12/10/2012, 00.00
CHINA
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Xi Jinping visits Guangdong as police violently break up protest

The new Communist leader follows Deng Xiaoping's southern trip to urge business to meet complex challenges by speeding up economic reforms. Workers who use the visit to protest are beaten and arrested by police.

Guangzhou (AsiaNews) - Although economic fundamentals are generally healthy, the country should still prepare for multiple risks and challenges, said Xi Jinping, China's new absolute leader during a visit to the rich province of Guangdong.

Echoing Deng Xiaoping's southern trip in the early 1990s, Xi tried to capture the aura of China's old paramount leader. However, violent clashes broke out between police and workers protesting unfair conditions they face every day.

The new Communist leader, who will fill all major positions by next March, spoke at an economic forum in the southern city of Guangzhou, saying that faster restructuring is in line with the times and cannot be delayed.

The visit included stopping at a statue of Deng erected in the city of Shenzhen to commemorate the late leader's 1992 visit.

"Now is the time to remind people that only by continuing the Deng-style reform can China continue to cross the river by touching on the next stone," said Huang Jing, a political science professor at the National University of Singapore. "Now they are already in the middle of the river, where the water is deep and runs fast," Huang added.

Xi's reformist inspiration has not had any effect on ordinary law and order. In Shenzhen, police broke up a strike by some 3,000 workers at a printing factory in Baoan District who took industrial action on Friday by blocking a section of an expressway.

After eight hours, police moved in and beat up and arrested several workers.

 

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