Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

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  • Books to Read

    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
    3.
    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    4.
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    5.
    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
  • Did you know

    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘Rural’ Category

Chinese Rural people

Chinese Activist beaten for daring official to swim in polluted river

Posted by Author on February 27, 2013


A Chinese farmer who dared a local environment official to swim in his province’s polluted rivers has been badly beaten in an attack his family says was linked to his activism.

Chen Zuqian, from the township of Banqiao in Zhejiang province, was one of a number of farmers and business people who publicly offered money to government officials to swim in  rivers to highlight the sorry state of China’s waterways. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, China, East China, Environment, People, pollution, River, Rural, Social, water, Zhejiang | Comments Off on Chinese Activist beaten for daring official to swim in polluted river

Southern China Shaxi Riots Escalates, Police Crackdown Ordered, 30 Died

Posted by Author on June 30, 2012


Security forces in southern Guangdong province have reportedly been cleared to use deadly force in an escalating riot in Shaxi township.

Hong Kong’s Apple Daily reports that paramilitary forces and police are to stop the riots and demonstrations that began this Monday with guns if necessary.

Migrant workers are clashing with local residents. The riots began after the son of a migrant worker was beaten by security officials after getting into a fight with a local boy. Riots have been escalating as workers from nearby towns converge in Shaxi. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Guangdong, News, People, Protest, Riot, Rural, SE China, Social, Worker, World | Comments Off on Southern China Shaxi Riots Escalates, Police Crackdown Ordered, 30 Died

Frustrated Chinese take justice into own hands

Posted by Author on May 30, 2011


By Pascale Trouillaud (AFP)- BEIJING — A deadly triple bomb attack in China carried out last week by a jobless man angry over a land dispute illustrates the crushing desperation of many Chinese who feel their rights are being trampled.

Car bombs and Molotov cocktails have been used by citizens who opt for vigilante justice in the Communist-ruled country, where the justice system has created mounting frustrations that could provoke more violence.

Experts say that despite the introduction of some reforms to address charges the system is unresponsive and lacks transparency, the public perception is that those changes are woefully inadequate, and rule of law is not guaranteed. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, East China, Human Rights, Life, News, People, Politics, Rural, Social, World | Comments Off on Frustrated Chinese take justice into own hands

Protests erupt after China’s Inner Mongolian herder run over by coal truck as he tries to stop mining convoy driving across prairie land

Posted by Author on May 27, 2011


(The Guardian)– Outside the closed gates of the Xilingol Mongolian high school, Chinese police watch warily as hundreds of students perform calisthenics in a yard from where the previous day they left to march through the streets. A short drive away, another police unit monitors a middle school that has become a source of concern. On the grasslands, patrol cars block access to a troubled community of herders and miners.

Security forces in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of China, are on high alert after the biggest wave of demonstrations in 20 years, sparked by a killing that symbolises the traumatic transition of Mongolia’s nomadic grasslands into a mining powerhouse. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Inner Mongolia, Law, News, North China, People, Politics, Protest, Rural, Social, World | Comments Off on Protests erupt after China’s Inner Mongolian herder run over by coal truck as he tries to stop mining convoy driving across prairie land

Bombings in China rattle officials’ nerves

Posted by Author on May 26, 2011


Reporting from Beijing (LA Times)— A farmer who said his house had been demolished set off three bombs at government buildings in the eastern Chinese city of Fuzhou on Thursday, killing himself and one other person and putting nerves on edge at a time when authorities are increasingly anxious about social unrest.

The bomber was identified as Qian Mingqi, an unemployed 52-year-old. The other person killed was not immediately identified. Six people were injured.

Bombings of this magnitude are relatively rare in China. Officials’ nervousness was evident from a ham-handed attempt to keep the incident out of the news. Angry reporters in Fuzhou complained that police confiscated their notebooks and cellphones and deleted photographs from cameras. An early report posted on the official New China News Agency site that described the attack as retaliation against local government was later removed. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Forced Evictions, Jiangxi, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, Rural, Social, South China, World | Comments Off on Bombings in China rattle officials’ nerves

Forced Eviction Death in Eastern China Sparks Clashes with Police

Posted by Author on May 14, 2011


Clashes broke out between police and residents in a forced eviction stand-off in Lianyungang city in northeastern Jiangsu province on Friday after an evictee died, officials and local residents said.

The standoff began after hundreds of demolition workers approached the home of Shizhuang village resident Liu Zengluo early Friday, relatives and local residents said.

Liu died after confronting the demolition gang, but the official version of his death and those of his relatives differed sharply. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Forced Evictions, Incident, Jiangsu, Law, News, People, Politics, Rural, SE China, Social, World | Comments Off on Forced Eviction Death in Eastern China Sparks Clashes with Police

Southeastern China: Riot Police in Land Clash

Posted by Author on April 8, 2011


Authorities in the southeastern province of Fujian have deployed hundreds of riot police to disperse protesters defending their farmland from being taken away by the government, residents and officials said on Friday.

The riot police, using tear gas and electric batons, clashed with the protesters in Xindian township near Fujian’s provincial capital, Fuzhou, on Thursday. Some protests persisted on Friday, local sources said.

“It was pretty scary yesterday,” said a protester, Zhang Yueming, adding that he was among those beaten by police during the protest. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Fujian, Land Seizure, Law, Life, News, People, Rural, Social, South China, World | Comments Off on Southeastern China: Riot Police in Land Clash

Rural communities pay price of China’s boom

Posted by Author on October 29, 2010


by Peter Day, BBC News, Hubei province, China, Friday, 29 October 2010 –

China’s economic progress is being powered by huge projects to supply the booming cities with water and power – but that comes at a price for rural communities displaced by the new infrastructure.

