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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Official rebuke for not listening to villagers

By Zheng Caixiong (China Daily)

09:29, December 28, 2011

GUANGZHOU - A senior Party official from Guangdong province said the requests of the villagers of Wukan in Shanwei city, where a land dispute erupted in September, were reasonable.

Zhu Mingguo, deputy Party chief of Guangdong province, strongly criticized some government departments and officials for not heeding the villagers' requests, and said the dispute would not have happened if the relevant departments had taken their complaints seriously.

"The villagers lodged two major requests: one was about their farmland and the other asked for transparency in the village committee's work," Zhu said at a work conference in Guangzhou on Monday.

"Party and government officials should have put themselves in the villagers' position when they requisitioned farmland from the villagers for industrial and real estate projects," Zhu said.

Late last week, Zhu led a work group to Wukan in the eastern part of Guangdong to investigate the land dispute and hear the villagers' complaints firsthand.

The dispute arose after the village committee sold farmland in early September without informing the villagers, and led to a massive protest in which hundreds of villagers took part.

Five villagers were later detained for their roles in the protest, which became even more volatile when one of the detainees, Xue Jinbo, died in police custody on Dec 11. The villagers reacted by blocking the roads to prevent local authorities from entering the village to launch an investigation.

The village has now returned to normal after Zhu and his work group promised to investigate the case thoroughly and punish all those who have violated laws and regulations.

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