Documenting China’s rural woes – Reuters
From Reuters, via Financial Express (link):
China’s rural bureaucrats have often been cast as corrupt and uncaring villains as discontent flared across the countryside, but a rare new expose by a local official offers a harshly candid defense of their ways.
Gu Wenfeng has written “Extraordinary Confessions,” a memoir of his years as a rural township official and Communist Party boss in the central province of Henan, home to about 78 million often poor and restive farmers.
Chinese protesters often blame local officials for their woes and pin their hopes on national leaders, who have encouraged the impression that problems are the fault of underlings.
Premier Wen Jiabao said in mid-March that some local governments were behind rising rural unrest, violating laws and regulations and harming the public’s interests in land requisition, housing demolitions and business restructuring.
But in his book, Gu describes with rare candor the pressures on rural officials caught between protesters and superiors more anxious to stifle embarrassing dissent than address grievances.