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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Initial probe supports villagers' requests

By Qiu Quanlin (China Daily)

08:21, December 31, 2011

WUKAN, Guangdong - The main requests of the residents of a southern village in the county-level city of Lufeng, Guangdong province, regarding financing, land use and violation of law and discipline by village heads are reasonable, a preliminary investigation has found.

The investigation, conducted by a special provincial work group since Dec 19 and released on Friday, indicated that some local officials violated the law and ethics of office while selling farmlands in Wukan village for commercial use.

Complaints escalated since September about land use, finance and elections of the village's leaders, prompting Wukan villagers to hold sometimes violent demonstrations in Lufeng, which administers the village.

"The issue of land use, including collecting the land from villagers and selling to developers, has not been publicly and fairly disclosed to residents since the 1990s," said Yang Junbo, deputy director of the Guangdong provincial department of land and resources, who is in charge of investigating the land issue under the provincial work group.

Since 1993, the former Wukan village committee sold about 42 hectares of farmland for commercial use. Only 3.6 hectares of that were approved or officially registered for use by local authorities, the preliminary investigation showed.

The village of 11,000 people has a total area of 638 hectares, of which 88 hectares are arable land.

In one case, residents requested the return of 30 hectares of farmland that was developed by a company jointly invested in by the village committee and a Hong Kong company.

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