Chinese officials sometimes make low-key concessions to local protests, especially after they are over, and also punish protest organizers. But Wukan turned negotiations into a rare public spectacle, watched by foreign reporters and discussed within China -- despite domestic censorship of news.
Protests in China have become relatively common over corruption, pollution, wages, and land grabs that local officials justify in the name of development.
Rural land in China is usually owned in name by village collectives. But in fact, government officials can mandate seizing land for development in return for compensation, which villagers often say is inadequate.
Lin Zuluan, the Wukan organizer, told reporters that officials also agreed that the village can hold democratic elections. In China, village committees are in theory elected, but in practice there are many restrictions -- formal and informal -- on votes.
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