LONGNAN, China, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A riot erupted in northwestern China over a government plan to demolish the city of Longnan's downtown area, state-run media reported Tuesday.
The Los Angeles Times reported that about 2,000 people protested leveling the Gansu province city's downtown area, which was hit by May's powerful earthquake. Protesters torched cars and attacked a local Communist Party office, the Xinhua news agency said.
The Times said 60 officials were injured in the incident, citing Xinhua.
Several demonstrations have broken out across China in recent weeks, including a two-day strike by disgruntled taxi drivers in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing, the Times reported.
"The government's emphasis on maintaining a harmonious society just extenuates the levels to which it is worried about these kinds of threats to social stability," said Joshua Rosenzweig, a Hong Kong manager of research at the Dui Hua Foundation, a human rights group.
"I don't think we're even close to seeing the real impact of the global financial crisis on Chinese society. I'd be surprised if the government wasn't very concerned about the increasing level of social unrest all over China."