Ministry of Public Security spokesman Wu Heping downplayed the significance of recent rioting, saying it was common in countries reaching China's stage of development, the South China Morning Post reported. "In the process of adjusting, there will be an increase of common people who express their pleas to government through various channels," he said. "Every country has had this process and this phase." The number of disturbances to public order rose 6.6% last year to 87,000, and mass gatherings disturbing social order were up 13% year on year.
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