The China Elections and Governance website has reposted a nice
article written by Zhao Shukai, researcher at the
Two points caught my eye. First, Zhao notes that in the 1980s, collective petitions of large groups of petitioners or extreme behavior on the part of petitioners was relatively unknown, but this began to shift in the 1990s, as Chinese petitioners began to adopt much more organized and radicalized tactics to draw official attention to their complaints.
Second, Zhao proposes that institutional reform is necessary to address the root problems associated with citizen petitions. Specifically, he proposes concentrating authority for responding to citizen petitions in local people’s congresses, and making their oversight of governmental affairs meaningful.
Both of these points have been made as well by other Chinese
and foreign scholars working on citizen petitioning in