Villagers rise up
The week's news at a glance.
Police fired rubber bullets into a crowd of unarmed farmers in rural China this week to break up a protest against land seizures. At least 10 people were seriously injured. It was the latest in a series of protests sweeping through rural villages this summer. The state owns all land in China, and peasant farmers must lease their farms. Increasingly, they are being kicked off their land uncompensated, as local Communist Party officials confiscate farms for development projects, often for personal profit. Between 1999 and 2002, the last period for which figures are available, 1.5 million farmers were stripped of around 300,000 acres.