China Threatens to Strike Down Revolt

Police and villagers in Wukan are locked in a standoff following the mysterious death of a prominent villager. The deadlock began in September over anger at officials who take over farmland and sell it to developers to pocket the profits. Authorities detained the villager’s representative, Xue Jinbo, last week, but he died on the third day of his detention. Officials blamed a sudden illness, but villagers suspect foul play and have once again taken to the streets. Wu Zili, the mayor of Shanwei prefecture, said, “The government will strike hard against the ringleaders who organize, provoke, and stir up unrest and carry out illegal crimes…It will consider handling with leniency those who honestly surrender.”