Debriefing of Wukan Incident
1.Brief Introduction of the Incident
In the morning of September 21st , 2011, over 400 Wukan villagers gathered at the Lufeng municipal government building and expressed their discontent toward village officials on land dispute, village finance and village election etc. These villagers left the building on their own, after they were assured by government officials of further investigation.
On the same afternoon, some villagers gathered again at the village and started to attack public buildings, including the village government office and a local police station. They rampaged through the streets and damaged public and private property deliberately. On the morning of September 22nd, 2011, police officers who tried to enter the village and maintain order were confronted by some of the villagers, policemen were beaten and six police vehicles were destroyed.
Shanwei and Lufeng governments immediately took active measures to deal with this incident. Shanwei sent a special work team to oversee the handling of this incident. Lufeng City and Donghai Town governments also sent teams to the village, communicated with the villagers and tried to maintain order at the village. On the evening of September 22nd, the situation stopped deteriorating, and the village returned to normal on September 23rd.
In mid-November, when the special work team was investigating villagers’ appeal, some villagers posted a message on the internet that “Wukan Village Temporary Council Committee plans to organize a petition demonstration on November 21st, calling for attention from both domestic and international media.” The table had been turned.
Responding measures were promptly taken by both the Shanwei and Lufeng governments. Thirteen work teams were deployed to the village and made door-to-door communication efforts with local villagers for a peaceful resolution. Most villagers were willing to accept the advice at that time.
However at 10:35 a.m. on November 21st, more than 400 Wukan villagers once again rallied outside the Lufeng Municipal Government building untill they left at 11:26 a.m. on their own. A couple of villager rallies were also organized to draw media attention.
After the incident, Shanwei and Lufeng governments took rapid response to settle on reasonable demands of the villagers. Some villagers started to change attitude, and orders were resumed normal at the village on November 24th. Banners and big posters were removed by villagers on November 26th, and no violence occurred.
After reviewing the entire incident, it can be seen that the main cause is the internal village conflict, in particular the financial issue in the village. Villagers are discontent with the village officials, and especially Xue Chang, a senior Party branch secretary. To date, all the reasonable demands of villagers are met, and the rest of the incident will be dealt with in strict accordance with law.
2.Villagers’ Appeals and Solutions
Wukan incident was triggered by the unsettled rightful demand of villagers in regard to the interest of the village. Lufeng City set up a special work group to make sure villagers’ reasonable demands are all met; work has currently been done as follows:
2.1Financial Audit Issue
After serious review of the financial status of the village-owned Wukan Development Co. Ltd. between 1993 and September 2011, as well as the financial revenues and expenditures of Wukan Village Committee between 2008 and June 2011, the following issues were found:
●legal procedures were missing in the sale of collective owned lands;
●Xue Chang used the village money to buy a vehicle that was put under his name;
●excessive expenditure on reception meals, inadequate financial management and handwritten receipts being treated as formal invoices;
●the sum of collective land sale was treated as the earned profit of the village-owned company, which was further distributed as dividends;
●legal procedures were missing in the purchase of two vehicles;
●village officials violated the related rules and purchased 6 cell phones;
●Chen Shunyi, the ex-director of village committee claimed social security benefits for multiple times;
●village officials used the investment money from Hong Kong enterprises to cover their own travel expenditure;
●71,650 yuan of land sale was unpaid.
In accordance with the information gathered from the villagers, thorough investigations were carried out on the following 5 enterprises of their land uses, including Fengtian Livestock Production Co., Ltd., Yidazhou Group, Hetai Corporation, Nanhai Garden and Furong Textile Factory.
Investigation shows that the land uses of the flowing 3 enterprises met the relevant regulations and all the required procedures were taken, including Hetai Corporation, Nanhai Garden and Furong Textile Factory. Yidazhou Group hadn’t paid land compensation. Fengtian Livestock Production Co., Ltd. took all the required procedures to obtain a state-owned agricultural land use permit. However villagers required to reclaim the using rights of the land. The work group made the following progresses:
●Unpaid Compensation of Yidazhou Group
After investigation, Yidazhou Group should have paid a land compensation of 4.23 million yuan. To date, Yidazhou Group has transferred the amount to the bank account of Lufeng Municipal Bureau of Land and Resources.
●Land Use by Fengtian Livestock Production Co.,
Lufeng Government made a decision to suspend the cooperation between Fengtian Livestock Production Co., and real estate developer Country Garden; Lufeng Municipal Government will play a leading role in the planning and design of this land, and carry out the future development plans with the agreement of most of the villagers; In addition, Shanwei and Lufeng governments will supervise the use of this land, so as to avoid the impairment of benefit to villagers.
●Rural Residential Land
Rural residential land is the most concerned issue of Wukan villagers, and it has been properly handled. With collaborated efforts from Lufeng Municipal Government, Land and Resource Bureau and Donghai Town, a land of 100,000 square meters at the north of the village is set aside for future rural housing projects. To date the selection of location, measurement and planning of the land have been completed. The Land and Resources Bureau compiled policies and procedures for Wukan villagers to apply for the rural residential land, and distributed leaflets to every household in the village. In addition, the Bureau started accepting applications from housing-needy families at the village.
