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600m rural residents to vote in 2013: official

By He Dan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-03-13 17:00

About 600 million people in rural China will participate in direct elections for village committees by the end of 2013, said Jiang Li, vice-minister of civil affairs, at a news conference on Wednesday.

Jiang said there are 589,000 village committees in rural areas on the mainland, 98 percent were formed through direct elections.

She stressed that the direct election of a new village committee in Wukan village in South China's Guangdong province last March was not an exceptional case in China.

Local villagers in Wukan rallied to protest against illegal land seizures and corruption in late 2011 and months later they voted to select their new leaders after the intervention of the provincial government.

Jiang said the protest was because of economic disputes and the newly elected village committee should solve the remaining problems by engaging all local farmers in the decision making process.

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