I was sitting under a sweet tomato tree in a tiny hamlet in the province of Hubei, in the middle of China, 800km (500 miles) due west of Shanghai.

I was eating the squishy bright orange sweet tomato flesh, on a comfortable low-back leaning chair, dragged out for my benefit by the welcoming farmer’s wife. Let us call her Mrs Peng . Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Economy, Family, Life, News, People, Rural, Social | Comments Off on Rural communities pay price of China’s boom

Tens of Thousands in Standoff with Police in Eastern China Over Land Grabs By Officials

Posted by Author on July 20, 2010


By Rona Rui, Epoch Times Staff, July 19, 2010 –

Yet another large-scale violent clash has broken out between angry villagers and police over land grabs by government officials in China’s eastern Jiangsu Province, this time involving tens of thousands of protesters. Local media made no mention of the incident.

During the five-day standoff between July 14 and July 18, several thousand villagers took over the government building while the government called in riot police. At one point the crowd of angry protesters grew to as many as twenty to thirty thousand.

The incident took place in Gaoxin District, Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province. It began when thousands of local villagers from Tong’an Township of Gaoxin District gathered at the township government building. They came to express their indignation over the local government’s illegal takeover of their farmland. Tens of thousands of mu (1 mu = 0.16 acre) had been illegally expropriated during the past seven years without fair compensation to the villagers.

When the villagers found officials unresponsive, they became angry and took over the government building, breaking some equipment and bringing government business to a halt as officials fled.

On the morning of July 16 the government called in approximately 500 riot police to break up the protest. While most villagers had gone home to rest, riot police started attacking the remaining protesters.

According to local residents, the riot police beat up the several hundred remaining villagers in order to drive them away. Enraged villagers retaliated with bricks and beer bottles. Dozens of villagers were injured and taken to hospital. Several dozen more were arrested. The confrontation lasted about half an hour.

The police violence caused even greater anger among the villagers. After sunrise on July 17, local residents and relatives of those arrested, proceeded to blockade National Highway 312 in Gaoxin district to continue their protest.

Many more local residents rushed to the blocked highway during the day. According to local residents, villagers from surrounding communities also came to support the protest, and at one time there were as many as twenty to thirty thousand.

Witnesses at the scene told The Epoch Times that in 2003 under the guise of constructing new high-tech industrial parks, the local government started to forcefully take away land from farmers. The farmers never received the compensation promised by the government, and the tens of thousands of mu of farmland had lain deserted for the past six plus years. Recently the local government started to auction off the land at prices ten or more times the purchase price. The government’s unjust compensation caused great resentment among local residents.

The incident has alarmed the city government of Suzhou. The communist party secretary of Suzhou rushed to the area on July 18 and held a meeting with local officials to discuss countermeasures. The government also dispatched more police from the surrounding cities of Wuxi and Zhangjiagang. There were several thousand police.

No additional information of further police crackdowns was available at the time of this article submission.


News Censored

During these several days of conflict, no local media reported the incident. Internet blog postings by eyewitnesses were quickly deleted by the regime. Local residents expressed hope that more media would come to the scene to experience the severity of the situation.

Forced land expropriation, forced relocation, government corruption and police brutality are commonplace in China and have become a source of anger and unrest in many areas. The Epoch Times and other media have recently reported on several large-scale protests in different areas of the country.

On July 5, ten thousand villagers in China’s southeastern Jiangxi Province staged a protest against police brutality, relocation and corrupt local officials. The relocation of villagers was ordered by local authorities because villagers had expressed concern over health issues arising from pollution by a local mining company. The enraged citizens, armed with bricks and stones, smashed town hall windows and turned over police cars in response to police beating two women petitioners into a coma.

On June 11, ten thousand citizens had a standoff with police in Maanshan City, Anhui Province over a student being assaulted by a local official. Military police and riot police were dispatched to break through the crowd with batons, shields and tear gas. Many people were injured. Local media did not report on the massive protest.

The use of force and media control are two of the means by which the Chinese communist regime attempts to maintain social stability.

The Epochtimes

Posted in China, corruption, Incident, Jiangsu, Land Seizure, Law, News, Official, People, Politics, Protest, Rural, SE China, Social, World | Comments Off on Tens of Thousands in Standoff with Police in Eastern China Over Land Grabs By Officials

Three Resisters in South China Sentenced by Court for Againsting Forced Demolition

Posted by Author on June 11, 2010


Human Rights in China, June 11, 2010-

On June 11, 2010, the Yinhai People’s Court of Beihai, in southern Guangxi Province, found three inhabitants of the Baihutou Village guilty of “obstructing official business,” and sentenced two of them, Gao Zhenzhang (高镇章) and Gao Shihui (高世辉), father and son, to two years’ imprisonment each. The third defendant, Cai Jianyue (蔡建月), received one-and-a-half years.

The three were detained on October 30, 2009, during a confrontation between more than 100 police officers and several hundred Baihutou villagers who resisted the forced demolition of their village committee building. As a result of that incident, one of the villagers beaten by the police, a relative of the Gao family, later died in the hospital. On May 26, 2010, Gao Zhenzhang’s other son, Gao Shifu (高世福), was criminally detained on suspicion of “illegally operating a business.” The family has received no information on his status.

Dong Qianyong ( 董前勇), the lawyer for Gao Shihui, said that Gao and his father are not guilty. Dong said that the father, Gao Zhenzhang, only tried to stop the demolition and did not use force. He was pulled away by his son, Gao Shifu, who was in turn pulled away by his brother, Gao Shihui, so that the men could avoid being beaten by the police.

