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Zengcheng City Streets Quiet After Weekend Riots

7 years ago125 views

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The streets of the southern Chinese city of Zengcheng are quiet today... after a rampage by migrant workers over the weekend. Tensions are running high there, after a pregnant street peddler was abused by authorities.

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Migrant workers went on a rampage over the weekend... protesting against the abuse of a pregnant street peddler who has become a symbol of simmering grassroots discontent.

The mob wrecked the government office in the Zengcheng City's suburb of Dadun... destroying parts of the iron gates and spiked fences.

The protesters also set fire to at least six vehicles, including a police van.

A migrant worker in Dadun, who declined to give her name, says the unrest caused some people to move their families back home.
"They say the trouble was started by Sichuan people, so some people are bringing their children back home as they worry about retaliation from police. Who can say there won't be any trouble?"

More than half of the city's population of 800,000 are migrant workers, many of whom are from Sichuan Province in southwest China.

Like millions of other migrant workers in the Pearl River Delta, the workers at Dadun say their already grim lives have become worse over the past year... due to rampant inflation and discrimination from authorities.

"The cost of living is very high, a room with tin rooftop will cost 200 yuan per month but previously it only cost around 100 yuan."

Zengcheng is around an hour's drive from Guangzhou, the affluent capital of Guangdong Province, which produces about a third of the country's exports.

About 150 million workers have moved from the countryside to the city in search of a better standard of living.

Although their wages have improved in recent years, there remains a stark income gap between migrant workers and those who originally hail from the city.

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