View Full Version : Villagers Riot in China, 50 Police Said Hurt

Apr 11, 2005, 22:48
Villagers Riot in China, 50 Police Said Hurt
Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:11 AM EST

By Benjamin Kang Lim

BEIJING (Reuters) - Thousands of villagers rioted in eastern China, injuring dozens of police, after two of about 200 elderly women protesting over factory pollution died during efforts to disperse them, residents and officials said on Monday.

The rioting on Sunday in Huankantou village, Dongyang city, in the wealthy coastal province of Zhejiang coincided with violent anti-Japanese protests in China's capital, Beijing, and the southern cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen over the weekend.

It was the latest in a string of outbreaks of rural violence as the world's most populous nation faces disgruntlement over a widening wealth gap and widespread corruption.

The ruling Communist Party is keen to curb dissent and preserve social stability, but a spate of recent protests and their scale illustrate the extent of grievances in rural China.

More than 50 police were injured on Sunday and rushed to hospital, with five listed in critical condition, a doctor told Reuters. About four villagers were injured.

Police had tried to disperse about 200 elderly women who had kept a 24-hour vigil for two weeks at sheds and at a roadblock outside an industrial park housing about 13 chemical factories, villagers and local officials said by telephone.

Two of the women were killed, two villagers said. "They were run over by police cars," one said.

A source with knowledge of the incident who requested anonymity said the two had died during an attempt to arrest them. He did not elaborate, but a statement from the city government denied that anyone had been run over and killed.

Thousands of villagers clashed with police in riot gear, overturned about 10 police cars and hurled rocks at officers holed up in a local high school, residents and officials said.

"Villagers knocked down the wall of the school and charged in," one villager surnamed Wang said.

Residents also smashed the windows of about 50 buses which carried some 3,000 police, paramilitary police and security guards to the scene at about 3 a.m. on Sunday to try to disperse protesters, they said.

The article is here: http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=worldNews&storyID=2005-04-11T101109Z_01_N11203663_RTRIDST_0_INTERNATIONAL-CHINA-RIOT-DC.XML

Apr 11, 2005, 22:54
This is definitely not going the correct way...I think China was a timebomb waiting to go off all these years. :worried:

Apr 15, 2005, 18:37
Here is updated news about that.

A bloody revolt in a tiny village challenges the rulers of China

Protesters angry at corruption and poverty repelled 1,000 riot police. But now fear is replacing euphoria in Huankantou

Jonathan Watts in Huankantou
Friday April 15, 2005
The Guardian

There is a strange new sightseeing attraction in this normally sleepy corner of the Chinese countryside: smashed police cars, rows of trashed buses and dented riot helmets.

They are the trophies of a battle in which peasants scored a rare and bloody victory against the communist authorities, who face one of the most serious popular challenges to their rule in recent years.

In driving off more than 1,000 riot police at the start of the week, Huankantou village in Zhejiang province is at the crest of a wave of anarchy that has seen millions of impoverished farmers block roads and launch protests against official corruption, environmental destruction and the growing gap between urban wealth and rural poverty.

China's media have been forbidden to report on the government's loss of control, but word is spreading quickly to nearby towns and cities. Tens of thousands of sightseers and wellwishers are flocking every day to see the village that beat the police.
But the consequences for Huankantou are far from clear.

Having put more than 30 police in hospital, five critically, the 10,000 residents should be bracing for a backlash. Instead, the mood is euphoric. Children have not been to school since Sunday's clash. There are roadblocks outside the chemical factory that was the origin of the dispute. Late at night the streets are full of gawping tourists, marshalled around the battleground by proud locals who bellow chaotic instructions through loudspeakers.

"Aren't these villagers brave? They are so tough it's unbelievable," said a taxi driver from Yiwu, the nearest city. "Everybody wants to come and see this place. We really admire them."

"We came to take a look because many people have heard of the riot," said a fashionably dressed young woman who had come from Yiwu with friends. "This is really big news."


Iron Chef
Apr 15, 2005, 22:52
Wow... it never ceases to amaze me how as an American living abroad it is all too easy to take the freedoms we enjoy (both here in Japan and back home in the U.S.) for granted... Thanks for posting this (and the update as well) Wang.