Gao Zhenzhang’s daughter said that her 71-year-old mother collapsed when she heard the guilty verdict and sentences of her husband and son.

The conviction and sentencing mark a new episode in a 4-year dispute between the inhabitants of  Baihutou Village and the Beihai municipal government over what the villagers allege to be the authorities’ unlawful expropriation of village land for tourism development – land on which they had depended for their livelihood. The villagers accuse a former village chief, Feng Kun (冯坤), of handing over 125.5 acres of village land to the Beihai municipal government without consultation with the inhabitants.

On May 14, 2010, Feng Kun’s successor, current village chief Xu Kun (许坤), who led the fight against the land requisition and forced demolition, was detained and charged with “illegally operating a business.” Xu has been in police custody since. The authorities have not allowed him to meet with his lawyer Zheng Jianwei (郑建伟), claiming that his case involves state secrets.

Human Rights in China

Posted in China, corruption, Guangxi, housing, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Rural, Social, South China, World | 1 Comment »

Chinese farmer ends his life– cheated on seeds, humiliated and deprived of justice (4)

Posted by Author on May 31, 2010


By TOM LASSETER, McClatchy Newspapers, U.S, May. 30, 2010 –

<<previous

‘He was helpless,THERE WAS NO WAY OUT’

Zhang Dayan doesn’t have a picture of her late husband, Peng Gonglin. There was no family photograph at the house; that sort of thing is for people with money, not peasants, she explained.

She didn’t want to talk about Peng. “Just leave what happened alone,” Zhang said.

Peng’s older brother, who lives next door and didn’t want his name published, agreed. “Right now, it’s meaningless to talk about this matter,” he said. “My brother is dead.”

Peng’s suicide note told of his efforts to expose faulty seed distribution, the necessity of buying prostitutes for local officials and the beating he received, according to Chinese media reports. The government quickly announced that it was giving his family 200,000 yuan – almost $30,000 in hush money, decades’ worth of salary in the area.

On the road that leads to Peng’s house, a cousin of his rode by in a cart pulled by a tractor.

“We know a lot of farmers who’ve bought fake seeds in this area,” said Peng Yanmin, as the other farmers around him nodded. The government, he said, does nothing to protect them, and some suspect that those responsible for the bad seeds have connections with officials.

What did he think about his cousin’s suicide?

“I think he was helpless,” Peng Yanmin said. “There was no way out.”

He paused. The sky was getting dark; a shower was coming.

The driver started the tractor again, belching black smoke. The men rumbled away. A few minutes later the rain came, falling on the fields where Peng Gonglin once worked. (END)

from McClatchy Newspapers

Related:
Chinese farmer ends his life– cheated on seeds, humiliated and deprived of justice (1)
Chinese farmer ends his life– cheated on seeds, humiliated and deprived of justice (2)
Chinese farmer ends his life– cheated on seeds, humiliated and deprived of justice (3)

Posted in Central China, China, corruption, Economy, Food, Henan, Life, News, Official, People, Politics, Rural, Social, World | Comments Off on Chinese farmer ends his life– cheated on seeds, humiliated and deprived of justice (4)

Chinese farmer ends his life– cheated on seeds, humiliated and deprived of justice (3)

Posted by Author on May 30, 2010


By TOM LASSETER, McClatchy Newspapers, U.S, May. 30, 2010 –

<< previous

TIME FOR LUNCH with officials

The question of how bad seeds flooded the market and escaped official detection may be a simple case of greed and incompetence.

The two owners of the firm that sold the seed, Xinxiang Wu Feng Seed Industry Co., probably could give an answer, but they’ve been taken into custody for questioning, according to company employees. Two county officials are reported to be under investigation.

A senior researcher from the seed company, Zhao Xinming, acknowledged in a phone interview that his bosses hadn’t submitted the seeds to government inspectors and had sold them under false packaging. He said that the seeds weren’t the problem, blaming bad weather and worse farming practices.

Zhao said that his company and its owners had no ties to the government.

Local officials, though, act as if they have something to hide.

On a small country lane in Deng Zhuang last week, a silver minivan pulled up and four plainclothes policemen got out and asked a McClatchy reporter for his identification. A few minutes later, a black Hyundai showed up with five government representatives in it.

There would be no more interviewing locals about Peng. With the black Hyundai leading the way and the police van following, the authorities insisted that the reporter join them at a nearby hotel for lunch.

A crystal chandelier dangled from a gold ceiling in a private dining room. The officials ordered one course after the other – Beijing duck, a delicate mushroom soup, vegetables plucked from the mountains, ox tripe and sea plants, a large fish, spices and sweets – costing more than most villagers make in a month.

A man who was introduced as Tian Zhong of the Chinese Communist Party propaganda department said that one shouldn’t listen to what the farmers said, that they didn’t know anything. In fact, Peng’s own wife probably didn’t even know what her husband’s gender was, Tian said to guffaws at the table as the officials gorged themselves on more than a dozen dishes brought to the table by a pretty young waitress.

“He’s just a farmer,” Tian said of Peng, as he picked food from his teeth. “He doesn’t know what he was talking about.”

After the conversation ended, a county official confided that Tian’s real first name was Dong, not Zhong. He didn’t work for the propaganda department; he was the deputy director of the county’s agricultural bureau.

