China is doing what the Soviet Union did: regarding its Communist Party as representing labor and treating with hostility rival labor unions. An opinion column in today's Washington Post claims that on December 3, authorities "initiated a widespread crackdown on labor activists" in highly industrialized Guangdong province.
The article adds that since they first appeared 20 years ago, "China's labor nongovernmental organizations have suffered regular rounds of repression and harassment, including tax audits, mafia violence and continual interrogation by security officials." And,
Labor conflict in China has indeed been growing rapidly in recent years, with wildcat strikes, road blockades and even riots becoming regular occurrences. But workers are striking because labor laws are not enforced and there are no effective means for legally resolving collective disputes.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that in the city of Kashgar, authorities have " banned mosques from broadcasting the call to prayer" and have put "restrictions on the movements of laborers that have wreaked havoc on local agriculture." China "has taken measures aimed at shaping the behavior and beliefs of the country's 10 million Uighurs, Turkic-speaking Muslims. They consider the region around the city of Kashgar their homeland." It's part of the Xinjiang autonomous region in northwest China, currently China's largest natural gas-producing region. Since 1949, Xinjiang has been part of the People's Republic of China. Since the 1990s, there has been Uyghur unrest, and China's authorities have been determined to stamp out nationalistic separatist sentiments in Xinjiang as it has in Tibet.
Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.