China rebel village to talk with gov’t
WUKAN, China - Reuters
Villagers hold banners during a protest rally by residents of Wukan. AFP photoAn organizer in a Chinese village that has rebelled against Communist Party authorities for more than a week said yesterday representatives would hold talks with the government and demand a set of concessions in return for calling off a march.
Residents of Wukan village in south China’s Guangdong province have threatened to march on a local government office in protest over farmland seized for development, and over the suspicious death in custody of a protest organizer, Xue Jinbo.
Yang Semao, a village representative said that Wukan would send three representatives to talk to government officials in Lufeng, the nearby urban centre, and set conditions for calling off a protest march to Lufeng planned for today. The government must remove police barricades around the village, allow more reporters to see Xue’s body, and set up an investigation panel into disputes in Wukan, said Yang.
For more than a week, residents of Wukan have driven off officials and police, and held protests in outrage at the death in custody of Xue, whose family rejects the government’s position that he died of natural causes. They and fellow villagers believe he was subjected to abuse. Zheng Yanxiong, the Communist Party boss of Shanwei, which oversees Wukan and Lufeng, said the government would “guarantee the villagers’ interests,” Guangdong’s official newspaper reported.