The reporter then was escorted back to the Zhumadian city limits. (to be cont’d)

Read more from McClatchy Newspapers: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/05/30/1655551_p3/cheated-on-seeds-deprived-of-justice.html

Related:
Chinese farmer ends his life– cheated on seeds, humiliated and deprived of justice (1)
Chinese farmer ends his life– cheated on seeds, humiliated and deprived of justice (2)

Posted in Central China, China, corruption, Economy, Food, Henan, Life, News, Official, People, Politics, Rural, Social, World | Comments Off on Chinese farmer ends his life– cheated on seeds, humiliated and deprived of justice (3)

Chinese farmer ends his life– cheated on seeds, humiliated and deprived of justice (2)

Posted by Author on May 30, 2010


By TOM LASSETER, McClatchy Newspapers, U.S, May. 30, 2010 –

<< previous

WRITING ON THE WALL- “Illegal petitioners will be severely punished”

About 45 miles up the road from the poverty of Deng Zhuang, banners advertise “elegant living” and “baroque flooring” in clusters of glimmering new buildings in the city of Zhumadian. The rolling wheat fields that ring the city are crossed by miles of elevated train tracks, part of China’s $100 billion-plus investment in a high-speed rail system that’s being pounded into shape.

Few in the West have heard of the surrounding province of Henan, but its population is expected to reach 100 million this year, roughly one-third that of the United States.

One large sign for a Zhumadian construction project reads in English: “Control the future Control the world.”

It’s a postcard from a nation hustling toward greatness.

Drive south toward Deng Zhuang, and the signs begin to change. Red and white banners painted on walls proclaim: “Implement the central government’s spirit. Fight against illegal petitions.”

In hamlets farther on, slogans streaked across the sides of buildings warn: “Illegal petitioners will be severely punished.”

The meaning is clear: Those who speak against the government are dealt with harshly.

As word spread this past year about failed rice crops in the region around Zhumadian, most locals remained silent. Thousands of acres of dry rice fields – those planted with seeds that don’t need as much water as traditional paddies – yielded little or no harvest, according to a March publication overseen by a federal government agricultural inspection agency.

The seed came from North Henan, mislabeled as a more costly variety and ill-suited for the local climate and soil, said Tong Junhua, vice director of the Zhumadian seed station. Had the weather been perfect, at least some rice would have grown, but heavy rains wiped out the inferior seeds.

The price difference between the varieties was minimal, Tong said.

“People are driven by greed, even if it’s just a little money,” he said. “They thought nothing would go wrong and figured why not.”

Why didn’t agricultural or local officials test the seeds, as they are required to do by law?

“I don’t know; I’m not clear why the relevant departments didn’t do their job,” Tong said, laughing but looking exasperated. (to be cont’d)


Read more from McClatchy Newspapers:
http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/05/30/1655551_p2/cheated-on-seeds-deprived-of-justice.html#ixzz0pSRBGKu3

Related:
Chinese farmer ends his life– cheated on seeds, humiliated and deprived of justice (1)

Posted in Central China, China, corruption, Economy, Food, Henan, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, Rural, Social, World | Comments Off on Chinese farmer ends his life– cheated on seeds, humiliated and deprived of justice (2)

Chinese farmer ends his life– cheated on seeds, humiliated and deprived of justice (1)

Posted by Author on May 30, 2010


By TOM LASSETER, McClatchy Newspapers, U.S, May. 30, 2010 –

DENG ZHUANG, China
— Peng Gonglin wasn’t an important man. He lived in a bare concrete house in a small village where women stoop beside ponds to scrub clothes in buckets and the men often harvest crops by hand.

When his rice fields came up empty last October, Peng had no influence and little cash. The 43-year-old farmer had spent almost all of his family’s savings and borrowed more to lease the land and buy seeds.

County experts in the central province of Henan tested the seeds he’d planted and determined that he’d been sold inferior goods. Peng begged for financial or legal help from the local agricultural bureau and its county seed station.

He took what remained of his family’s money and tried to bribe two local officials to intervene. They accepted the meals, massages and prostitutes, but they did nothing in return, according to a letter he later wrote.

Finally, on March 29 he returned to the county seed station to plead once more. Men there beat Peng about the head until he went home, humiliated.

Facing financial ruin, he carried out one last act of protest. Early the next morning, Peng Gonglin’s body was found hanging at the seed station.

The story of Peng’s lonely suicide reveals the pitfalls beneath the glossy surface of China’s booming economy. Ordinary Chinese who’ve been cheated or defrauded, especially in rural areas, find themselves trapped in neo-feudal conditions with no protection beyond the mercy of corrupt officials.

Outsiders are sometimes baffled by the emphasis Chinese leaders put on order and harmony, and their crushing response to any signs of unrest. From the turmoil in a village such as Deng Zhuang, though, it’s clear that the nation sits uneasily on deep social fault lines.

In the aftermath of more than a half-dozen attacks at schools across China during the past two months, in which men walked into classrooms and hacked small children with hammers or knives, many Chinese experts pointed to the lack of social safety valves and legal means of venting frustration.

“People at the bottom of the social ladder … are deprived of their rights to speak out, of their rights to appeal and petition,” said Hu Xingdou, an economics professor at the Beijing University of Technology who specializes in issues of rural development.

As one Chinese lawyer wrote in an online essay last month, “The lack of social justice makes people hate government officials. Once these burdens accumulate beyond people’s psychological endurance . . . they tend to act in an extreme way, whether to retaliate against society or to choose to commit suicide.” (to be cont’d)

Read more from McClatchy Newspapers: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/05/30/1655551/cheated-on-seeds-deprived-of-justice.html#ixzz0pSNJOIWS

Posted in Central China, China, corruption, Economy, Food, Henan, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, Rural, Social, World | 2 Comments »

Tensions run high between farmers and officials in north China’s kindergarten attack area

Posted by Author on May 18, 2010


Radio Free Asia, May. 17, 2010-

HONG KONG— Residents of Nanzheng county in China’s northern province of Shaanxi have painted a grim picture of simmering pressures among farming communities in the region, after last week’s gruesome attack on a kindergarten in the area.

