Editor’s Note: This special issue of Jamestown’s China Brief is released just as the Chinese government revised its figures upward on the incidence of domestic social unrest. Yesterday, January 19, the Public Security Bureau revealed that the government recorded 87,000 “public order disturbances” in 2005—a 6.6 percent increase from figures for 2004. In the introductory article to this special, Wenran Jiang broadly explores the dynamics of unrest in China, emphasizing rising social stratification and demands for social justice and equity. The following articles investigate anti-state resistance in two different contexts. David Kelly analyzes the basis of social movements in urban contexts, while Li Fan provides a detailed examination of unrest in China’s countryside.
Jamestown is grateful to Wenran Jiang for coordinating this special issue.