Land enriches Lihai officials, enrages farmers – Li Xinde

From Yulun Jiandu, translated by CDT:

YulunjianduIt was learned that 260,000 mu of farm land was illegally taken by local governments in Shangyu City, Zhejiang, with little or no compensation paid to farmers.

In Lihai Township of Shangyu, 281 mu of land was sold to Baohua Real Estate Company by Ren Qiliang, Shangyu city party secretary, and Mao Guoqing, Lihai township party secretary, after a paid trip in spring 2003 by the company executive to visit Australia. The plot of land was sold at a total price of 53.56 million yuan, at a discount of 19.5 million yuan with the going market price of 260,000 yuan/mu. The villas developed by the company, completed in 2004, didn’t sell at all.

Mr. Mao, the township secretary, cooked books while selling 47 mu of land to a developer to build a residential-commercial market mall complex. The land was sold at 295,000 yuan/mu. Farmers on the land were promised 6,000 yuan/mu as a compensation but received almost nothing. [Full Text in Chinese]

Since June 2003, farmers have collected a lot of evidence proving that some city and township officials are networking to grab land and sell it cheap to developers.

Enraged, powerless farmers can only write poems to vent their anger. One goes like this:

Township level is small corruption,

County and city are middle corruption,

Higher up there is big big corruption,

Who protects all sorts of corruption,

If a higher up really curbs corruption,

Who lower down dares go corrupt,

You, he and I all corrupt,

Judiciaries follow suit,

Turn a blind eye to whistle-blowing,

Meaning they don’t look into corruption.

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