Villagers living in a different town in the same county where the killings occurred say they have been bombarded with government requisition notices for their farmland amid the global economic slowdown, sparking protests, beatings, and detentions for anyone who tries to protest the loss of his or her land.

“The whole county is rife with land profiteering,” said one resident of Dahekan township, Li Jinyi.

“Murky Nanzheng and corrupt Hanzhong have pushed local farmers to death’s door… Things have been so hard for us these past few years.”

Nine people, seven of them small children aged four and five, were confirmed dead at the Hanzhong Municipal 3201 Hospital after a local man went on a rampage with a kitchen cleaver before committing suicide in nearby Shengshui township last week.

“They are requisitioning land again,” Li, 87, said. “They have publicized that they will build a ‘Times Square.'”

“The announcement is telling local farmers to stop tilling the fields, and that the land will be fenced off. In reality, it will be given to property developers. When they have taken all our land, there’ll be nothing left for us to live on,” he said.

Last month, Dahekan villagers said they were beaten by a gang of men allegedly hired by a local property development company after they protested plans to use 170 mu (11.3 hectares) of their farmland for the construction of an “International Health Spa.”

In total, residents of Sanhuashi, Yuying, and Dianzijie villages in the Dahekan area said a total of 4,000 mu of farmland had been taken over by local governments in the area since 2007, with more than 300 families forcibly evicted from their homes.

Left homeless

Yuying villager Tuo Ruilian said the land grabs were made under the auspices of a highway project.

“They have taken more than 4,000 mu of land from these four villages, and the government and developer have got together to beat up the local people,” Tuo said, adding that repeated complaints and attempts at lawsuits had been ignored by the authorities.

“We are law-abiding citizens, yet they have demolished our homes. And to this day, the entire family, young and old, is homeless. We are living in a shack made of asbestos tiles on the site of an abandoned factory by the river, where the weeds grow,” Tuo said.

“Nobody cares about us. We have made complaint after complaint to higher levels of government, and I have been detained three times by the government,” he said.

An employee who answered the phone at the Dahekan township government offices declined to answer questions about the villagers’ allegations.

“I don’t know. I have no comment,” he said.

However, an employee who answered the phone at the Nanzheng county government planning and construction bureau confirmed that there are a number of intercity highway projects affecting villages in the area.

“They are basic infrastructure projects,” the official said. “For example, urban highways and other projects for the public good.”

An employee who answered the phone at the Nanzheng county Land and Resources Reserve and Exchange Center confirmed that the local authorities had recently sold at auction a plot of more than 100 mu of farmland in Dianzijie village.

“It was zoned for residential development,” he said.

“It was just sold recently. A plot of land just to the south of the Nanzheng highway in Dianzijie.”…… (more details from Radio Free Asia)

Posted in China, corruption, Economy, Land Seizure, News, People, Politics, Rural, Social, World | Comments Off on Tensions run high between farmers and officials in north China’s kindergarten attack area

5 kindergartners, teacher injured in 3rd classroom attack in China in 3 days

Posted by Author on May 5, 2010


By Lauren Keane, Washington Post Staff Writer –

BEIJING — A farmer wielding a hammer injured five kindergartners and a teacher before setting himself on fire Friday, in the third classroom attack in China in three days and the fourth since late March.

State news media played down the latest assault, which occurred in Weifang, a city in the eastern province of Shandong, on the same day as the gala opening of Expo 2010 Shanghai China — an event the government is treating as an opportunity to burnish the country’s image.

The Xinhua News Agency reported that the students were in stable condition at a hospital and that the attacker, 45-year-old Wang Yonglai, had died at the scene. By evening, online links to articles about the incident were either redirected or returned error messages.

Despite the spotty news coverage, the government has gone on the alert in response to the string of attacks, which have left at least eight people dead and dozens injured. The Education Ministry issued an emergency notice Friday requiring outsiders to register before entering schools and ordered school officials to cooperate with local governments to tighten security, Xinhua reported.

All the attacks occurred in China’s eastern coastal provinces, prompting concerns about a copycat effect. On Thursday, a man wielding a knife forced his way past a security guard at a kindergarten in Taixing, in Jiangsu province, and slashed at least 28 children before being subdued. Two teachers and a security guard also were injured, according to Xinhua.

On Wednesday, a man stabbed 15 students and a teacher with a knife in an elementary school in Leizhou, in Guangdong province. The suspect was later identified as a former local teacher with a history of mental illness.

That attack coincided with the execution of the perpetrator of the first of the attacks, a 42-year-old surgeon who killed eight schoolchildren with a knife and injured five others in Nanping, in Fujian province, on March 23.

Public reaction to the attacks has been strong, highlighting concerns about rising violence in China and spurring debate about its underlying causes. Some observers have suggested that the violence reflects a society in transition that lacks an effective social safety net, outlets for people to express their grievances and adequate treatment programs for the mentally ill.

Xinhua reported that Wang, the attacker in the latest case, was distraught after local police told him that his house had been built illegally and would be razed.

Zhou Yingjie, a columnist for the China Economic Times, said in a blog posting that strengthening school security was only a stopgap measure and would not address the root cause of the attacks. He advocated an effort to remedy social inequities, quoting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao: “Social justice is much brighter than the sun.”

