Having put a very successful Olympics in the rearview mirror, China entered 2009 with a set of new challenges, brought on in part by the worldwide economic crisis and the resulting demands to ensure necessary employment levels and in part by the familiar issue of maintaining social stability. While the hope, presumably, was to move reasonably smoothly from the Olympics of August 2008 to the celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in October 2009, the Chinese media has instead become proactive in alerting local officials and the general public that China is entering “a peak period for mass incidents” (quntixing shijian, 群体性事件), with further warnings that a single national-level event, handled poorly, could “resonate” (gongzhen, 共振) into a threat to overall social stability and a serious political crisis.

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