Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rebel China village of Wukan postpones protest march

Residents of a Chinese village locked in a stand-off over land seizures have postponed plans to march on government offices after a senior official agreed to meet village leaders.
Protests have been simmering in Wukan, in Guangdong province, since September and escalated after the death of a village negotiator in police custody.
Villagers have driven officials from the town, which police have surrounded.
But they said they would put off a protest march pending talks.
Deputy provincial Communist Party secretary Zhu Mingguo has agreed to meet local leaders, reports from Wukan say.
A representative of the village, Lin Zulian, has gone to the nearby town of Lufeng to meet Mr Zhu, villager Hui Yonghan told AFP news agency.
"The villagers have come out to welcome Lin Zulian when he comes back," he said.
The villagers say officials have sold off their land to developers and failed to compensate them properly.
They also want an investigation into the death of Xue Jinbo, who died on 11 December while in the hands of local police.
Police say he died of a "sudden illness", but his family say he was beaten to death.
There are thousands of protests over land grabs in China each year but the deadlock in Wukan has attracted considerable attention.
There has also been a series of strikes and labour walk-outs in southern China in recent months.
On Tuesday a separate protest erupted in Haimen, also in Guangdong province, over local government plans to build a power plant.

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