Page last updated at 09:24 GMT, Friday, 28 November 2008

Taxi strike hits new Chinese city

Police right a taxi overturned in a strike in Chonqing 03/11/2008
The strike in Chongqing earlier this month has emboldened drivers

Taxi drivers have gone on strike in the southern city of Chaozhou, the latest in a wave of protests across China.

Drivers say they are angry that nothing has been done about unlicensed cabs operating in their city.

The industrial action follows strikes in other cities that turned violent before officials bowed to irate drivers' demands.

Earlier this week, about 100 drivers threw bricks at unlicensed taxis in the province capital Guangzhou.

Drivers elsewhere in China have taken similar action this month, damaging at least 20 vehicles, including three police cars, in Chongqing and attacking 15 cars in Sanya.

In each case, the complaints were the same - unlicensed competition, high fuel prices and rising rental fees at a time when the economy is slowing.

Map of China

The mayor of Chongqing, China's fourth largest city, has taken the unusual step of allowing live television coverage of his negotiations with the strikers.

The BBC's Chris Hogg in Shanghai says the protests have so far been low level instances of social unrest, but it appears that concessions won by the drivers in Chongqing earlier this month have emboldened those in other cities.

The proliferation of mobile phones and the internet has meant that information about protests can spread much faster than in the past and protests are easier to organise, says our correspondent.

China's leaders have said the prospect of increased social unrest is their "top concern" as the economy slows.

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