The Study Times, a weekly sponsored by the Party School
of the CPC Central Committee, said government officials should
resolve mass incidents through negotiations, instead of resorting
to force, which may intensify the conflicts.
Police force should only be used in cases where mass incidents
have violated laws and regulations, and the use of firearms should
be undertaken with caution, it said.
Local governments should carefully distinguish the difference
between a collective appeal for help to the higher authorities and
a violation of the law, it said.
It urged officials at all levels to make more efforts to prevent
mass incidents from happening by bridging China's expanding wealth
gap and reducing regional inequality between the eastern and
western parts of the country.
Local governments should also strengthen efforts against corrupt
activities such as land grabs to ensure farmers' interests are not
harmed, it said.
Earlier this month, villagers from the town of Zhushan in
central China's Hunan province clashed with local police over
rising bus fares.
Local police and government officials calmed the incident by
force after villagers "burned several buses and surrounded the
police station throwing stones at police officers."
(Xinhua News Agency March 23, 2007)