- Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
- Ronnie Biggs of ‘Great Train Robbery’ fame dies, 84
- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Liu Neng
A victory by protesters against the expansion of a chemical plant in Ningbo proves the new rule in China: The authoritarian government is scared of middle-class rebellion and will give in if the demonstrators' aims are limited and not openly political.
Liu Jun sleeps in a room so small that he shares a bed with two other men. It's all the scrawny computer engineering graduate can afford in a city so expensive that the average white-collar professional can't afford to buy a home.
"The government would need lots of courage to insist on keeping this project. The cost would be too high if the protest escalated to another level," Mr. Liu said. "Since the 18th Party Congress is around the corner, it is very important to maintain stability."
Given that pressure and the fact that many Ningbo officials also have middle-class concerns about air pollution and other quality-of-life issues, the local government found it easier to back off, Peking University sociologist Liu Neng said.