Since imperial times, China has permitted its citizens to file official complaints. But the State Bureau for Letters and Calls that governs the system is again warning petitioners to respect its protocol, or expect their petition to be ignored.
In its newest body of regulations, the bureau said this week that anyone with a complaint should pursue it close to home and preferably in writing. The regulations take aim at efforts by many protesters to cut red tape and pursue their bureaucratic, legal and financial grievances in Beijing, where they hope to get a fair hearing — despite a low rate of success. The rules state that petitions that arrive from outside the channels will not be accepted.