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Zhuang Liehong, January 17, 2017 “Soon after, a dozen public security agents came to his house and forced him to sign his name to a document they provided, under the watch of three SWAT officers in his living room, who had their submachine guns pointed at his chest and head.”     On December 26, 2016, the Haifeng Court in Guangdong sentenced nine villagers from Wukan (six men and three women) to between two and ten years imprisonment, punishing them for participating in protests that swept Wukan for the second time, from June to September 2016, in response to the imprisonment of their democratically-elected village head Lin Zulian (林祖恋).  The protests were repressed by armed police and SWAT teams, and scores of villagers were arrested, […]


Zhuang Liehong, January 5, 2017   Ten days ago on December 26, 2016, the Haifeng Court in Guangdong sentenced nine villagers from Wukan to between two and ten years imprisonment, as a means of punishing them for participating in protests. My father Zhuang Songkun (庄松坤) was among them. Through this article I hope readers outside China will gain an understanding of these arrests and the circumstances of the trial, and that the situation in Wukan will receive greater international attention. From 2009 villagers in Wukan engaged in collective petitions and protests against collusion between government officials and businessmen, who were expropriating collectively-owned village land for personal profit. After years of being ignored by the government, mass protests broke out at the end of 2011. I […]


Zhuang Liehong, November 23, 2016 “Wukan is a big prison now. Scores of villagers have been detained, including my father. Police patrol the streets and roads, and life is difficult.” – Wukan villager Zhuang Liehong     Wukan, a fishing village in eastern Guangdong Province, occupies an area of about 5,765 acres and has a population of 13,000. Since 1993, corrupt officials have conspired with businessmen to secretly sell off the collectively-owned, arable village land, and pocket the proceeds. This led to large-scale petitions and protests to defend villagers’ rights from 2009 to 2011. As they fought for their land and for democracy in their village, Wukan residents were faced with extreme hardship, and the local government did everything it could — including plots and […]


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 […]


Last week we looked at why the Two Meetings matter, today we’re looking at what this year’s recurring themes were. Equality Since opening up in the 80’s, gov’t resources have been increasingly targeted at creating advanced cities, abandoning the more equitable development that had been encouraged under Mao. Rural China now finds itself with few medical personnel and crumbling schools while their land is sold out from under them by greedy officials. Meanwhile Chinese cities have benefited immensely from the policies, which has created a wealthy class that in some cases spends more on a single meal than many farmers make in a year. This new wealth has helped spark a real-estate boom that has led to the quadrupling of real-estate prices in some cities, moving housing out of […]


I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season. In this issue, you will find a sample response to President Hu Jintao’s article about malicious cultural infiltration by hostile forces, items about Wukan, how China practices law, why a couple who were dying to see each other had a hard time reuniting, the deluge of confidential user information, and more. Click date below for link to the original.   张鸣 /Zhang Ming/(Professor of political science at People’s University of China)/: Chinese have no American TV to watch, cannot access American websites. Americans are not allowed to open schools in China. On the other hand, China can set up TV, websites and schools in the US. The US has no Great Fire Wall to keep […]


Tanks didn’t roll into Wukan. Relief? Yes. Comfort? Hardly, given countless precedents that inject nothing but dread, and the fact that the government is still lying and mis-presenting nearly every aspect of the event, down to the location where the village representative and the provincial deputy party secretary met. In Haimen the latest words are that the government conceded to the people’s demand after days of confrontation. This week, a great many Chinese mourned the death of Václav Havel, former president of Czech and a symbol of the communist collapse in Europe in 1989. Then the country had a field day celebrating the death of Kim Jong Il with the exception of the Party and its Foreign Ministry and CCTV. It is one of those […]


This week, all eyes are on Wukan as the world awaits to see how the unprecedented struggle of one Chinese village develops. If Christian Bale didn’t get to see his personal hero on Thursday, he more than succeeded in throwing a hand grenade at the feet of the Party while lighting a firestorm—a joyful one—among Chinese netizens. Friday, we finally heard words from the authorities about Gao Zhisheng after he had gone missing for more than a year and a half. Also in this issue are items taken from Weibo before Yaxue’s account was obliterated earlier this week (possibly for helping spread information about Wukan). Click on date below item for link to the original. I have had a growing dread all week and it […]


As a China blogger, it’s a pretty big week, open rebellion in Wukan has attracted a flock of journalist, and then Hollywood star Christian Bale/Batman attempted to visit blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng. The big question floating around at the moment is does foreign pressure mean anything to China? Before I address that question I would first like to point out that Christian Bale has created one heck of a dilemma for China’s censors. The media gears have been spinning wildly to promote his new film, The Flowers of War, which opens today in China. I passed Mr. Bale’s image at least 4-5 times just on my way to work this morning. How are they going to block discussion of his trip to Linyi without limiting the […]


This is a developing story, and while I usually don’t comment on “sensitive” events as they happen, the stakes seem to be much higher this time. In a small village in Guangdong, the villagers have staged a revolt. All government officials and police have fled the village after months of demonstrations sparked by land grabs and public funds that seem to have gone missing. Now the village, and its thousands of inhabitants, are encircled by armed police who are demanding they give up their cause and return to normal life. The villagers however are insisting that the local gov’t apologize for the violence they have used against the people (including the death of an organizer while he was in police custody), as well as be […]


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