More than 100 protesting taxi drivers have clashed with police in southern China, while hundreds of taxi drivers participated in a strike in central China.
Television footage from Hong Kong's Cable TV showed a crowd of protesters pushing, shoving and at times scuffling with police Monday in the streets of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province.
The taxi drivers said they are upset about the recent beating of a taxi driver by three drunken men, one of whom claimed to be an official. Chinese authorities say the three who beat up the taxi driver were not officials.
Also Monday, hundreds of taxi drivers in Suizhou city, Hubei province, took part in a strike to protest a new government licensing fee. A China-based activist organization (the Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, Chinese: Minsheng Guancha) said many of the drivers stayed home, while others rallied at city government headquarters.
More than one thousand taxi drivers took part in a strike in Guangdong for two days last week against unlicensed taxis in Shantou city. Officials say some of them damaged unlicensed taxis and overturned cars.
In recent weeks, a wave of protests by taxi drivers has hit cities across China as drivers have voiced complaints about high fuel prices, unlicensed competition and other issues. Police arrested taxi drivers in the southwestern city of Chongqing for allegedly taking part in a violent protest.
In addition to taxi strikes, China also has recently seen signs of social strains, with factory closures and protests by laid-off workers in Guangdong province and riots in northwestern Gansu province.