Police Shoot Villager During Land Seizure Protest in China

An American story in China


In Communist China, the practice of government seizing land to turn over to developers (kind of like the practices upheld here in theU.S. in Kelo vs. New London) often leads to unrest among the villagers whose land's being seized.  Though the villagers don't often own the land outright (private property rights not so much respected in communist China), they do hold leases on the land and are theoretically supposed to be compensated for seizures, though they generally complain this compensation is too low.

On Friday, villagers outside the Northeastern city of Panjin had enough, and grabbed their hammers and sickles. Via Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency:

Wang Shujie, a 36-year old villager in Xinglongtai district of Panjin city, and his father, mother and elder brother chased policemen and road construction workers while wielding axes and sickles. They were also spraying petrol to stop the workers from building roads on their rice paddy, according to the city government.

Policeman Zhang Yan fired warning shots after his hand was injured by the father's sickle. The father then tried to grab the gun and during a wrestle, the father was shot in the leg, the government said.

At the time, Wang set himself ablaze and jumped at Zhang and was shot dead by the police officer.

The story has a somewhat American ending:

A government investigation showed that the shooting was justified because Zhang's life was threatened as he had petrol on his clothes.