For two years after a cataclysmic earthquake struck a remote and wild part of China’s northwestern Qinghai province, Baobao and 29 other homeless ethnic Tibetan residents occupied the area outside several government buildings to denounce a land grab.
But no officials in Gyegu – known in Chinese as Yushu – would listen to their pleas, said Baobao, 41, a burly Tibetan odd-job laborer, who goes by only one name.
Government officials, he said, were threatening to forcibly relocate some 600 people – mostly Tibetans – from what was prime real estate in order to rebuild Gyegu as what officials billed as an “ecological tourism centre”.
The move has triggered resentment as two of China’s most volatile social issues – land grabs and perceived mistreatment of ethnic minorities – combine to raise tensions and threaten social stability in the region.
Just down the street, officials’ homes have been spared from the…
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