Thousands of protesters violently clashed with authorities last Saturday in Linshui County, located in eastern Sichuan province. The protesters demanded that a proposed high speed railway pass through Linshui. They were met with batons and rubber bullets, with hundreds reportedly being injured by the police and tactical units. The heavy handed response of the Chinese state to these protests reveals the instability and weakness of the regime.

Newly released figures show that the Chinese economy in 2014 experienced its lowest economic growth since 1990. Furthermore, the International Monetary Fund downgraded its 2015 growth projection for China from 7.1% to 6.8%. According to the Financial Times, 30 out of China’s 31 provinces had missed their growth targets for 2014 – the only one which didn’t was Tibet, by far the country’s smallest regional economy.

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