China 'ill-prepared' for unrest, says security chief

Paramilitary police stand guard as hundreds of people protest in Dalian
Image caption There has been a rise in worker protests in recent weeks in different parts of China

China's security chief has warned that the government needs better methods to deal with social unrest due to a slowing economy.

Zhou Yongkang, a member of the politburo, asked provincial officials for improved "social management".

China has seen an increase in labour unrest in recent weeks.

The comments are a sign that the Chinese government is worried that another slowdown could spark public anger.

"It is an urgent task for us to think how to establish a social management system with Chinese characteristics to suit our socialist market economy," Mr Zhou said in comments published Saturday.

"Especially when facing negative effects of the market economy."

He called for innovative approaches to a large set of policies which could include anything from increased policing to better internet control or better unemployment insurance.

There have been multiple signs of a slowdown in recent months in China.

The economy grew by 9.1% between June and September compared to a year earlier, the slowest rate of expansion in two years.

Last week, manufacturing was showed to have contracted sharply and the government cut the amount of money banks must keep in reserve to spur more lending, reversing recent policy.

There has also been a spike in labour unrest in recent weeks.

Employees of a Singaporean electronics firm Hi-P International in Shanghai went on strike last week over mass job losses.

Thousands of workers in Shenzhen and Dongguan, two of China's top export centres in the south of the country, went on strike last month protesting cuts in overtime.