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You are reading about: grassroot democracy

Mo Zhixu, July 1, 2016 2016 is also an election year in China, in case you are not aware of it.     A struggle is once again brewing in Wukan. Four years ago, after a protracted struggle during which village representative Xue Jinbo (薛锦波) lost his life under mysterious circumstances in police custody, the people of Wukan were able to elect a village leader that they trusted. But several years later, they still haven’t been able to win back their rights and things have again become unsettled. Police recently detained Lin Zulian (林祖恋), the elected head of Wukan’s village committee, and then put him on television to confess to accepting bribes. And in just the past few days in Gansu Province, independent candidates for […]


By Zhang Jing, published: March 19, 2015   We were in Guangdong during the two weeks before the Chinese New Year, and Xiao Bin, an old classmate of ours, suggested that we make time to visit the village of Xiawei (下围村). “Interesting things” had happened there, he told us. This village known for airing its grievances year after year through petitions has been transformed. The village had been known in the area for tensions between village cadres and the populace, and they were the grounds for never-ending petitions by villagers. In 1999, the village held its first direct election. Though a good chance for reconciliation, the election unfortunately turned into a turmoil. The government had to send in 400 police officers to “maintain order.” In […]


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