A letter from a Chinese reader on workers’ protests

Below we reprint a letter on “Working class demonstrations spread in northern China

Dear Sirs/Madam,

I am from China, in the city of Qiqihar in the Heilongjiang province. My city is close to Daqing, and today I read your news on the oilfield workers. My husband works at the Daqing Petroleum Administration Bureau but he has strong feelings that the workers are right to protest. He feels sick about how the PAB breaks its word to workers. Those workers have spent their lives providing for our motherland, and now it turns its heart black and slaps them. This black heart is everywhere today. Workers in Daqing and all over the oilfields are angry. Many people in PAB believe like my husband that the workers are right. But they cannot say it out loud because their fear is so strong. Some managers at PAB get over 100,000 yuan at Spring Festival—this is equivalent to what a worker makes in 20 years. Now many workers have nothing. I feel sick watching the men come home to Qiqihar. Their families are starving now, their children sick. There is no money. Who will care for these people? Please tell more on this. China is sick and sicker. Your story is true.

Yours truly,


28 March 2002