China’s middle class and city populace is growing, and aware of social and economic changes. Han Dongfang discusses the Yue Yuen protest. He and Isaac Mao describe non-governmental organizations and how the internet allows activist communities to form independently.
Laborers have become a civic force. A woman that successfully sued Walmart is now suing the State Union. Economic inequality is problematic and the political system is geared to benefit the rich.
Dongfang asserts that China is only beginning to see social media’s power; micro-blogs allow serious civic discussion. The government wants to control and use online media. Mobile devices bring rural citizens out of isolation and help promote working class issues.
Dongfang explains formation of the Chinese Communist Party and how corruption undermined the middle class. He advises raising workers’ salaries to boost internal consumerism and economy. Mao feels social media influences authorities. Leadership is having to update coping mechanisms.
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China, a single-party state run from the very top, yet bubbling up from beneath, grassroots activism is pushing for much needed change. In recent years, NGOs and activist groups have sprung up around the country. From protesting against factory pollution, to striking for better salaries, to even delivering free meals to village children. And with the explosion of social media, these groups are more connected and better resourced than ever before. But how much power can the people really have in the People's Republic of China? And will the growing civil society transform the country's political landscape? In this episode of ON CHINA, CNN's Kristie LuStout explores People Power in China.
Length: 23 minutes
Copyright date: ©2014
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