The Washington Post

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China school attack triggered by home demolition threat: family

Posted by Author on May 5, 2010


(Reuters) – A Chinese farmer who attacked kindergarten children with a hammer and then burned himself to death despaired about government plans to knock down his new home, his family said on Saturday.

The villager Wang Yonglai injured five children on Friday when he burst into a kindergarten in rural Shangzhuang Village in Weifang, an area in east China’s Shandong province, where people were — like many across China — pondering what lay behind a recent burst of violent attacks on children.

Wang’s wife and sister-in-law said he had acted out of rage over officials who had told him that his recently built house would be torn down because it was built on farmland, which is illegal in China.

Wang had spent his savings of 110,000 yuan ($16,115) on the new home for his son, and claimed he had permission from the government to build it, they said.

“The children are not grown up and the older generation are over 80. We need him,” Wang’s wife Wang Sulian said of her family, between bouts of wailing at the gate of the school were Wang incinerated himself after the attack.

“What can we do? How will we survive? I need the government to give me an answer,” she told a crowd of locals gathered at the school, which housed the kindergarten.

The was the third attack of its kind in three days at Chinese schools, and the fifth in recent weeks.

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security issued an urgent directive on Saturday ordering police to step up security around schools and kindergartens and to seek to identify people who could pose a threat.

Some cities have taken measures to strengthen safety in schools, local media reported. Police sent guards to schools in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province, while schools in a district of Beijing were equipped with restraining equipment.

SOCIETAL STRAINS

On Friday, the Chinese government opened the World Expo in Shanghai, aiming to highlight the country’s ascent to prosperity. But the rash of violence aimed at children has laid bare societal strains even in relatively rich parts of the countryside, such as Shandong.

On Thursday, a 46-year-old owner of a copy store stabbed 29 children, two teachers and a security guard at a kindergarten in Taixing, Jiangsu Province, a few hours upriver from Shanghai.

A day earlier, a former doctor was executed for killing eight school children in Fujian province in March. On that same day, a former teacher stabbed 16 students and a teacher at a primary school in southern Guangdong province.

In Weifang, the site of the latest attack, Wang Sulian showed Reuters a copy of a demolition notice, as well as documents that she said proved the family had obtained official permission to build on the land.

A local official, who gave his surname as Yu, denied that that the family had received permission to build the house and said five other families were also told to demolish their new houses, because they occupied farmland.

Wang’s sister-in-law Wang Haiyun said he had been recently pressured by officials into signing an agreement to allow demolition.

“They forced him into it. There was nothing he could do. It made him mad,” she said. “He would hit his wife and children. He kicked the door in. He couldn’t carry on living.”

Reuters

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Southwestern China’s Post Quake New Home Construction ‘Flawed’

Posted by Author on March 27, 2010


Radio free Asia, Mar. 26, 2010-

HONG KONG— Residents of China’s southwestern province of Sichuan made homeless by the devastating earthquake of May 12, 2008 have called on the Chinese government to hold an inquiry into the construction of their new homes, which they say are substandard and unsafe.

The residents of Caoba village near the provincial capital Chengdu said the houses, built with some of the billions of yuan earmarked by central government for post-quake reconstruction, are already beginning to crack.

“We are calling on higher levels of government, Party discipline inspection committees, and law enforcement agencies to come out and conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the problems we have raised above,” the villagers wrote in an open letter, posted on the Internet and signed by more than 100 residents.

The villagers are complaining of cracks that have appeared in prefabricated concrete slabs, walls, structural concrete beams, and roofs across large areas of new housing constructed in Xiaoyudong township.

Some of the bathrooms and kitchens had already sprung serious water leaks, while structurally important parts of balconies had fallen off in some apartments, the residents said.

“The buildings have only just been completed and already they’re showing cracks,” one resident said. “We haven’t even moved in yet. They are still fitting them out, and already we have these kinds of problems.”

“We told [the construction company]. But they have ways of covering this up,” he said.

Moving in anyway

Villagers said some of their number had moved in to the apartments in spite of safety concerns.

“They don’t know what else to do. Their own houses have been completely demolished,” the Caoba resident said.

Villagers have accused the construction company of using substandard and even fake concrete, which was being delivered to the construction site in the middle of the night.

Protests to local government over these allegations have already resulted in clashes between protesters and the authorities, they said……. (more details from Radio Free Asia)

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(photos) Land Dispute- Village sealed off, news blackout after violent clashes between residents and police in southwestern China

Posted by Author on January 26, 2010


Radio Free Asia, jan 26, 2010-

Protesting villagers are dispersed by police in Pingle county, Guangzhou, Jan. 19, 2010. (RFA)

HONG KONG— Authorities in the southwestern Chinese region of Guizhou have sealed off a village and ordered a news blackout following violent clashes between local residents and police in a land dispute.

“The villagers put up some reports about what happened on the Internet, but they were taken down by the authorities very quickly,” said a resident of Tongle township near the scenic tourist city of Guilin.

“Right now the authorities have totally sealed off the area. The villagers are using text messaging to exchange news,” said Zhang, adding that he had been warned by other villagers that the police were still detaining people.

Police move to confront villagers protesting a land grab in Guizhou, Jan. 19, 2010. Credit: Tongle villager Zhang (RFA)

Zhang said riot police fired tear gas and used electric shock batons on elderly protesters trying to prevent the takeover of their farmland for development.

“Things got very serious at the scene,” he said. “The people trying to protect the land were all elderly, women, and children. How could they resist?”

“They were attacked by the riot police first, and a lot of those injured were then taken away by police.”

Photos posted online of the clashes showed crowds of people, many of them elderly, some of whom had sustained injuries to their arms and legs. Some showed people bandaged, and still bleeding from head injuries.

