China says Wall Street protects cause for reflection


China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday global protests sparked by the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States were a cause for “reflection”, but the reflection should be focused on ensuring the world’s healthy economic growth. Anti-greed protesters rallied globally on Saturday, denouncing bankers and politicians over the international economic crisis, with violence rocking Rome where cars were torched and bank windows smashed.
“We have noticed the media has reported a lot about this issue recently. We think that there are many issues here which people ought to think about,” ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told a regular news briefing.
“We have noticed that in the media there has been comment, discussion and reflection about these activities. But all these reflections ought to be conducive towards maintaining the stable and healthy development of the global economy,” he added. Galvanized by the Occupy Wall Street movement, protests began in New Zealand, touched parts of Asia, spread to Europe, and resumed at their starting point in New York with 5,000 marchers decrying corporate greed and economic inequality.
But online calls for similar protests in mainland China over the weekend fizzled, in a country whose leaders are wary of any kind of demonstrations. China’s ruling Communist Party earlier this year came down hard on dissidents and rights activists after calls circulated on the internet for Chinese people to follow the lead of the Arab Spring and rise up to against their government. The Global Times, a widely read Chinese tabloid published by Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, noted in an editorial that “western countries can withstand street demonstrations better, since their governments are elected”. “The conflicts may be minor or serious, but it will not bring significant change,” it added. “China needs to stay calm and observe how the street movements in the Western world develop and to make the rights choices for its own good.”