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Southern China protestors'complaints valid: investigators

(Xinhua)

09:02, December 31, 2011

GUANGZHOU, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Residents of Wukan village had legitimate complaints against officials over wrongdoing concerning land use and financial management, provincial investigators said Friday.

In terms of land use, the provincial investigators of Guangdong province found that Lufeng Fengtian livestock company used more land than was officially approved, said investigator Yang Junbo, who is also deputy chief of the provincial Land and Resources Department.

And Guangdong Yidazhou Group was in arrears with its land compensation to village residents, Yang said.

Xue Chang, former secretary of the village party committee of the Communist Party of China, embezzled money to buy a vehicle for personal use, said investigator Gu Xingwei, who is also deputy chief of the provincial Agriculture Department.

Starting in September, complaints about land use, financing and the village election escalated to violent demonstrations by Wukan residents in the city of Lufeng, which administers Wukan.

Provincial authorities began to look into the protestors' complaints on Dec. 20, and an investigation remains under way.

On Wednesday, investigators announced that the village heads election in February was invalid after finding several violations, and another election would be organized soon.

Earlier this month, local police sealed off the village exits to stop protestors whose anger was reignited by the sudden death of a village representative who was in police custody.

The powder keg was not defused until last Thursday when Zhu Mingguo, vice secretary of the Guangdong provincial committee of the Communist Party of China, held a direct dialogue with villagers, admitted that the protestors' main requests were reasonable and promised a "fair and open" investigation into the grievances.

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