Archive for the ‘peasants’ Category

China Announces Land Policy Aimed at Promoting Income Growth in Countryside

October 13, 2008

BEIJING — Chinese leaders said Sunday that they would adopt a rural growth policy aimed at vastly increasing the income of China’s hundreds of millions of farmers by the year 2020, setting in motion what could be the nation’s biggest economic reform in years.

The new policy is intended to stimulate market-driven economic growth in the countryside and to narrow the enormous income disparity between rural and urban Chinese, one of the largest such gaps in the world. Its adoption is another significant step away from the system of communal farming and collectivization put in place under Mao.

Above: Chinese farmer works veggies in western China. (Photo: Reuters)

The announcement, made through reports in state news organizations on Sunday night, came at the end of the Communist Party’s annual four-day planning session. The reports did not give details of the reform, nor did they say when the plan would take effect. Policy decisions made at the planning session are often given pro forma approval by the National People’s Congress in an annual meeting the following March before details are unveiled and implementation begins.

Scholars and government advisers said in interviews during the four-day session that the new policy would allow China’s more than 800 million peasants to engage in the unrestricted trade or sale of land-use contracts, good for decades, that are given to them by the government. Adopting such a system would be a significant move toward privatization.

Since early October, state news media have run stories extolling the virtues of a system in which farmers would be able to trade, purchase or sell their land rights.

State news reports on Sunday night described the rural reform package in general terms, but said that a new land management system would be put in place. A draft of the new policy that had been written up by the Central Committee began….

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Communist Vietnam blaming foreign forces for democracy protests

September 8, 2007

By Bill Gertz

U.S. officials say the communist government in Vietnam has broken its silence on public protests over land claims by asserting that foreign hostile forces are behind the unrest.

Rallies have been held from June through August in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Party and military newspapers have identified senior monks of the outlawed Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam and two leading pro-democracy dissidents for their alleged roles in seeking to exploit the protests.

The monks were identified as UBCV leaders Thich Quang Do and Thich Khong Tanh, and the pro-democracy activists are Nguyen Khac Toan and Hoang Minh Chinh.The Vietnamese army newspaper called them “dirty puppets” over overseas forces. And the Communist Party daily compared them to two traitors in Vietnamese history, Le Chieu Thong and Tran Ich Tac. Thong, the last king of an 18th century dynasty, is known for inviting the Chinese to invade in an effort to retain his position. Tac, a 13th century prince, is known for surrendering to a Mongolian army in order to become king.

The Party commentary said the two monks and two dissidents will “be exposed and spat on” by the Vietnamese people like the earlier traitors.

The demonstrations have received no press attention in the West.

Vietnam: U.S. Congresswoman Expresses Concern

As illegal land grabs increase, so does unrest in China

Vietnam: Farmers Protest Government Land Seizures

Vietnam: Some Suspect Up to 100 Dead in Protest Movement

July 21, 2007

Peace and Freedom has been unable to corroborate this report from Afriquenligne, the French language on-line news service consortium serving Africa.

Report received July 21, 2007

An eyewitness report coming out of The Socialist Republic of Vietnam states that Police in Ho Chi Minh City have detained about 200 political protesters and are being blamed for the deaths of over 100.

Farmers were protesting the government’s seizures of land and “free expression.” The protesters were peacefully demonstrating outside a government office on Wednesday, June 27 in order for the Vietnamese Government to return property it has seized and occupied since late 1975, when the South Vietnamese government was capitulated.

Vietnamese living in the United States are holding memorial services on Sunday, July 22 in cemeteries and memorials focusing on the Vietnam War.

“The crackdown on this demonstration shows Hanoi continues to curtail people’s rights. If Vietnam really has joined the community of nations, it should tolerate dissent, not crush it,” said deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, Sophie Richardson.

Thus far, the Vietnamese government has denied all allegations, stating that they did not detain any of the protesters, that no one was harmed, and the protesters returned to their homes peacefully and of their own will. However several Vietnamese in the country have been unable to contact family members who were part of the demonstration.

A Wikinewsie personally witnessed the police roundup of the demonstrators while on the way to a shop near the airport, when police began using nets to capture and drag the protesters, then throwing them in the back of a Vietnamese military vehicle.

Vietnam: Farmers Protest Government Land Seizures

Vietnam: U.S. Congresswoman Expresses Concern