BEIJING – An unprecedented visit by China’s premier to the bureau where ordinary citizens submit grievances about corruption and other problems has put the spotlight on a system widely regarded as broken but that Beijing is unlikely to fix.
State media reports showed Premier Wen Jiabao chatting with eight petitioners and speaking to staff at the central government complaints bureau on Monday afternoon. The government’s Xinhua News Agency said it was the first time that a prime minister had met with ordinary petitioners in the 61 years of communist rule.
The publicity underscored a message Wen and other Chinese leaders like to show, especially ahead of next month’s Lunar New Year — that they care about common people. But petitioners, who flock to Beijing by the thousands for redress, are usually given more brusque treatment, at times grabbed off the streets, held in unofficial detention centers known as “black jails” and sent home….
Keep reading further in the article. It’s all about keeping up appearances. The most dangerous thing you can do in China (besides crossing the street) is lodge a complaint about corruption. Just kiss your family good bye one last time before you do it because you have a high likelihood of ending up in jail. Some folks just disappear, never to be heard from again.
winner-winner, chicken dinner 🙂