22 Feb 2011

China calls for unrest to be defused

6:29 pm on 22 February 2011

China's domestic security chief says the government must find new ways to defuse unrest in a fast-changing society.

The comments are seen by observers as underscoring Beijing's anxiety about control, even though police quashed weekend calls for gatherings inspired by Middle East uprisings.

Reuters reports the ruling Communist Party's top law-and-order official, Zhou Yongkang, as telling key military personnel they had to try to defuse conflicts and disputes while they are still embryonic.

Police dispersed dozens of people who gathered in central Beijing and Shanghai during the weekend, after calls spread on overseas Chinese websites urging uprisings.