The last straw for the 10,000 residents of Wukan, Guangdong, was when a member of the village was allegedly beaten to death by local police. After many years of putting up with corruption from local officials and police, they have had enough.
The villagers don’t blame the central Chinese government, and in fact still have a strong support for the Chinese Communist Party. However, they are blaming the corruption which they believe is rife locally.
Most of the tension between the local government and the residents of Wukan has been over land disputes, as the villagers’ land is slowly taken over by developers.
Probably due to government fear of ‘Occupy-style’ protests or ‘Arab-Spring’ revolutions starting in China, the village has been stormed by baton-armed police officers. Tear gas was also allegedly used.
Coincidentally, the villager who is believed to have been killed by police, though they deny it, was a spokesperson trying to sort out the land ownership causing the disputes.
As with the Arab Spring, citizens are starting to call for Democracy. They want to elect their local leaders. And with the power that the Chinese people have when unified, looks like the Chinese government has something to worry about.