Skip to comments.Red China: With Roadblock Strengthening, Wukan Remains Defiant
Posted on 12/17/2011 9:50:32 PM PST by bruinbirdman
With the siege of Wukan nearing the one week mark, and with the village of 20,000 now squarely in the cross-hairs of the global media, The New York Times questions how long the villagers can hold out as the government strengthens its armed blockade and tries to drive a wedge into the movement:
We will defend our farmland to the death! a handmade banner proclaims, referring to a possible land deal they fear will strip them of almost all their farmland. Is it a crime, another muses, to ask for the return of our land and for democracy and transparency?
How long they will last is another matter. As the days pass, the cordons of police officers surrounding the village grow larger. Armored trucks and troop carriers have been reported nearby. On local television, a 24-hour channel denounces the villagers as a handful of people dedicated to sabotaging public order, with the names of protesters flashing on a blue screen, warning that they will be prosecuted. Many here fear this will all end badly. The SWAT teams and the police here are acting like theyre crime organizations, not police forces, said Chen Dequan, a 50-year-old farmer and fisherman. The entire village is worried.
Tom Lasseter, the Beijing Bureau Chief for McClatchy Newspapers who evaded the roadblock and has been Tweeting and reporting from within Wukan since Thursday (though it appears, based on his Twitter updates, that he is no longer the sole Western reporter in the village), caught up with Lin Zulian and Yang Semao, the two men singled out and wanted by the government for leading the revolt:
The mayor of the city that oversees this farming and fishing village has publicly named the pair as main agitators of Wukans recent rebellion against the local government. Acting Shanwei Mayor Wu Zili vowed to crack down on them and their allies, according to state media.
Such a threat would terrify most Chinese in a nation infamous for police state tactics. But on Friday morning, both men stood in front of a crowd of thousands here and railed against local corruption.
The officials are lying to the villagers, Yang said, standing behind a large photograph of Xue Jinbo, a fellow advocate who died in police custody Sunday. A few minutes later, he burst into tears that were echoed by heaving sobs from the rows of people in front of him.
Meanwhile, The Financial Times noted a defiant mood in the village:
An atmosphere of foreboding, tinged with jubilation, hung over the groups of young villagers as they took photographs with foreign reporters and worried about when the police might come again.
We were very scared a day or two ago, but now, with the whole world watching, we dont think they will dare do anything to us, said one young villager was is half-jokingly referred by others to as Wukans foreign minister.
That joke underlines the astonishing fact that this village has now spent almost two months virtually independent from Communist party rule.
Bloomberg compares the Wukan standoff with the Occupy Wall Street movement, noting that the situation in China represents what happens when a similar toxic mix of grievances over wealth disparity play out in a totalitarian society.
Don’t look for help from OUR KELO Supreme Court.
They’ll send marshals to move you or kill you just as quick as the Chinese.
What’s the Chinese word for posse? Looks like they got one.
Just wake me when the People (us or them) have had enough and start shooting back.
What's Mandarin for "not going to end well"?
It’s easier to smuggle information out than in the Tiananmen days. China will try to disappear it, but this time it won’t be disappeared.
Remember when we defeated communists by isolating them economically and politically? Anybody?
WHERE are the Occupy folks on this. Hell they should be occupying the Chinese Embassy!
nonono, the commies are occupy’s friends.
I bet the supporters of Communist China (Free Traders) are rooting for the Commie govt to pull this one out.
Be nice if this was the start of getting the Communists out in China. Too bad the Free Traders and Globalists support the Communist Chinese
Or they will remove the media, turn off the Internet, remove troops from the surrounding area, and use the village to test the state of their neutron bombs ... again ... “and the village will just ‘disappear’ from Google Earth and nothing more will be heard from anybody.”
Actually, they’re both asking for democracy. China has a totalitarian regime and we have...a totalitarian regime we get to vote on part of every few years. The constitution has been shredded by the very institution it defined to protect it. The Occupy Wall Street protesters are demanding a higher standard to correct that and prevent it from repeating. I hope the people in Wukan achieve control of their government though. They’ll need that to protect their freedom.
I was headed for Beijing when it occurred was stopped in hong kong. During the next few weeks books of photos appeared, smuggled from the mainland. when someone says it wasn’t that bad or it didn’t happen I offer my proof. They are usually ill after just a few pages. The photographers that took and smuggled those photos had spines of steel.
dude.... the whole world was watching when Tiannamen Square happened...
Illuminating excerpt from a 1960’s monograph on the causes of the 12th Century Song Dynasty-era Fang La Rebellion (2m dead on all sides), that broke out Chinese society into three classes:
Yuji Muramatsu, however, has pointed out that “between the two main strata of Chinese society, . . . there seems to have been a third or middle layer of literate but originally powerless intellectuals: monks, priests, jobless lower-degree holders, and the like, including such pseudo-intellectuals as fortunetellers and sorcerers.”31 This third group, he continues, came partly from hermits of upper-class origin and partly from the more enterprising members of the lowest social classes.
A clear definition of this third class will help us to understand the structure of Chinese society in general and peasant rebellions in particular, since almost all rebel leaders came from its ranks. As a class it was made up of monks, priests or fortune-tellers, petty merchants, small landowners, smugglers, government clerks or servants, petty army officers, lower-degree holders, and tutors. Most of the people in these professions had risen through their enterprise from the lowest class but were unable to achieve any standing in the upper class. Although, as Muramatsu suggests, there were “hermits” of upper-class origin-that is, members of the gentry who repudiated its civil obligations without, however, becoming social recluses-they were in spirit detached from the people.
