1 Jan 2012

Land complaints now seen as legitimate

1:27 pm on 1 January 2012

Investigators in Southern China now acknowledge that villagers who rebelled against officials in protest against land-grabs had legitimate complaints.

Ten days of protests over confiscated farmland and the death of a protest organiser in Wukan in Guangdong province last month drew widespread attention.

State news agency Xinhua said on Friday that the residents had legitimate complaints'' against officials over ''wrongdoing concerning land use and financial management''.

Xinhua said a provincial investigation team found that Lufeng Fengtian livestock company used ''more land than was officially approved.

Land and Resources Department deputy head Yang Junbo was quoted as saying another company, Guangdong Yidazhou Group, was in arrears with its land compensation to village residents, Yang added.

Xinhua said Xue Chang, a former Communist Party boss for the village, also embezzled money to buy a vehicle for personal use''.

The investigation is continuing. No further details were provided.

Protests in China have become relatively common over corruption, pollution and land grabs.