Is Wukan’s Situation Getting Better or Worse?
Recently Guangdong’s Wukan village held an election to
select 11 members of the election committee,
to supervise the new village leadership election held
on March 1st.
Villagers expressed that, this is the first democratic election of
the past 40 years.
Many mainland newspapers and websites have reported on the
incident, and villagers from nearby villages all went to watch.
However, external commentators believe that this
might all be faked.
To supervise the village leadership election held on March 1st,
Wukan villagers elected an 11 member election committee.
This election committee will be disbanded right
after the village leadership election.
Wukan villager Mr. Cai explained that, they will hold
a village representative election again on Feb 21,
to supervise the village leadership election on March 1st.
Mr. Cai said, “The (Feb 1) voting lasted until 4pm, then
counting the vote went on un til 12am.
(We) might elect village representatives again on Feb 21, but
it’s not sure whether there will be 1 or 3 representatives per village, to supervise the new village leadership.
No one near my home wanted (Lin Zulian) to be on the
election committee, but he was told to go.
Most people support him for the new village chief,
but he can’t run if he is on the election committee.”
Mr. Cai expressed that, electing the village chief is not the goal;
their demand is, to resolve the death of villagers’ representative
Xue Jinbo and to also resolve the land conflict.
Mr.Cai: “Now, the election is not our major issue,
our real problem is after the election on March 1, our land issue…
we have no farm land now, not even a little… and…
we still have not get anything on the cause of death of Xue JinBo.”
Mr. Cai also said that, if the newly elected village leadership
cannot solve these issues, they will continue to petition.
Near the end of last year, tens of thousands of Wukan
villagers went on to protest for nearly two weeks against the
village leadership’s corrupt practice in land rights transfer,
thereby gaining worldwide attention.
This election also drew international attention.
It was reported by mainland media as well as
being closely watched by mainland netizens.
Tianwang spokesperson Pu Fei explained that, Wukan’s
situation does not allow for an optimistic outcome.
Pu Fei says, “China’s village level elections norm is like this,
who knows how many families there are, or anything like how many for that matter.
Since the existence of village committees,
China’s official law for village election has been like this.
If you really want move toward democracy,
then you need to start with the government, not
with a self organized group, this is against common sense.”
Rights Movement organizer Hu Jun pointed out, that Wukan
has now elected a legal village committee and
Lin Zulian is already the party secretary,
now they are doing a reelection,
this is the CCP covering up it’s own evil doing,
to divert villagers’ attention from what is really going on.
Hu Jun asks, “Didn’t the Chinese regime want this?
To make people forget, forget about its evil.
They haven’t given a cause for the death of Jinbo,
how did he die? Now Jinbo’s body was not even given back,
this election, the villagers have already had it, they have
already elected a legally accepted village committee.”
Oriental Daily pointed out that, after the Wukan incident,
many places in eastern Guangdong like Haimen, Haifeng
and Lufeng all wanted to follow suit, requesting punishment
for corrupt officials, and pushing for democracy.
However, the regime suppressed all of these requests,
and silenced all media.
Political Commentator Wu Fan explained that,
there are currently 62,000 villages like Wukan in China.
If they all hold elections like Wukan are doing right now,
they also will be controlled by the Communist Party.
NTD Reporters Li Yun and Wang Mingyu