Unrest in Southern China

Hundreds of people clashed with police and destroyed vehicles in the city of Chaozhou (潮州) after an assault at knifepoint of a worker claiming his salary, reported today the authorities and official Chinese media. Eighteen people were injured and nine arrested Monday when police intervened to quell a demonstration by about 200 migrant workers.

Protesters gathered outside a government building to demand that the authorities punish three people suspected of attacking a migrant worker whose family name is Xiong, June 1st. Mr. Xiong was assaulted after requiring two months of unpaid wages, according to the Global Times.

Three suspects, including the head of the ceramics factory where Mr. Xiong works, were arrested and their cases were forwarded to the local judicial authorities, according to a statement from the municipality of Chaozhou.

From the images of a video posted on Sina.com.cn , hundreds of people gathered in the streets of the city, and some threw objects or given a stick on a van. According to the press release of the authorities, a car was burned, three were destroyed and 15 damaged.

The number of labor disputes has increased in recent years in China, where migrant workers, who form the bulk of the industrial workforce in coastal regions, demanding frequent pay raises and improvements in their working conditions.