Foreign media fails to trick Wukan villagers on rumor

By Shui Mei Published: 2016/9/15 0:02:52

After police in Lufeng, a city in South China’s Guangdong Province that oversees Wukan Village, arrested 13 people on Tuesday morning at the village for disrupting public order and inciting illegal assemblies, life began to return to normal.

However, this seems to be too much to take for some foreigners who appear to be obsessed about the village. On Tuesday, rumors that a Wukan woman in her 80s died after she was hit by two projectiles were hyped by some overseas websites and people who have no relation or even connection with the old woman. Some even organized memorials for her. However, in a report carried on local media on Tuesday afternoon, a reporter interviewed the aforementioned old woman named Qian Xiuxiang, who just underwent surgery and was being treated at Lufeng People’s Hospital. “I’m still alive,” Qian said.

According to the report, Qian, 83, was brought to the hospital Tuesday morning for upper-left arm injuries. She was operated on to remove the foreign objects and is now in stable condition. Preliminary analysis suggests that her injuries were caused by shrapnel from home-made bombs used for fishing.

The short local report clarified Qian’s current situation and what caused her injuries. And this negated foreign media reports. To save face, some of them cited Zhuang Liehong as the source of the death rumor. Zhuang, a leader of the 2011 protests in Wukan, later became a so-called dissident and fled to the US to avoid penalties for alleged economic crimes. But he hasn’t stopped meddling in the Wukan situation whenever Westerners ask him to comment.

Since Lin Zulian was arrested for alleged corruption, the storm in Wukan lasted over 80 days. On land-related issues raised by villagers, Shanwei and Lufeng authorities have neither dodged the problems nor shifted their responsibilities to others. According to a local government official, the authorities have already addressed the incidents. For issues that could not be immediately resolved, such as Wukan’s land disputes with seven neighboring villages, platforms for negotiations have been established, in which government will play the role of mediator. And the government has also explained to the villagers the unreasonable, illegal issues that cannot be settled, including Lin’s empty promise of 480,000 yuan.

More than two months have passed, and a majority of Wukan villagers have calmed down and only about a hundred villagers are still creating a disturbance. The reasons behind their moves are complicated. Most of them are Lin’s family members, and some others are so poor that they hope to make some money through inciting trouble. And a few are taking orders from foreign forces.

Some foreign media sent their reporters to the village to wait for conflicts between police and villagers to happen right after they heard about the Wukan incident. Unfortunately, they waited for nothing in the end. The local government chose to avoid conflicts and confrontations. Even though some foreign media have been unscrupulously inciting, planning, and directing chaos, local police have not resorted to violence to solve the issue. After Lin’s case was filed in court, heard and judged, more and more people have discovered the true motive of those who have been creating trouble.

Obviously, some foreign forces have lost patience over the local government’s composure in China. They don’t want this “fight for human rights” to end that easily. So they exaggerated everything they heard and even faked the grandmother’s death.

Shakespeare once said that rumor is like a flute. Guesswork, suspicion, and speculation are the breath that makes it sound. Those foreign forces are addicted to the flute and have even turned their illusions into the truth. But Wukan villagers have long seen through such tricks. And they are not interested in being fooled.

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