Beijing’s dread of dissent

WHEN the monks in Burma led protests against the military junta there last September, China initially reacted by making the usual call for calm and restraint from all sides.

As those protests escalated and the world’s media responded with expressions of outrage, revulsion and shock, the Chinese Government responded by saying that “demonstrations would not only undermine the stability of the state but also tarnish the image of Myanmar’s monks”.

Why has Beijing taken a hard line in Tibet? The key is “stability of state”.

Don’t be fooled by the glamour of Shanghai or the magnificence of Beijing. There are large swaths of disunity and disorder in the country.

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