Protesters Attacked Chinese Municipal Government for Selling Farmlands

Thousands of farmland owners staged a massive riot against the authorities in Guangdong province last week in protest for forcibly selling the farmers' lands for a commercial complex, New York Times reported.

A government-hosted Web site reported the government buildings were crammed, SWAT team vehicles tumbled, and police officers were assaulted as landowners rebelled against the selling of more than 800 acres of lands to give way to expensive housing projects and industrial parks including a "country garden" named after its developer.

The South China Morning Post reported the land sale amounted to $156 million but landowners claimed the compensation rendered to them is not even enough to purchase a small new cot.

Local authorities told media the violent demonstrations were fueled by news about a small girl killed by police officers. On Thursday, protesters then began to surround the government buildings armed with gongs and placards that say "Give us back our farmland."

Pressure for Industrialization

In a country recently advanced to having the world's second largest economy, much is still left for living the truth. A government official who spoke in anonymity for not having the authority to squeal, said China's economic progress is not apparently reflected in most of its citizens, many of whom still rely on farming on lands entirely owned by municipal governments, but which have long been reclaimed and cultivated by the farmers' dead ancestors.

An enormous chunk of revenues in municipal governments came from selling properties to the highest commercial bidder. In pursuit of global urbanization, many provinces in China endeavor on becoming a "Civilized City," executed in a form of national competition.

Many times the municipal government officials deplete citizens of their means of livelihood, leaving them impoverished. The latest protest in Lufeng city is just another proof that government officials connived with real estate developers to abruptly develop the slums into a commercial industry.

A government official told the media the series of mass protests in China only prove the citizens have become aware and vigilant of their full rights and privileges and keen on opposing environmental pollution, human rights violations and public official's misconduct.

Before the online forums were shut down in principle of censorship by Chinese officials, protesters encouraged landowners to act and save their future.

"Wake up, my neighbors, if we don't unite now, the land of our ancestors will be sold off to the last square meter! If we don't unite now, our children will be homeless! We will have nowhere to bury our parents or raise our children!"

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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