Likelihood of Chinese revolt 'unrealistic'

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The Independent Online

China will not succumb to the kind of unrest rocking authoritarian governments across the Middle East, a senior official has said – despite a rash of detentions and censorship which suggests Beijing remains nervous.

The comments by Zhao Qizheng, former head of the government's information office, marked Beijing's most senior public response so far to online messages urging "Jasmine Revolution" protests. Protests in China have been small and overwhelmed by swarms of police.

"There won't be any Jasmine Revolution in China," Mr Zhao said, according to a report yesterday in the Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po newspaper. "The idea that a Jasmine Revolution could happen in China is extremely preposterous and unrealistic."

The Chinese word for "jasmine" has been blocked in online searches of Chinese sites.