China morning round-up: Qidong anti-pollution protest

Protesters and police gather outside the local government offices in Qidong in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu, 28 July 2012
Image caption The protest in Qidong again shows people's awareness of their rights, papers say

Newspapers discuss the Qidong protest , after a massive demonstration forced the local government to scrap a waste-water pipeline project.

China Daily says thousands of people gathered outside the municipal government compound in the city just north of Shanghai early on Saturday, without mentioning subsequent violence.

The Global Times says order "was basically restored on Sunday" after protesting residents clashed with the police on Saturday.

Hong Kong's Sing Tao Daily and Ming Pao Daily News report the paper mill which planned the pipeline has resumed production, while a Japanese journalist who was allegedly beaten up by the police complained his camera and press card were confiscated.

"A local government's lack of concern for the will of residents in its decision-making process is dangerous, especially when people's awareness of their rights and interests is on the rise," said an editorial in China Daily .

The Global Times' bilingual editorial says the Qidong protest came just weeks after a similar demonstration erupted in western Shifang city .

"The two protests have together left the impression that the fastest way to change a government policy is to hold a violent demonstration," said the editorial.

"If this model is copied widely, it would be disastrous for social stability. It encourages the public to resort to radical methods to realise its demands."

The Global Times' English edition also reports a massive protest in Hong Kong on Sunday against a controversial patriotic education curriculum that the government intends to introduce in September.

Organisers said some 90,000 people had turned out for the rally in the city centre, while police put the figure at 32,000 at its peak.

The curriculum is designed "to introduce Hong Kong students to the political system and historic background of the mainland", said the Global Times.

But students and parents criticised it as an attempt to "brainwash" Hong Kong children with Communist propaganda, report the Hong Kong Standard and the AM730 newspaper , an allegation that the Hong Kong government denies.

The government said it would set up a committee to gather opinion on how to conduct national education in an objective way, but students and parent-representatives insist the curriculum must be withdrawn, says Ming Pao Daily News .

The editorial in pro-Beijing Wen Wei Po newspaper criticised the protest as "an event carefully planned and organised by the opposition".

Many pages in Chinese newspapers focus on Olympic achievements two days into the London Games.

Shanghai Morning Post reports on the gold medal won by woman female Wu Minxia, saying the municipal government of Shanghai had sent a telegram congratulating the city resident on winning her third consecutive Olympic gold.

But the main focus is on 20-year-old Sun Yang, who won China's first ever men's swimming gold on Saturday. People's Daily Overseas Edition says Sun has become an international superstar like basketball player Yao Ming, hurdler Liu Xiang, and tennis player Li Na.

The Global Times' second editorial of the day says the more gold medals they get, the happier Chinese people will be.

But the editorial in Shanghai's China Business News appeals for the public not to focus too much on how many medals are won.

"The modern Olympic spirit is not only about results, medals and champions... but also peace, freedom and justice," it said.

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