Land Grab Yields Riots in Guangdong

Another violent protest over a disputed land grab erupted in Guangdong province over the weekend, according to local police and media. From Reuters:

Residents of Yilong Village “attacked the Jinrui Industrial Park in Xiaolan Town, and took part in attacking, smashing, looting and arson,” the Zhongshan city public security office said on its blog.

Reports that villagers died in the latest eruption of land unrest were untrue, the Zhongshan police bureau said in a statement.

The Zhongshan police said the dispute over a patch of land had festered since August and become so heated that factories in the area had to halt production.

Caixin Magazine, a Chinese business journal, reported that the dispute was sparked by complaints that a former village official had illicitly sold off land without paying residents compensation.

The protest underscores the continuing rise of “mass incidents” as a means to address specific grievances in China. Last month, hundreds of angry migrants rioted in Zhejiang province over a tax policy that was subsequently revoked, and a September land grab protest in Guangdong lasted four days as local officials broke with tradition in deploying uniquely “light-handed” tactics to deal with the crowds.

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