I wrote my first post for The China Beat today. It was a Q&A with a political scientist, Benjamin Read, who has been studying homeowners associations in China. He put the recent protest in Shanghai in context:
So I think we should guard against reading too much into this event. Howard W. French, in his New York Times story makes a rather bold claim that the protests are “the strongest sign yet
of rising resentment among China’s fast-growing middle class over a
lack of say in decision making.” Social classes rarely act in unified
ways politically, and it’s questionable at best whether the middle
class in China is generally characterized by resentment.
You can read the full text of the interview here. I’ll be on a bit of a China tour this summer, looking at life on the fringes of big cities with my friend Anka Lee.