Taxi drivers in southern China are striking for a third day to protest high operating costs and competition from unlicensed cabs.
Many of them gathered Wednesday at a local government office in the city of Sanya on Hainan island. They demanded the release of at least 21 people. The detainees are accused of damaging the vehicles of cab drivers who refused to join the strike.
The striking drivers are complaining about the high cost of renting cabs from taxi companies. The strikers also say many unlicensed cabs operate in Sanya without paying rental fees.
State media said today that a similar protest in Gansu province ended when the government promised to get rid of the unlicensed cabs.
Last week, thousands of taxi drivers went on strike in the southwestern city of Chongqing with similar complaints. The strikers also were protesting high fines for traffic violations and shortages of compressed natural gas used to fuel most taxis.
The Chongqing strike turned violent when striking drivers smashed the cars of other cabbies who crossed picket lines.