‘Handled according to law’

A villager nurses his wounds after police clashed with protesters in Guanzhou, Jan. 19, 2010. Credit: Tongle villager Zhang

An employee who answered the phone at the Pingle county government, which oversees Tongle village, said the authorities had already issued the legally required amount of compensation to the villagers.

“Our leaders here have already dealt with this situation,” the employee said. “Everything we did went through the municipal level authorities for approval, and the entire affair was handled according to law.”

An official who answered the phone at the Guilin municipal politics and law committee confirmed the clashes had taken place as part of a land dispute.

“There was a land dispute there. But I haven’t got time to explain the details to you.”

An official who answered the phone at the Guilin municipal public security department declined to comment on the incident.

However, an officer at the Tongle village police station said: “We are currently dealing with this issue. If you want to know more, you’ll have to go to the [county level] public security department.”

Cut off

Local residents said around 700 riot police were dispatched to the village, and that the community was still cut off from the outside world.

An engineer surnamed Li at the Tongle Village Transformer Station said police had sealed off several entrances to the village, and blocked roads in the area.

“Right now, vehicles from outside can’t get into Tongle village. The roads have all been sealed off by the authorities,” Li said.

“They have blocked the exit for the village on the Chajiang Bridge highway.”

The dispute flared after villagers saw officials begin to move in to begin work last Tuesday on a plot of around 1,000 mu (67 hectares) of land in the village, which was requisitioned more than two years ago by the Pingle county government for redevelopment.

Local residents were angry because the authorities had sold the land for 10 times the amount of the compensation doled out to villagers, and because they have been promised 20,000-30,000 yuan (U.S. $4,394) per mu but have yet to receive it.

An open letter posted online by villagers cited guidelines issued by the central government, which “states clearly that it is not permitted to take possession of the land before the compensation has been paid.”…… (more details from Radio Free asia)

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Collusion of officials and merchants to expropriate farmland in East China

Posted by Author on November 8, 2009


Donna Ware & Han Fei, SOH Radio Network, Nov. 8, 2009-

Some farmers in Wuhu City released an online petition, accusing the local government of collusion with an influential merchant. The merchant is accused of selling over 6.6 acres of agricultural land at a low price, causing many farmers to lose their land and become unemployed. The sale was also made without proper approval to convert farmland into an entertainment venue.

On November 4th, two villagers in Shi Wei Township spoke with a reporter about the collusion between officials and developers who had seized their farmland.

One villager named Chan angrily told a reporter that he had been appealing for a solution from authorities over the years. The local Letters & Complaints Bureau not only ignored his appeal, but used threats to intimidate him so that he would not petition again.

(Recording) “I have been appealing to the authorities. In January 2009, I also applied to the Complaints Bureau in Wuhu City, without response. Without my consent, the local government sold my private land to Tengfei Jewelry Company. I had not received any kind of compensation for my private land, the ownership of which evidenced by relevant documents. It is a system to protect farmland and, apparently, our agricultural fields were expropriated. The field is established under our scientific research and was forcibly taken away, which is the collusion of official and merchant. I appealed to the Wuhu City Complaint Bureau that intimidated me, saying: “You would be arrested if you were in the Complaint Bureau”. The Deputy of Wuhu City Complaints Office also said threateningly, “You should be concerned about your petty life”. Because I was afraid, I dared not air the issue.”

Villager Chan also revealed that corruption of local authorities has become very serious since 2002 when a succession of large blocks of farmland was illegally occupied. Commoners appealed to higher authorities, but the government merely acts carries out its routines with little real interest……. (more details from SOH)

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Over 2,000 Protest Pollution and Arrests in Southeast China Village

Posted by Author on October 24, 2009


By Gu Qing’er, Epoch Times Staff,  Oct 24, 2009-Over 2,000 residents from Paibian Village, Guangdong Province, protest in front of the Putian Town Hall the morning of Oct. 22 , 2009

An ongoing struggle between residents and a local ceramic factory over pollution has erupted in protesting, arrests, and riot police presence. When a dozen resident activists of Paibian Village, Jiedong County, Guangdong Province were arrested the morning of Oct. 22, thousands went to the local regime officials, demanding their release.

An Epoch Times reporter interviewed villagers at the scene. According to a villager surnamed Lu, there were no legal procedures, and no one knew where the arrested villagers were taken. He said there were more than 2,000 people who joined the protest.

Another protester, surnamed Chen, said that his friend’s husband was not only arrested, but his cash and cell phone were confiscated.

“What kind of policemen were they! They did not show any ID, but just broke down the door and dashed into the house. I saw policemen taking one woman away in her underwear,” Chen said.

“It’s quite chaotic, and riot police are here,” he said. “The head official is not coming out to talk to us.”

Victims of Factory Pollution

Villagers complain that the exhaust from a ceramic factory has been jeopardizing the quality of life and health of local residents.

“The exhaust smells like disinfectants. It’s horrible and makes me dizzy,” Chen said. “My neighbor’s bamboo shoots stopped growing, and the school children have to cover their mouths and noses.”

The ceramic factory in question is located less than 170 feet from a residential area and an elementary school with 900 students. Students are reported to have symptoms of coughing, sore throats, dizziness, and chest pain.

There is no tap water in the village and residents drink from wells they have dug. The factory also releases waste water into the ground, polluting local sources of water. Residents have complained about loud noises from the factory as well.

Even neighboring villages are affected—residents complain that wind-born pollutants have caused a large number of crops to wither.
Taking the Issue into their Own Hands

Villagers at first approached the Bureau of Environmental Protection with their complaints, and were told the factory was being monitored and was unlicensed due to its failure to meet environmental standards. Local government officials took no action to assist the residents, and neither did the factory respond to complaints.

