulted, while no protestors showed up. Anonymous groups virtually made it a campaign calling such protests every week keeping the policeon tenterhooks. A state run newspaper Beijing Daily warned that any such protest would only bring misery to people.

"Such movements have brought nothing but chaos and misery to their countries' citizens and are engineered by a small number of people using the Internet to organize illegal meetings," it said in a front-page editorial. Meanwhile Wang Hui, director of the Information Office of Beijing Municipal Government told the media that attempts of certain people to spread the unrest in the Middles East to China in the form of "street politics" will not succeed in the Chinese capital.

"Certain people from overseas are using the Internet to instigate illegal rallies in China and attempt to spread the unrest in the Middle East to China and play the so-called 'street politics'," she told a press conference. "But sober-minded people can see that they havechosen the wrong place. Such things will not happen in Beijing," she said adding that police are investigating complaints of assaults against foreign journalists last week.

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K J M Varma in Beijing
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