China has ordered local authorities to address the root causes of rising public discontent, state media reported yesterday, in an apparent sign of growing concern over social stability.
Local officials have been told they will be denied promotions unless they minimize social unrest in their areas, Xinhua news agency quoted a top Community Party official as saying.
"Officials who perform poorly in maintaining social stability in rural areas will not be qualified for promotion," it quoted Ouyang Song (
The vice minister of public security, Liu Jinguo (
"Mass incidents" is a term used by the government for the fast-growing numbers of riots, protests and other mass public outbursts.
"Fugitive criminals and underworld gangs, as well as those who steal rural production materials, produce or sell fake and substandard commodities, kidnap children and women and smuggle drugs, explosives and guns will be targeted," Liu was quoted as saying.
Both men made the comments during a Beijing conference on rural security on Thursday, it said.
Rising public discontent, especially among the huge segments of society marginalized in China's economic boom, has become a top source of government concern.
According to the most recent publicized government figures, 87,000 "mass incidents," were reported across China in 2005.