ABSTRACT

Society and Culture Crime, drugs, guns, sex, violence, and AIDS. Since 1989, these have become the stuff of news in China as the puritanical, closed society of Mao Zedong has given way to the traumas of modern life. In a Hunan Province town, armed miners attack government offices (Document 69); in northern China, an irate peasant detonates a bomb to protest excessive taxation (Document 72); and in China's western provinces, non-Han minorities resort to terrorism in their struggle for greater independence from Beijing (Document 95). The economic progress documented in the previous section has given rise to a level of social disorder that has unsettled the population and provoked political attacks on the entire reform process (Document 76). The level of crime, drug use, and other social ills in contemporary China is sti1110w by the standards of most industrialized nations. But in a country that since 1949 was generally free of such maladies and/or generally ignored them, the shock of the new has led many Chinese to believe that their society is spinning out of control.