At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

THE UPPER SHORE IN REVOLT

Occasionally discord in China hits the news. Not often, because the party wishes to present an image of harmonious and patriotic obedience to the wise decisions of authority. Such as the rock-bottom lease of prime village agricultural land in a village in Canton Province recently.
[February 26, and ongoing.]


由於官員的貪腐上浦村村民騷亂
'Yau-yu gun yuen dik taam-fu seung pou chuen chuen-man sou-luen'
[Due to official corruption Shangpu villagers riot.]

The appointed village chief, Li Bao-yu (李寶玉 lei bou-yiuk), of Shangpu Village (上浦村 seung pou chuen) cut a good friend one hell of a deal, signing a contract with an investment holding company for a fifty year transfer of communal fields at far less than market value. Naturally the villagers were outraged, as the decision regarding their common land had been taken without consulting them, and without their consent.

The area thus disposed of would be used to build an electrical wire factory. And despite the likelihood that this would bring massive pollution as well as in no discernible way benefit the village, this too was entirely without their concerns being taken into account.

So when several hundred thugs armed with cleavers and iron bars arrived to enforce the deal, the villagers struck back violently, expelling Li Bao-yu's henchmen and overturning their vehicles. In response authorities higher up the chain of command blockaded all roads into the village and cut-off the flow of irrigation.
It is quite likely that officials in the administrative hierarchy of Mianhu town (棉湖鎮 min wo jan), under whose purvue the village falls, or even higher up the provincial bureaucratic chain, are involved, and in on the deal.
Li Bao-yu counts as a wealthy man; in China's countryside, one does not achieve that status without considerable help from above, as well as keenly remembering the functionaries who assisted along the way.


How ironic that this should have happened just when the top officials in Beijing (北京 paak-keng) discussed the problem of official corruption, especially regarding the frequent dispossession of farmers in illegal land transfers.



NOTES:

Shangpu (上浦 seung pou) is a village to the north of Guangzhou (廣州 gwong jau) with approximately three thousand inhabitants. It is not far from Wukan (烏坎村 wo ham chuen) where a similar problem in 2009 caused massive popular resentment. In 2011 the party sacked the administration of Wukan and allowed secret ballots to elect a new village council.
But the villagers have so far failed to regain their land.

Thugs and gangsters, as organized entities, are commonly called the hak-sei wui (黑社會 "black society organization). In Southern China they form a pandemic pest, but are often very useful for low-level party functionaries who are desperate to get rich and get out.

The term for venal officals is baat fu-jaak dik gon-bou (不負責任的干部 "irresponsible cadres"). This locution is far more common nowadays than in the post-revolutionary past, one of the benefits of modernization.

Official corruption is called gun-yuen taam-fu (官員貪腐), in which taam-fu (貪腐) translates as "covetously rotten". Which is a particularly apt phrase. Officials have historically been a sore burden for the rural population in China, and little appears to have changed.

Illegal land acquisition (非法征地 fei faat jing-dei) has become a recurring flashpoint in the hinterlands, as low-level communist officials see all the marvelous opportunities for personal profit.




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