Land Confiscation in Hebei: Crops Burn and Farmers Weep

The photos published in the report show Quzhou farmers kneeling and crying in front of their farmland while bulldozers arranged by government authorities destroy wheat fields, apple trees, and cherry trees that were 10 days from harvest. (Image: YouTube/Screenshot)
The photos published in the report show Quzhou farmers kneeling and crying in front of their farmland while bulldozers arranged by government authorities destroy wheat fields, apple trees, and cherry trees that were 10 days from harvest. (Image: YouTube/Screenshot)

Local government officials in China are often very corrupt. The following incident from 2013 shows how little corrupt officials care for the people they are supposed to serve. Such corruption is still rampant in China today.

According to a Hebei News Agency report from June 2013, the Quzhou municipal government of Handan City, Hebei Province, expropriated land by force at the end of May. The land confiscation took place despite only 10 days remaining until harvest time. Farmers’ sheds were destroyed, wheat was burned, and fruit trees were chopped down. The news enraged mainland netizens.

According to the report, the local government of Quzhou County labeled the act as “land preservation.” They neither nationalized the land nor disclosed its future usage to the farmers. They didn’t follow the official procedures for land acquisition, so the legality of the move remained in question.

The photos published in the report show Quzhou farmers kneeling in front of their farmland. While they watched bulldozers arranged by government authorities destroy wheat fields, apple trees, and cherry trees that were 10 days from harvest, they were helpless to do anything but cry.

land confiscation

The Quzhou municipal government of Handan City, Hebei Province, expropriated land by force despite only 10 days remaining until harvest time. Farmers’ sheds were destroyed, wheat was burned and fruit trees were chopped down. (Image: YouTube/Screenshot)

The report was posted on Sina Weibo (a Chinese version of Twitter) more than 24,000 times and discussions were heated.

Most netizens did not understand why the government authorities did not wait another 10 days until after harvest time. Even if they wanted to expropriate the land by force, was it necessary to destroy everything regardless of the waste to resources it caused?

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