12/15/2011, 00.00
Send to a friend

Chinese police besiege the village in revolt. Blackout of news about Wukan

by Paul Hong
Food, water and electricity supplies blocked. Black-out of news and information on demonstrations. The relatives of the protester who died while in prison, accuse the police of violence. 50 million farmers have lost their home over the past 30 years in land expropriations. Every day there are at least 500 revolts or "mass incidents".
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - There is growing tension between the authorities and the inhabitants of Wukan who have been in rebellion for months over the expropriation of their lands. For the past two days the village has been surrounded by thousands of the Guangdong police who will not allow food supplies pass while fishermen are banned from working at sea.

The Deputy Mayor of Shanwei, under whose jurisdiction Wukan Prefecture falls, has promised a new investigation into land expropriation and missed payments to the inhabitants, but he also promised that he will implement decided measures against the village if it continues to make trouble and damage public property . Meanwhile, all the news and pictures that people had posted have disappeared from the web in China. Even search engines no longer give any results for the word "Wukan".

The Wukan tensions erupted last September, when hundreds of residents, angry over the theft of their lands attacked the town hall and police station. Following the promise of an investigation, the riots had subsided. Now they have been rekindled with increased intensity, fueled by the lack of results and death in prison of Xue Jinbo, one of the leaders of the demonstrations.

According to family members, Xue Jinbo, 42, was the victim of police brutality and his body has bruises and other signs of abuse. The local government says instead that the signs only appeared after his death which they claim was caused by a heart attack suffered by Xue, immediatley after the interrogation he was subjected to. Among other things, public security official, Zeng Songquan, said Xue hadconfessed to having damaged property and rioted last September.

The people of Wukan are demanding Xue Jinbo's body for burial rites, but their request was refused by the authorities.

In recent weeks, thousands of policemen tried to enter the village, but were repelled by the population. In response, the police now have surrounded and isolated Wukan, not allowing any supplies to enter, or fishermen set sail to work.

Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, pointed out several times in recent weeks the need to carefully address the growing social conflicts in the country.

The chaotic economic development in China has led to a rise in land values (up to 155% increase from 1998). Speculators and entrepreneurs, with the support and the corruption of local governments, buy farmland or entire neighborhoods in the city, without paying adequate compensation to the inhabitants. The seizure of land or houses has become a major cause of so-called "mass incidents" (strikes, sit-ins, demonstrations, clashes with the police, ...). According to the Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, in the last 30 years at least 50 million farmers have lost their homes and another 60 are set to lose them in the next two decades.

Prof. Sun Liping, Qinghua University, has calculated that in 2010 there were at least 500 "mass incidents" per day.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Wukan local government warns press: You will be punished if you incite population
21/06/2016 09:07
Wukan celebrates: protest leader appointed Communist secretary
Police raid "democratic" village of Wukan: arrests and injuries
13/09/2016 11:43
Wukan’s elected leader gets three years in prison
08/09/2016 19:12
Wukan, former village heads expelled from the Party for corruption


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”