10/28/2011, 00.00
CHINA
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Zhejiang, tax increase results in mass protest

In Huzhou, considered the world capital of children's clothing, thousands of people took to the streets to protest a tax increase: employers and workers, who attacked government buildings and police cars. At least 28 arrests.
Huzhou (AsiaNews) - Social protests continue to rock China. Despite government promises and proclamations of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, the tax burden and forced requisitions continue to exacerbate the population. In the latest case, which occurred yesterday, hundreds of owners of small factories and their workers revolted in Huzhou, Zhejiang, destroying public buildings, overturning cars and setting fire to protest against an increase in local taxes.

Zhejiang, known as the new "golden province" in the national economy, it is often the scene of popular protests. Although there is over 100 thousand each year in the country, the uprisings against the government in most cases occur in rural inland areas. Huzhou, however, is considered the world capital of children's clothing. After the flight of many employers, squeezed by loan sharks, and the failure of small and medium-sized enterprises, the protest resulted in clashes.

28 are reported to have been arrested by the police. The discontent, however, is not be limited to Huzhou: The entire area is now in fibrillation, in anticipation of feared maneuvers in support of the central government. The official government news agency, Xinhua, reports that several police officers and city managers were injured when more than 100 protesters surrounded the seat of local government, hurling stones and destroying buildings, signs and streetlights.

According to local media reports the crowd of protesters abandoned the government offices the night of October 26, only to gather once again at dawn on Thursday 27 October, to storm the building destroying at least 30 cars parked nearby, and other public buildings. The popular anger, Chinese bloggers argue, is the result of tax increases, as in the case of a factory that has seen an increase in tax on sewing machines.

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