Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Land Confiscation Leads to Protests

In China, local governments arrange unrestricted financing through selling land to developers. Insider deals and fraud are rife in a system lacking transparency. Compensation to existing landholders is reputed to be insufficient, at best. Inflation, the end result of national monetary policy, has left many households struggling to buy food let alone anything else. Eventually it boils over. Mass incidents are at 180,000 per year.

Inside Wukan: the Chinese village that fought back
For the first time on record, the Chinese Communist party has lost all control, with the population of 20,000 in this southern fishing village now in open revolt.
“Almost all of our land has been taken away from us since the 1990s but we were relaxed about it before because we made our money from fishing,” said Yang Semao, one of the village elders. “Now, with inflation rising, we realise we should grow more food and that the land has a high value.”
Thousands of villagers stormed the local government offices, chasing out the party secretary who had governed Wukan for three decades. In response, riot police flooded the village, beating men, women and children indiscriminately, according to the villagers.
“I have just been to see my 25-year-old son,” Shen Shaorong, the mother of Zhang Jianding, one of the four, said as she cried on her knees. “He has been beaten to a pulp and his clothes were ripped. Please tell the government in Beijing to help us before they kill us all,”
Her son was one of the 13 representatives the government agreed to negotiate with.

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