China - 9.1-Political & Security Environment China - Political Environment
The risk of political violence directed at foreign companies operating in China remains minimal. Every year, different watchdog organizations report tens of thousands of protests throughout China. The government is adept at handling protests without violence, but given the volume of protests annually, the potential for violent flare-ups is real. Violent protests, while rare, have generally involved ethnic tensions, local residents protesting corrupt officials, environmental and food safety concerns, confiscated property, and disputes over unpaid wages.
In recent years, the growing number of protests over corporate mergers and acquisitions has increased, often with workers and mid-level managers of an acquired firm protesting because they were not included or consulted in the process. There have also been a small number of cases of foreign businesspeople being trapped in China during a business contract dispute.
In the past few years, Chinese authorities have detained or arrested several foreign nationals, including American citizens, and have refused to notify the U.S. Embassy or allow consular officers access to the detained American citizens. These trends are in direct contravention of recognized international agreements and conventions.