According to the Daily Bell, a report from NTDTV indicates that migrant workers across Southern China are rioting. The article notes that these riots are coming about amidst “problems ranging from rampant inflation to corruption, a big wealth gap, industrial pollution, forced demolitions and abuse of power.” These problems are symptomatic of the Chinese government’s corporacratic nature. You may be wondering what I mean by that.
Allow me to give you a brief introduction to the current government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It is ruled entirely by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a country-wide organization that controls most political and economic power, and all military power in the country. There are several levels of government authority in the central government, including a legislative body (the National People’s Congress), the military authority, the propaganda ministry, etc. However, all decisions are effectively made by the 24-member Politburo, which itself contains a 9-member Standing Committee. These 9 men essentially control China, and they hold various other positions of power throughout the government to exercise their power. The Standing Committee is, in effect, a corporate board – its members hold supreme power over the country (corporation), and their power is exercised by both their own positions and the influence that they hold over other officers. The Chinese government tends to work in a way that is pragmatic and deliberate – the Standing Committee comes to agreement on issues and their orders are carried out without question. Many of the members of this committee are also the heads of State-Owned Enterprises – vast corporations backed by the state’s financial wealth that compete in the global market.
But how is the CCP connected to the riots occurring today in China? The rampant corruption, enormous wealth gap, industrial pollution, forced demolitions, and abuses of power are all caused primarily by the government’s actions. The government is very hesitant to place regulations on minimum wages and labor conditions and pollution for fear of slowing the country’s economic growth. Additionally, cracking down on corruption could result in the loss of key personnel, as well as scandals that further shake the populace’s confidence in their government. Ultimately, this corporate pragmatism has created a large thorn in the side of CCP in the form of popular discontent. The Chinese government could simply crack down on the protests with the military, but this would hurt its image internationally and discourage foreign investments and trade. What will likely happen is that the government will jail the key dissidents and leaders, and appease the populace with some small token of compassion such as a food or fuel subsidy.
This is nothing new for the Chinese government. Dissent is just a bunch of cracks in the road to becoming a global superpower, and the corporate-structured government will not allow itself to be knocked off-course when it hits a bump. It will correct its steering and order the road repaved with a fresh layer of propaganda and truth-twisting.