Drought Fuels Violence in China

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Drought Fuels Violence in China Sunday, July 16, 2000; Page A21

BEIJING, July 15  Farmers in drought-stricken eastern China who were worried that the government planned to block access to a reservoir fought with police in a clash that left one officer dead and 140 people injured, a human rights group reported today.

The confrontation highlights an increasingly dire water shortage in northern and eastern China. Drought has destroyed 35 million acres of crops this year and left 16.2 million people short of water, nearly a fifth of them in eastern Shandong province.

Officials concerned about protecting the Mushan Reservoir, one of Shandong's largest, decided in recent weeks to start a project to prevent seepage, the Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democracy said.

That alarmed farmers who had long relied on the seepage to irrigate their fields, and 5,000 of them blocked construction of the project July 6, the center said. They fought with 300 police sent to disperse them, and 100 farmers and 40 officers were wounded, the center said. One officer was beaten to death, it said.

Officials with the Mushan Reservoir Management Bureau and the Anqiu city government confirmed that a clash happened, but either contradicted or refused to comment on details of the Information Center account.

One official with the Anqiu propaganda department, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the farmers tried to break into the reservoir management bureau, fighting with its officials, not police.

Rapid development in the Chinese countryside has caused frequent disputes between farmers and officials over land-use rights, with some resulting in protests. The Information Center said there were 100,000 protests in China last year, up from 60,000 in 1998. All but a few go unreported by state-controlled media.

A U.S.-based human rights group reported another case of civil unrest today involving 1,000 people at a military factory in the central Chinese city of Chengdu in Sichuan province.

The head of the No. 3508 Factory recently sold the factory and announced that workers would receive two months' wages as severance, according to the Free China Movement in Washington.

Workers and their families besieged the factory on Thursday and have surrounded an office building, trapping the manager inside, the movement said.

Chengdu police contacted by telephone confirmed there were protests at the factory, but said only 30 demonstrators remained.

"They're still resolving the problem," said one police officer, who refused to give further details.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), July 17, 2000


This could happen here. The U. S. population is increasing and we are depleting our water at an alarming rate due to the unsustaninable growth in the U. S. population.

During the first century or so of our country's existence, (1776 to 1884), we received about two immigrants an hour; in the 1990s, we are admitting two+ immigrants a minute.

The level of legal immigration has doubled in the last twenty years.

In the 1990s, we have admitted enough new immigrants to make two new cities the size of Washington DC, every year.

The 1990 Immigration Act increased legal immigration by forty percent.

There are over twenty-five million immigrants already living in the United States; this is a larger population than 49 of the 50 states.

Average Annual Immigration Levels in American History: 1607-1775 -- 3,500 1776-1884 -- 14,200 1845-1900 -- 322,000 1901-1914 -- 923,000 1915-1965 -- 220,000 1966-1988 -- 482,000 or ? 1989- now -- 1,122,000 or ?

Right now, according to the US Census Bureau, immigration is accounting for 70% of U.S. population growth. Pre-1970 natives would have achieved zero growth by 2030 if the disastrous 1965 Immigration Act had not been passed. Yet Congress is mandating through its immigration policies that we grow at one of the fastest paces in the world. In this century, immigration will account for 90% of US population growth.

Thanks to immigration, our population is growing at the same rate as India's, which is to say at about 1% per year. This means our population will double in about 70 years if we don't take action.

And remember, historically, the Census Bureau underestimates. Furthermore, the numbers of illegal aliens pouring in is anybody's guess.

For more information: www.numbersusa.com

-- K (infosurf@yahoo.com), July 17, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