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Under construction on Wangfujing: China's reaction to protest attempts


Last Sunday, the McDonald's at the Wangfujing Street shopping area in Beijing was the scene of a planned protest that wasn't really a protest. As has been widely reported, the crowd was made up mostly of journalists, police and curious onlookers.

Despite the very low numbers of protestors, the Chinese government has spent most of the past week trying to make sure it doesn't happen again -- Internet restrictions, already extremely tight, have been taken up several notches. Attempts to search for anything related to the event became pretty much impossible without special software.

But in addition to cyber tactics,  the Chinese government has also apparently resorted to simpler measures: rows of trees in front of part of the Wangfujing McDonald's, and a new construction site stretching down the street. Signs say the road is being repaired, though there's not much evidence of that happening yet.

The same U.S.-based website that carried the first call for "Jasmine Revolution" protests -- the name a nod to unrest that overthrew the president in Tunisia -- has posted another one calling for an ongoing series of "strolls" in cities across China.

We'll see what happens this Sunday.

Update: Jordan Pouille, another Beijing journalist, posted several pictures of Wangfujing here.


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"China Rises" is written by Tom Lasseter, the Beijing bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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