Political Unrest on Rise in China

China’s communist regime is launching special training classes for Party officials on how to handle “anti-government” protests. The move comes as political unrest is on the rise. China’s National Bureau of Statistics says police forces handled nearly 600000 cases of protests and demonstrations in 2006, the last year for which data was released. That’s a 6-fold increase from 2005, and authorities expect these numbers to keep growing. The anti-protest training seminars began after the October mass riots in Shanghai resulting from the execution of Yang Jia—a victim of police abuse. The seminars teach Communist Party officials how to calm protestors with pre-scripted phrases. But it’s unclear whether it will address widespread concerns, such as illegal land seizures, police abuse and a lack of religious and political freedom.