Rational solution needs to be explored to sort out capital-labor relations
Published: Jan 01, 2019 06:53 PM

With the involvement of some students, a series of worker-related incidents with the Jasic Technology Company in city of Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, are portrayed by a few Western media outlets and forces as a symbol of the ascendance of left-wing ideologies and student activism at Chinese universities. According to Western rhetoric, strongly dissatisfied with social problems such as labor rights violations and a widening wealth gap, a group of young Chinese claiming a left-wing ideology, combined to form a political force that cannot be underestimated and thus met with an allegedly brutal crackdown.

The Jasic incidents began in July 2018 when workers discontent with low pay, poor working conditions and long shifts sought to safeguard their legitimate rights. They turned violent, besieging factories and disrupting operations of the local police station. The investigation by local police found that an unregistered illegal organization named dagongzhe zhongxin, or center for migrant workers, fully funded by overseas NGOs, was instigating the incidents and coercing some workers into taking radical actions.

The participants in the riots including some student protesters were arrested in accordance with the law. Western countries and forces are expecting to see any kind of anti-government movements catch on in China, but they always misjudged the overall situation in China, and so on this issue.

The various contradictions and conflicts China is grappling with in the process of economic transformation are controllable and can be solved through appropriate means. The young generations of Chinese largely have a high degree of recognition for national development. Statistics from Dataway Horizon, one of China's public opinion and polling firms, show that 93.3 percent of those born after the 1990s are very proud of being Chinese.

It's encouraging to see young students with a strong sense of participation in public affairs and yearning for fairness and justice. However, these young people's actions should be based on a correct understanding of reality and consequences.

China's development has brought about some changes in the relationship between capital and labor. The government is also exploring a rational, legal solution and the establishment of more flexible channels for problems in current labor relations. In the meantime, if we don't want similar issues to develop to the point of violating the law, relevant local authorities should play a more active role. They should ensure channels open for workers to express their demands. Once there are labor conflicts, they should carry out reasonable interventions, facilitating communications between workers and employers and to reduce tensions.

Violence and confrontation are not the answer to labor conflicts. The central government attaches great importance to improving the living standards of ordinary people and ensuring their rights in the process of rapid development. President Xi Jinping expressed his care for the grassroots in his New Year speech. We need to prioritize the protection of legitimate rights and interests of workers and other grassroots groups and actively promote the cause under the rule of law.

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