BEIJING (AP) -- For decades, members of the Chinese public with grievances against local governments have been traveling to Beijing in the time-honored tradition of appealing to the country's highest authorities.
The practice will be banned after May 1 in most cases.
The central government on Wednesday issued a new set of rules, demanding local governments resolve complaints within 60 days, but also banning petitioners from bypassing local authorities, according to state media reports.
Beijing officials say the new regulations would improve the system's efficiency by laying out clear rules for both local mediating officials and petitioners. Critics say the reform — without building an effective, fair way to address grievances at the local level — would be futile or even exacerbate the tensions.
They say petitioners turn to Beijing because they bump into walls locally, where courts and mediation offices lack independence but are controlled by local governments.
"The absence ofRead More »from China demands local solutions for grievances