1. Archive

China prepares for uprisings in face of reforms

Published Oct. 12, 2005

China's Communist Party, staking its future on bold economic reforms, is prepared to crush any social unrest that may be created by the radical changes, according to a secret document obtained Tuesday by Reuters.

The ruling party, holding its first national Congress since the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement that rocked Beijing's rulers, is determined to find a way to defy the fate of its socialist brethren.

"People actually want to see how China's socialism will survive and develop while socialism is in a low worldwide," the official Xinhua news agency quoted Gen. Yang Baibing, secretary-general of the Central Military Commission, as saying.

While the 2,000 delegates to the Congress rushed to express support for the Communist Party's plan to use capitalist-style economics to save its political rule, the secret document showed officials are worried about destabilizing forces the reforms may unleash.

The document shows that officials fear worker unrest resulting from the changes that could take away cradle-to-grave welfare benefits enjoyed by millions and throw many workers out of jobs.

"Security work should be strengthened at factories, mines, oil fields and other large and medium enterprises and key state projects. During the reform of enterprises, internal security work cannot be weakened," Central Document No. 7 said.

The document also ordered that strict attention be paid to the campuses, where the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations began.