Party official who angered Wukan gains more power

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 January, 2012, 12:00am


The controversial top party official in Shanwei, which oversees the restive Wukan village in Guangdong, has consolidated his power, if not gained more, by being named chairman of the city's legislature.

Zheng Yanxiong, Shanwei's Communist Party secretary, came under heavy criticism last month when he blamed villagers in Wukan for 'colluding with foreign media to create trouble'.

In leaked video clips from an internal meeting last month - held while thousands of villagers protested against the government's illegal requisition of their collectively owned farmland without proper compensation - Zheng said pigs would fly before the foreign media could be trusted.

The conflict was not resolved until Guangdong party secretary Wang Yang sent his deputy, Zhu Mingguo, to speak to the villagers. Wang recently said the resolution held lessons for how the province could handle such problems.

When the news of Zheng's new job was made public, some thought that in being appointed to take charge of the legislature he had been sidelined, and celebrated. But he remains Shanwei party chief.

Huang Xianjia, the deputy propaganda chief in Lufeng county, Shanwei, stressed yesterday that Zheng was still party secretary in the city, and that the job of 'top legislator is nothing more than a second job Zheng concurrently holds'. Huang said there was no indication Zheng would step down as party chief.

Meanwhile, the Guangzhou Daily reported that Fang Ming, a deputy to the people's congress in the city of Foshan in Guangdong has come under attack from thousands of internet users after saying, on the sidelines of the legislature's annual meeting on Monday: 'The public can be unruly when they are spoiled.'

Her words contrasted with those of Zhu, who praised the public for being 'most adorable and respectable' and cautioning officials not to anger the public.

Fang said that, just as it was hard to make a spoiled child obedient, ordinary civilians should be disciplined not given preferential treatment. She said the spoiling she was referring to was when the government met civilians' unreasonable demands.

Her remarks have drawn about 60,000 microblog comments, with most critical of her for not siding with the public or sticking up for them. Others vented their anger by urging her to quit her job as a teacher, saying they did not want her to be a bad influence on children.