Chinese cautious over ‘idea of democracy’

China was rocked by an uprising in village named Wukan where thousands of villagerss packed off local officials.

Last Updated: Dec 27, 2011, 21:08 PM IST

Beijing: Chinese officials have been asked to refrain from using force in dealing with agitations as the "ideas of democracy" is beginning to take root in the one
party state, amid rise in anti-government protests, including that against land seizures and a coal plant.

"We are facing new challenges as ideas of democracy, equality and rights are taking root among the public," Zhu Mingguo, vice secretary of the Guangdong provincial committee of the ruling Communist Party of China, (CPC), at a workshop to maintain stability.

"We need to resolve issues of people`s immediate interests and concerns in a timely manner," official Xinhua news agency quoted Zhu as saying.

"We need to improve the conflict resolution mechanism to provide channels for people to freely express their concerns," he said.

China this month was rocked by an uprising of sorts in village named Wukan in Guangdong province where thousands of villages packed off local officials and held series of demonstrations to protest against the death of their leader in police custody.

The villagers rose up as one protest against the seizure of land. In retaliation officials laid a seize of the village, which caught the national and international media thanks to microblog networks.

Zhu is the key government official who initiated the negotiations to end violent protests and a tense stand-off between police and residents in the village of Wukan.

The "powder keg" was not defused until last Thursday when Zhu, in a direct dialogue with villagers, admitted that the protesting villagers` main requests were reasonable and promised a "fair and open" investigation into the grievances, Xinhua report said.

"If the complaint is fairly addressed in the first place, would things boil up like this?" Zhu told officials attending the workshop on Monday.

Similarly About 500 villagers from the fishing township of Haimen in the city of Shantou demonstrated several days blocking the traffic on highways to protest against a coal smelter plant.

The protests were called off after government assured that it would not be built without their consent.

Zhu urged local officials to use microblogs and online chat services, as well as traditional home visits to hear people`s complaints.

PTI