●Other Illegal Land Uses
Villagers also voiced complaints on other illegal land uses. Due to the time length, a large number of the cases and inadequate proof of evidence, extra time and efforts will be required for a thorough investigation. The relevant government units have accelerated their investigation efforts, and will act in strict accordance with law when investigation finding is finally made.
According to the investigation team, this year’s village-level general elections proceed as normal, and governments at different levels did not receive any complaint in regard to the unfairness of the election and other illegal behavior. And Lufeng’s Bureau of Civil Affairs has distributed the certificates to those newly elected officials. As for those village committee members with majority discontent by villagers, Lufeng government will carry out investigation on them and remove them from office as stipulated by law, in the event that their illegal behaviors were found. In addition, a by-election will be carried out to fill in the vacant positions.
2.1Poverty Alleviation and Student Grant
To facilitate students with financial difficulties to attend school, Lufeng government has allocated a special fund of 2 million yuan to Wukan schools and set up a Wukan Education Fund. Relevant standards on poverty alleviation and student grant were also been drafted, application forms on student grant were also distributed among Wukan villagers.
2.1Pollution Caused by Fengtian Livestock Production Co.,
After investigation, it is found that the waste water by Fengtian Livestock Production Co. has been properly handled and met the environmental evaluation standard, and no leakage of treated water was found.
2.1Village Officials with Disciplinary Misconducts
Donghai government decided to remove Xue Chang and Chen Shunyi, Director and Deputy Director of Village Party Committee from office on November 1st, 2011, and accepted the resignation of Chen Shunyi as Director of the village committee, as they were found with disciplinary misconduct. On November 17th, Lufeng government has placed on file for investigation and prosecution against Xue Chang and Chen Shunyi. On December 14th, Lufeng government authorized to take legal action to detain and interrogate village officials with disciplinary misconduct.
2.Five Villagers Held in Police Custody as Criminal Suspects in Lufeng’s Wukan Incident
According to Lufeng City Public Security Organs, since September of this year when Lufeng’s Wukan Incident broke out, five villagers including Zhuang Liehong had been held in police custody as criminal suspects.
Sources say, the detained criminal suspects Zhuang Liehong, Xue Jinbo, Zhang Jiancheng, Hong Ruichao and Zeng Zhaoliang come from Wukan Village, Donghai Town, Lufeng City. They actively participated and led villagers in a series of cases, including smashing and destroying public and private properties, as well as offending public order on September 21st and 22nd in Wukan. They are suspected of committing the crime of intentional property damage. The main facts of the crime are: in the afternoon of September 21st, the above-mentioned suspects instigated and mustered some villagers to besiege and intercept the village committee, organized and led the smashing of Hetai Industrial Park and Fengtian Stock Farm. The loss caused by the damage of public and private property exceeded 2.1 million yuan. They are suspected to constitute the crime of destruction of public property.
Zhuang Liehong, Xue Jinbo, Zhang Jiancheng had also taken the lead in besieging Wukan Frontier Police Station, assaulting policemen with stones and sticks, smashing police vehicles, and hindering the enforcement of official duties the public security.
Policemen were injured and police vehicles damaged during the incident. They are suspected to constitute the crime of obstruction of official business.
Moreover, Zeng Zhaoliang et al are also suspected of other criminal activities.
During interrogation, the five suspects confessed to the crime of the above.
2.Coroner’s Inquest over Xue Jinbo’s Death in Police Custody and Related Information of the Other Four Suspects
At about 11 a.m. on December 11th, Xue Jinbo in Shanwei Detention House felt ill and was immediately sent to Shanwei Yihui Fund Hospital. Hospital doctors later pronounced the man dead despite frantic efforts to save his life. The cause of death offered by the hospital was sudden cardiac death.
Shanwei Public Security Organs immediately informed and consoled the family of the deceased. The same day, the Shanwei Procuratorate investigated the cause of death and assigned the Forensic Examination Center of Sun Yat-sen University to examine the cause of death as a third party.
The Forensic Examination Center of Sun Yat-sen University examined the corpse surface, and here are the results:
●the reddish purple changes on Xue’s neck, back, waist and the back of his limbs that were not pressured are livor mortis;
●no apparent signs of assault or bone fracture were found on his body;
●the cyanosis of his mouth, lips and nails belong to pathological changes.
Deputy Director of the Forensic Examination Center of Sun Yat-sen University Luo Bin had excluded the possibility of traumatic death. Xue Jinbo had operations in Chinese PLA Second Artillery General Hospital, Beijing on May 12th, 2010. He was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease, bronchial asthma, chronic gastritis and other diseases. While Xue was held in custody, his family was allowed to deliver medicines on the treatment of asthma and heart diseases to the detention house. Procuratorate authorities are legally carrying on the investigation into his death.
On December 13th, with the permission of public security organs, the families of the four suspects Zhang Jiancheng, Hong Ruichao, Zhuang Liehong and Zeng Zhaoliang visited them in Shanwei, Shenzhen and Guangzhou’s detention houses respectively. Shanwei Police released the live recording of their visits online. The physical and mental conditions of the four suspects are normal.