Hu Xijin, Editor-in-chief of the Global Times, comments on the violence in Qidong, Jiangsu Province, where local residents protested against the impending opening of a paper mill which they felt posed a serious environmental threat.
The situation in Qidong demonstrates once again that China’s society fears pollution, a sentiment which once stirred will create a desperate and destructive power. This has already become a serious political problem. The government should communicate with the public before making decisions on such sensitive environmental issues. Otherwise, the government should be held accountable for not fulfilling its duty. People who violated the law should also be punished in accordance with the law. I condemn everyone who applauded the violence that took place.
@汉朝青: Illegal actions and violence are steps backward, and should always be kept under control. However, why are there so many cases of violence in society today? In my opinion, especially the last decade, our judicial system has disappointed the public, leaving people without any effective channel to appeal injustices. Therefore, once they get the chance, they are likely to use illegal and violent behavior to release their anger and frustration.
@随事理: Just like in the Shifang event, most people only learn about Qidong through gossip and rumor. The question is when will people have the right to know the whole truth and when will mainstream media provide the public with timely information?
@爱猫的螃蟹:These so-called instigators of violence should be judged solely on their actions. If they are just all talk and no walk, then we should not be so sensitive. The law is clear in what it considers violence, but opinions are harder to define. Therefore, we should advocate handling this matter in close accordance with the law.
@不沉的镇远-巴莱: Appeals to the government are a way for the people to legally express their opinions while avoiding destructive behaviors.
@wsirsir: There is no doubt that violence is not to be allowed. However we must be against violence of all kinds, both among citizens and government. Our society should build an effective system of communication, which is not only needed after conflict occurs, but also to prevent such problems. People should have the right to freely express their opinions through proper channels. The question is whether the government respects this right to expression? Is there any such channel? Does the government represent the people’s interests or their own?