Chinese Villagers Clash with Police Over Land Dispute
Audio Transcription of NTDTV Video
ANNA CHAN: “Our top news today, thousands of Chinese villagers clashed with riot police. The conflict centered around thousands of acres of land seized by officials and sold to developers. A thousand police officers arrived in riot gear to disperse the protesters.”
STORY: The clash erupted on Wednesday near Shunde, in southern Guangdong Province, during the opening of the warehouse. Up to 10,000 blockaded the warehouse entrance in the village of Sanzhou, trapping 300–including Guangdong officials and Hong Kong and foreign businessmen inside.
Even after police arrived, the villagers stood their ground, refusing to leave unless the corrupt officials were investigated.
The crowds dispersed Thursday morning.
Villagers say that 9,000 acres of Sanzhou village land were sold illegally last year.
In January, China’s Ministry of Public Security reported 87,000 “public order disturbances, obstructions of justice, gathering of mobs and stirring up of trouble” last year. That’s up 6.6 percent from 2004.
China has struggled to smother rising flare-ups of social unrest in recent years, sparked by issues ranging from corruption, forced layoffs, land seizures without compensation, to disparities in wealth between the rich coastal belt and the impoverished inland.