it is very unusual for the Chinese government ever to admit there are problems between officials and the general public which they view as an admission of failure on their part. The official version of most events ordinarily attributes any violent display of anger as instigated by outside sources. However, in a remarkable display of candor, the government admitted that up to 30,000 people participated in violent demonstrations against a police report which claimed a young girl due to drowning. The girl’s family believes she was raped and murdered by there men, one of whom was the son of a local deputy mayor. Thousands marched through the streets in Weng’anm county, chanting holding sighs saying, “Justice to the People” and burning official buildings and smashing cars.
Police insist it was a drowning but few in the community accept the official version of death. This is among the few such mass demonstrations in which the Chinese government acknowledged the existence of violence and at least presented another version of events. Perhaps, this is an important step in developing democracy at the local level in China.