Editor’s Note: This video contains violent content. washingtonpost.com presents the original, unedited version as it was received.
A farmer in Shengyou, China, videotaped hundreds of armed men attacking a group of local farmers. According to witness accounts, the group was resisting government demands to surrender land to a state-owned power plant.
See also Philip Pan’s very good accompanying article on the attack. UPDATE: (1) China orders media silence on village clash from ABC News Online. (2) Thanks to David Kelly for the translation of a news article from sina.com on this event.
Note from the translator: This is my translation. (left rough in the interests of immediacy) It has many points of interest, including references to the petition system in the final paragraphs. Note also apparent use of internet by media to trace Liu Baoling’s credentials (second-last paragraph). Liu’s makeover of “big petition county” Quyang was reported at here on People’s Daily.
East Asian Institute
15 June 2005
Dingzhou (Hebei) Party Branch Secretary meets family of villagers killed in raid
New Hebei Province Dingzhou municipal party committee Secretary Liu Baoling visited relatives of people who died in a raid in Shengyou village, handing over 30,000 yuan as a compassionate payment and 20,000 yuan for burial expense. The villagers indicated they believe the government, and are willing hand Zhu Xiaorui, whom they detained previously, over to the police.
Before this on June 11 before dawn, 2-300 persons of unclear status attacked villagers of Shengyou who lived shacks on waste land, leading to at least 6 deaths and dozens of injured. On June 13, The Hebei provincial party committee dismissed Dingzhou’s former municipal party committee secretary and mayor.
Yesterday morning, in the Shengyou village commission yard, Liu Baoling handed his personal name-card to the villagers, indicating that they could directly raise any matter with him.
Yesterday in the evening, Liu Baoling told reporters by telephone that on that day he had altogether handed out more than 100 name-cards, later taking incessant phone calls from villagers; he was very hopeful of hearing their opinions, and believed that through such communications the villagers’ mood had relaxed.
At present, Dingzhou is busy with the wheat harvest; all the wheat nearby is in the process of being harvested, but Shengyou’swas still growing in the ground, where much of it had withered. Regarding the villagers requests for help harvesting the wheat, and issues regarding postmortems, Liu Baoling said they had all had been explicitly answered by the municipal party committee municipal government.
“We hope to properly resolve this case as soon as possible.” Liu Baoling told me that, thanks to this paper’s report, he hoped journalists would continue to pay attention to this case.
Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Dingzhou Party Committee and Discipline Inspection Commission Secretary Guo Wenzhong yesterday indicated to me that, in view of the Shengyou village events, the Dingzhou municipal party committee municipal government had taken various positive measures, handing responsibility to separate work teams; to report interviews we could contact the propaganda department.
But afterwards officials of the local propaganda department rejected my request for further interviews.
Yesterday, a Baoding municipal party committee office staffer working on readjusting the administrative situation in the Dingzhou municipal party committee and government indicated that this time they had assigned a quite outstanding cadre to reconstitute the local administration.
Liu Baoling was reportedly party branch secretary of Baoding’s Quyang county prior to being transferred to a new post at Dingzhou. Central media reports dated November 22, 2004 state that County Party Secretary Liu Baoling had admitted mistakes and corrected his errors, turning Quyang from a big petition county to an advanced [petition] county.
Since 2000, Quyang has for four years continuously had no collective incidents going beyond lodging petitions, and for three years has been evaluated an advanced county in Baoding in relation to petition work.