China premier urges protection of farmers' rights

AP News
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Posted: Dec 27, 2011 10:50 AM
China premier urges protection of farmers' rights

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has urged officials to share profits from the development of rural land with the millions of farmers who have to give it up.

Wen's speech to officials at a work conference Tuesday comes a week after southern Chinese officials gave in to protesting villagers after a two-week standoff with police over a land dispute.

He says China can no longer sacrifice farmers' land rights for the sake of reducing the cost of urbanization and industrialization.

Last Wednesday, the village of Wukan called off protests that had driven out local officials after a provincial party official agreed to release detainees and return some confiscated land to farmers.

Land disputes cause tens of thousands of protests in China every year.