Continued from page 1

Dalian, Xiamen and Ningbo are among the better-off cities in China.

The treatment of protesters there has been gentler than the beatings and large-scale arrests often given to rowdy rural and working-class protesters. Those tend to be larger and more violent, and are seen as more of a direct challenge to the party, which supposedly represents the proletariat.

The recent protests across China against Japan’s move to nationalize some islands in the East China Sea were rare cases in which the government tacitly allowed broader demonstrations.

Even among middle-class protesters, officials are not caving in to all demands.

In Ningbo’s case, the government did not heed protesters’ demands for the mayor, Liu Qi, to step down, or for police to release protesters who refused to heed police orders to leave the area around the government offices.

The city government said Monday that police had taken away or detained 52 people in the three days of large protests and denied rumors that anyone had been killed.