Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 17, 2012, 7:59 p.m. EST by ShubeLMorgan2
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Protesting villagers in China win rare compromise Add Comment Have Your Say Email Story Send to a Friend Share This Tell Your Friends Tweet This Tweet This More Share It (AP) BEIJING — Southern Chinese authorities have given in to key demands of protesting villagers after a nearly two-week standoff with police, agreeing in a rare compromise to release detainees and return some confiscated land to farmers.
Guangdong's deputy Communist Party secretary Zhu Mingguo told Wukan village protest leader Yang Semao on Wednesday that four villagers being held by police would be released over the next few days, Yang told The Associated Press.
"So now we are cautiously optimistic," Yang said.
The significance of the authorities' unusual concession in Wukan depends on how the details are played out, but it could affect the way other protests are handled, particularly in the corner of coastal southern China that has seen periodic unrest over the last few years. To Wukan's northeast, the coastal town of Haimen saw a second day of protests Wednesday over a planned coal-fired power plant.
Conflicts over land disputes and other issues in much of Guangdong province have been intense because the area is among China's most economically developed, pushing up land prices.
Underscoring the government's concerns about public discontent, China's security czar Zhou Yongkang met Wednesday with law and order officials and told them to improve the resolution of social conflicts and promote fair and honest law enforcement, state media reported.