'They sometimes report falsehoods, sometimes the truth,' says party secretary In characteristic fashion, Guangzhou party secretary Lin Shusen has criticised the Hong Kong media for reporting that there was rising social unrest in Guangzhou, with more people taking to the streets to voice their discontent. 'Nobody knows the credibility of the Hong Kong media. They sometimes report falsehoods, sometimes the truth. I personally don't think there are more and more protests,' he told foreign and Hong Kong reporters in a question-and-answer session yesterday. 'It's normal for people to go to the government to complain. That is a reflection of democracy,' he said. 'Hong Kong people are very fond of marches but we don't want to be like Hong Kong.' Mr Lin said that because both party and state leaders attached importance to the building of 'democratic politics' and to people's complaints, the government had created a petition system to help them address their grievances. 'The way we resolve problems is to carry out investigations at the grassroots level. Hopefully, this doesn't need to go to a higher level. It's best if it can be resolved at the lower level,' he said. Mr Lin added that he thought the city government was handling complaints well. 'The number of letters of complaint has fallen - you can report this - while the Guangzhou GDP is growing at 15.2 per cent this year, which shows that we have a stable city,' he said. Nevertheless, residents have resorted to more dramatic action to draw attention to their problems in the past year. Analysts say this is a reflection of their loss of faith in the petition system. In March, more than 20 workers retrenched by the Guangdong International Hotel threatened to commit mass suicide by jumping from its fifth floor to press demands for their social security benefits. Dozens of police and firefighting vehicles clogged traffic for a day. Two weeks ago, several hundred suppliers marched through Guangzhou to seek payment for goods supplied to the Jiayi supermarket chain, which failed two years after it was set up with strong support from the city government. Protesters have accused the government of imposing a news blackout on protests. A lecturer at Sun Yat-sen University School of Government, Lai Hon-kei , said allowing media coverage of protests could act as a safety valve. Mr Lai said people were taking to the streets because they were copying what they saw in Hong Kong and elsewhere. He credited the government for allowing such protests to take place.