Hundreds of Chinese Farmers Hold Officials, Investors Hostage – Edward Cody
From The Washington Post:
Hundreds of enraged farmers in southern China surrounded a granary and for nearly 24 hours held hostage dozens of officials and investors gathered inside, villagers said Thursday, in the latest sign of rural unrest in the region.
The officials and investors had gathered to mark the opening of the granary, which farmers said had been built on seized land for which they received inadequate compensation. Riot police, who arrived Wednesday evening and stood by through the night, forced their way into the granary and allowed the hostages to leave early Thursday afternoon, villagers said.
The incident, in Guangdong province’s Sanzhou village, was the latest in a two-year string of rural unrest in China, often brought on by farmers’ discontent over local officials’ seizure of fields and resale of the land for development. The issue is particularly acute in Guangdong, where swift urban growth has put increasing pressure on farmland in the Pearl River Delta just north of Hong Kong. [Full Text]