Over 4,000 Chinese Villagers Protest Land Grab

By Tang Ming, Epoch Times
April 16, 2013 Updated: April 16, 2013

Locals in Panxu Village, Fujian Province, have been sitting outside the town hall since March 17 to protest a land expropriation, but the stakes got raised on April 13, after village representatives were detained, leading several thousand villagers to storm the building.

A collectively owned 576-acre (3,500 Chinese acre) block of farmland has been requisitioned by the municipal government to build a golf course, but the villagers only found out after a local official had signed the paperwork on their behalf. For the first 70 years, the villagers will receive 7,000 yuan ($1,131) per Chinese acre as rent, but after this time their rights could expire.

An inside source from Xihe Town told The Epoch Times that several representatives from the Panxu Villagers’ Committee went to the town hall to defend their landowner rights, but were detained. More than 4,000 villagers then turned up and prevented any officials from leaving until their fellows were released.

A large number of armed police arrived at 11 p.m. to rescue the officials. As no one would negotiate with the villagers, they decided to sit at the town hall overnight in protest. Several representatives were released the next day, but three were kept in detention, so the villagers continued their seated protest in shifts.

Another villager told The Epoch Times that the local authorities do not seem to care about the villagers’ rights, even after a month of waiting. Instead, they have been met with threats and intimidation; but the locals will not give up, the villager said.

Read the original Chinese article. 

Translation by Ariel Tian. Written in English by Cassie Ryan.