This third class, then, was not a homogeneous one; and while most of its members were in general contented citizens, many cherished some grievance against the government which adverse conditions could aggravate into revolt. Petty merchants and small landowners were the most co-operative as long as the burden of taxation was bearable. Those who worked in local government offices or served in the army took a risky advantage of their position to make illegal profits. At the extreme of illegality were the smugglers, men of adventurous spirit who were tempted by the extent of government monopolies into a profitable criminal career and who operated in armed bands under military discipline. Monks and priests were submissive to authority when their religion was tolerated, but those who propagated unorthodox and officially proscribed religions were naturally hostile to the government. Lower-degree holders and tutors were, of course, frustrated scholars without family background; and though they may have complained of injustice at the examinations, they tended to remain loyal to the government because of the Confucian indoctrination of their studies.
The qualities which these groups had in common were that they were usually more intelligent, more experienced, or financially better off than the majority of the lowest class. Whenever a revolt was in the making, therefore, it was they to whom the people looked for leadership and it was they who took advantage of disturbed conditions to advance their own fortunes.
We may conclude, then, that no single factor alone stirred up a rebellion, although often, when the circumstances were ripe, a single cause may appear to have created the revolt. Among the many symptoms which foreshadow a rebellion, extreme economic pressure and ideological conflict are the most crucial. The personal ambition of the individual rebel leader is the unpredictable spark which may touch off the uprising and his capability is a major force in directing its future course.
The Song Dynasty survived for another 150 years (including 44 years of all-out war with the Mongol army that had sent small detachments marauding through Central Asia, the Mid East, Eastern Europe and Russia). Interestingly enough, the Communist party’s leaders (pre-1949 victory) were all drawn from the third class.
Details, please? I had not heard of such.
NO cheers, unfortunately.
You are equating apples with persimmons.
The China of today is not the Soviet Union of yesterday
The issues are far more complex
The Chinese government is no longer communist, except in name. A more appropriate name would be the Chinese Fascist Party. In stealing the nation's land from its original owners, the Party used to say that all land in China belonged to the people. In effect this meant that all land belonged to Party members, since those members decided how the land was used and for whose benefit. Still, for many Chinese, this wasn't unbearable, since they did get to use the land for planting crops, etc. However, the Party's role in selling the land off without sufficient compensation has finally broken the unspoken covenant between the Party and the people - the Party is now saying that that the land they stole from the ancestors of the villagers can no longer be used by those villagers. This has the makings of an agrarian revolt. Mao Zedong took advantage of similar sentiments to become the Emperor of China while nominally being head of the Chinese Communist Party. It should be interesting to see if any political adventurers with Mao's ability to lead a revolution arise, and whether there is enough discontent for a critical mass of followers to coalesce around these charismatic figures sufficient to launch a violent revolt. The Party will not give up power without a fight, so the question is whether any violent revolt that comes about resembles the failed Taiping Revolution of the 19th century, or the successful Xinhai Revolution of 1911.
The Chinese government is no longer communist, except in name. A more appropriate name would be the Chinese Fascist Party.
In stealing the nation's land from its original owners, the Party used to say that all land in China belonged to the people. In effect this meant that all land belonged to Party members, since those members decided how the land was used and for whose benefit. Still, for many Chinese, this wasn't unbearable, since they did get to use the land for planting crops, etc. However, the Party's role in selling the land off without sufficient compensation has finally broken the unspoken covenant between the Party and the people - the Party is now saying that that the land they stole from the ancestors of the villagers can no longer be used by those villagers. This has the makings of an agrarian revolt.
Mao Zedong took advantage of similar sentiments to become the Emperor of China while nominally being head of the Chinese Communist Party. It should be interesting to see if any political adventurers with Mao's ability to lead a revolution arise, and whether there is enough discontent for a critical mass of followers to coalesce around these charismatic figures sufficient to launch a violent revolt. The Party will not give up power without a fight, so the question is whether any violent revolt that comes about resembles the failed Taiping Revolution of the 19th century, or the successful Xinhai Revolution of 1911.
Are there no Washingtons in China?
During the imperial era, the penalty for (unsuccessful) sedition used to be what might loosely be translated as the nine kinship exterminations, i.e. all your friends and relatives in every direction, typically resulting in the slaughter of thousands or even tens of thousands. Back then, the only reason to bet it all was to win it all (i.e. become emperor in place of the existing one). Today, the state's punishments are nowhere near as rigorous, so who knows?
Throughout Chinese history, there have been plenty of political adventurers with an eye for the main chance, but no one, to date, with the Cincinnatus-like character of Washington* combined with both political and military ability. Then again, the guy isn't simply a unique character in American history, he's one in world history.
* Mao had Washington's political and military ability, but was merely another Chinese emperor, an absolutist who killed more Chinese than the sum of the emperors who came before him.
It was back in the early 90s, right after Clinton gave them (as a freebee) the Klystron Switch so the Chinese could make working thermonuclear weapons (this was after Loral gave them the guidance systems for their ICBMs).
One of the military pages of the time carried the story, perhaps Stratfor, the Chinese, after testing their first couple of hydrogen bombs, went right for the neutron bomb. Clinton had just ordered US ICBMs to not be pre-targeted and the targeting cards removed.
Dr. Ed Tellar, urged Clinton not to make neutron bombs, and so it was.
Meanwhile, the Chinese pushed ahead with their program, testing the weapon on remote villages in the muslim regions - twice. Worked as advertised, making China the only known country with neutron bombs.
Don't be so sure of that, this is the first I've heard of it..........