A Chinese Village Takes a Stand Against Graft – Peter Ford
The Christian Science Monitor gives an update on the 14 week long protest by villagers in Foshan who are fighting corrupt local officials:
Xiantang’s angry villagers took control of the village council’s opulent five-story offices on July 1, after officials had refused to open their accounting books. They have been there ever since, mounting a 24-hour guard over a pile of cardboard cartons they believe contain the accounts that will prove their allegations.
They threaten to stay there until regional authorities send auditors to check the books, and their demands have also taken on a political tone. “We want to elect a good village leader” to replace the current head of the council and Communist Party Secretary Lai Zhenchang, who was appointed by the government, says one of the protesters, Lai Jiawen. [Full text]
The story is accompanied by an audio report by Peter Ford about why the government has allowed the protests to continue for so long. Read also a Toronto Star report on Xiantang from last week, “It takes an angry village to revolt in rural China“.
[Image: Lai Niu points to the village leader he and fellow peasants accuse of fraud, via CSM]