China Threatens to Strike Down Revolt

    Residents of Wukan, a fishing village in the southern province of Guangdong, rally to demand the government take action over illegal land grabs and the death in custody of a local leader on December 15, 2011.  The village of around 13,000 inhabitants accuse local officials of stealing communal land without compensating them with anger boiling over with the death in police custody of a village leader tasked with negotiating with authorities over the row. CHINA OUT  AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

    Peter Parks / Getty Images

    Police and villagers in Wukan are locked in a standoff following the mysterious death of a prominent villager. The deadlock began in September over anger at officials who take over farmland and sell it to developers to pocket the profits. Authorities detained the villager’s representative, Xue Jinbo, last week, but he died on the third day of his detention. Officials blamed a sudden illness, but villagers suspect foul play and have once again taken to the streets. Wu Zili, the mayor of Shanwei prefecture, said, “The government will strike hard against the ringleaders who organize, provoke, and stir up unrest and carry out illegal crimes…It will consider handling with leniency those who honestly surrender.”

    Read it at The Wall Street Journal