A food safety factory shutdown has Americans hunting for baby formula. Readying themselves for a covid-19 lockdown, Chinese in Beijing emptied store shelves. Emerging from lockdown, some in Shanghai are visiting well-provisioned markets. U.S.-China agricultural trade is booming, but many are still being left hungry. Food security, sustainability and safety remain issues.
Learning from Protest and Resistance in China
Professor Teresa Wright looks at how, when, and why Chinese individuals and groups have engaged in protests and how the targets of their complaints have responded; thus shedding light on the stability of China’s existing political system and its likely future trajectory.
Left: Teresa Wright | Right: Chinese protesters in Kunming in 2013 from the Voice of China
The hundreds of worker protests, the #MeToo push against sexual harassment and gender discrimination, the mobilization of church members to oppose the destruction of their meeting places and various gatherings to oppose government decisions on schools and land use and tens of thousands of other protests make it clear that Chinese citizens are far from docile, and regularly and vociferously rise up in collective protest. In some cases they have successfully applied pressure, forcing political and economic elites to satisfy their demands. In others, they have been brutally suppressed. More often than not, however, the results have been mixed. Examining how, when, and why individuals and groups have engaged in contentious acts, and how the targets of their complaints have responded, sheds light on the stability of China’s existing political system, and its likely future trajectory.
Teresa Wright is professor and chair of political science at California State University, Long Beach. Dr. Wright studied at Santa Clara University and UC Berkeley. She’s the author of The Perils of Protest: State Repression and Student Activism in China and Taiwan, Accepting Authoritarianism: State Society Relations in China’s Reform Era and Party and State in Post-Mao China and Popular Protest in China. She is the editor of recent Handbook of Protest and Resistance in China. Prof. Wright was a discussant at our China’s Growing Pains conference in 2016.