Saturday, March 11 2017
BEIJING (AP) — Because safety comes first, fire extinguishers are ubiquitous in and around Beijing’s Great Hall of the People during the annual sessions of China’s ceremonial parliament and its official advisory body. That’s partly for standard purposes of preventing any sort of fire-related emergency.
However, it also speaks to the fear of self-immolation as a form of dissent in China, acting as a safeguard against any rogue elements who might infiltrate the gathering in hopes of staging a grisly protest.
In January 2001, five purported followers of the banned Falun Gong meditation sect set themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square…