Two months ago, residents of the affected villages determined they would initiate action on their own. Thousands cooperated to set up roadblocks which stopped the factory from transporting materials. They also demanded that the ceramic factory move out of their area.

A fight broke out between residents and the factory owners the evening of Aug. 9. A resident told The Epoch Times that the factory owner threatened to run down residents with trucks. He also threatened to blow up an oil tank in the factory that would cause the whole village to burn.

The resident also reported that the owner bragged he had paid a town hall official a million yuan, and “he was not worried about us.”

– The Epochtimes

Posted in China, Economy, Environment, Guangdong, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, pollution, Protest, Rural, SE China, Social, World | 1 Comment »

Four Held in Farmland Clashes Between Police and Local residents in South China

Posted by Author on October 23, 2009


Radio Free Asia, 2009-10-23 –

HONG KONG— Authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have detained four villagers following clashes this week between police and local residents over a disputed sale of farmland which left six people in hospital.

Work on a planned economic development zone in Shuidong township near Guangdong’s Maoming city has halted following the standoff, which villagers said left three people seriously injured.

“The villagers broke through the perimeter wall of the construction site,” a local resident who attended the protest said.

“The wall collapsed. We haven’t seen any workers going in or out, so it seems as if work has stopped for the time being.”

“Things are normal in the village now. No one is protesting.”

Blockade

Clashes broke out Tuesday when more than 100 villagers converged on the construction site to block the way of construction workers and machinery.

An official who answered the phone at the Shuidong No. 1 Detention Center Thursday confirmed that some people were being held there following the clashes.

But he said, “I can’t tell you what they are being charged with or when they will be released. You will have to call the police for that.”

An employee who answered the phone at the local police station declined to answer questions about the incident.

“The government took away our land, so we were going to snatch it back again,” a resident of Dianbai village near Maoming city surnamed Wu said.

“But they wouldn’t let us have it.”

He said around 100 villagers had marched to the site to get in the way of construction work.

“There were older people, of 50 or 60, women, elderly, and children. All went along,” Wu said.

“The clashes started when we tried to stop work on the site. The police were beating up a lot of people, and many were injured. There are still a few people in the People’s Hospital. There were about 50 police officers,” he added……. (More details from Radio Free Asia)

Posted in China, Economy, Guangdong, Land Seizure, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, Rural, SE China, Social, World | Comments Off on Four Held in Farmland Clashes Between Police and Local residents in South China

8% of China’s Workers Earn 55% of Income

Posted by Author on July 30, 2009


By Xie Wong, Radio Free Asia, Via The Epochtimes,  Jul 30, 2009 –

A recent study reveals China’s per capita income gap reaches 55-times the difference between the rich and the poor, a number far beyond the official figure. The researcher believes that both corruption as a consequence of the ill-conceived system and gray income of special groups of population contribute to this gap.

In a recent publication entitled, “Distribution of national income and gray income,” deputy director of National Economic Research Institute, China Reform Foundation, Wang Xiaolu concludes that the official average income figure is obviously distorted and lower than the actual figure due to all practical difficulties during the survey, especially the considerable amount of gray income obtained by the rich. Gray income includes income of illegal, non-disciplinary, questionable, and undisclosed sources.

The report is based on a 2005 to 2006 survey of income of more than 2,000 households in urban and rural China. The data revealed that in the year 2005 average disposable income for the top 10 percent with high income (a total of 19 million households and 50 million people in China) is 97,000 yuan (US$14,197) per person, three times higher than the official figure, 29,000 yuan (US$4,244). The national hidden income totals 4.4 trillion yuan (approximately US$644 billion), which is equivalent to 24 per cent of China’s GDP.

The study finds that the top 10 percent households hold the up to as high as 75 percent of total hidden income. The actual difference of per capita between the top 10 percent and the bottom 10 percent in urban areas is 31 fold instead of official figure of 9 fold. The difference in per capita combining both rural and urban is calculated to be 55 fold between the top 10 percent and the bottom 10 percent, rather than the 21 fold projected by the official statistics. The report also indicates that due to insufficient data, the Gini coefficient is hard to finalize now, but surely reaches the inequality warning standard, 0.45, used by the World Bank.

Cai Chung-Guo, an expert in Chinese labor issues, comments on the wide per capita income gap in China:

“The income gap in China is significant. It reflects several issues. One of them is the unreasonable economic structure, i.e., the incomplete market structure. The Chinese government monopolizes the banks, energy, and so forth, in the market and causes a deformity of the market. These industries earn more because the state protects and monopolizes them. There is no transparency.”

The report reveals that significant gray income exists in urban high income households. According to both partial and public information, the analysis suggests the following gray income sources.

First, serious management loopholes exist in governmental payment allocation channels. The majority of fundings suffer from low transparency and loss by misuse and abuse.

Second, financial corruption prevails.

Third, periodic payment-seeking by officials takes place by controlling government licensing and administrative approval fees.

Fourth, land expropriations promoted by developers has become the main gray income source for real estate and associated officials.

Fifth, the income of monopolized industries prevails. In 2005, there were a total of 8.83 million workers in electric, telecommunications, petroleum, finance, insurance, water, energy supply, tobacco, and so forth. They make up less than 8 per cent of the total workers in China, and earn total income of 1.07 trillion yuan, which is equivalent to 55 per cent of the total national workers’ income, and a total of 920 billion yuan more than the total of national average wage. The administrative monopoly has contributed substantially to this inequality……. (more details from The Epochtimes)

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