Authorities Forcefully Expropriate Farmers' Land in Zhejiang Province

November 22, 2006 Updated: November 22, 2006

Farmers and the local government in towns around Cixi city, Zhejiang Province failed to reach an agreement over the amount of compensation for land expropriation. Because farmers refused to accept the low compensation, the local authorities sent armed-force suppress farmers and forcefully expropriated their land. The local farmers' persistent appeals over the last three years to protect their legal rights have achieved no resolve or progress. The farmers with illegally expropriated land have no place to appeal and say that they are completely disappointed in local governments.

Local Government Forcefully Expropriated Land

According to the national standard, the compensation is 200,000 yuan per mu (US$ 25,000 per mu), but the farmers were only paid 10,000 to 20,000 yuan ($ 1,250 to 2,500), which included the land compensation, relocation fee and crop fee. On top of that, the village party committee deducted over 25 percent of the compensation. The price of those farmlands may soon dramatically increase because local authorities plan to construct a bridge between Shanghai and Ningbo. The bridge will make the surrounding land very valuable and many people have started to contest for business opportunities there. The price for some of that land has risen to over millions of yuan per mu. Farmers have been appealing since 2003 and have held numerous hearings. In addition, they co-wrote a letter to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao. All their efforts have received no results and the authorities still act as they please.

Mr. Sun, a local farmer, said that farmers who went to appeal or pursued a lawsuit were arrested and sentenced to prison. In addition to the low compensation, farmers have no social security or medical insurance, and their most basic needs cannot be guaranteed. Without land, farmers have no other ways of making an income. For some farmers who refused to sell their land, it was forcefully confiscated by the local regimes, and they received zero compensation.

Bloody Suppression, Arrest and Sentence

According to local farmers, over five towns are suppressed in such a manner. On July 1, 2003, the local authorities sent police, court officials, public security organs and gangsters to forcefully started construction on the land of Xinyuan village in Xiaolin Town. They also brutally suppressed the local farmers.

A farmer named Mr. Li said, “At that time many farmers were injured from beatings. The authorities held sticks and knives and started beating farmers on sight. Afterwards, they widely and freely arrested and released farmers. The farmers would be arrested for three to five hours then released. We recorded the process of this bloody suppression. This is concrete evidence that communist party beats farmers.” (The clips are provided at the end of the article)

Media in China were All Muted

The farmers said, “The authorities simply follow no rules. They don't care about farmers' lives. They collude with businesspeople to resell our land at higher price. Why the communist party still talks about bringing corruption under control is beyond us. It is nothing but yelling slogans—and they are all lies. Some government agencies have watched the videos, but they said they had no way to control the situation.”

Farmers provided the video clips and other evidence to Phoenix TV and CCTV's talk shows, “Today's Focus” and “Farmers Daily,” but both stations told them that there was nothing they could do.

Video clips: (Windows Media File format)