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December 29, 2009

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Villagers back accused leader

HUNDREDS of people in a south China village took to the street pleading support for their former village Party secretary, who was accused by other villagers of embezzling 3 billion yuan (US$439 million) during his 20-year tenure.

More than 400 villagers said they are backing Chen Caixing, former Party secretary of Shenzhen City's Shayi Village, because Chen has transformed their poor fishing village into the richest one in south China, the Guangzhou Daily reported yesterday.

Chen is now president of Shayi Village's township enterprise and all villagers in Shayi are shareholders in it.

A 90-year-old woman put her fingerprint on the petition letter, saying she was helping the former secretary because she could get more than 7,000 yuan in dividends every month just for being a villager in Shayi.

Every villager in Shayi village could get at least 4,500 yuan as dividends from the township enterprise, according to the report.

They said protecting the old Party secretary is protecting their own interest.

Yet other villagers said instead of being a good village manager, Chen was more a parasite on Shayi Village as he has made the village a personal property of his own family.

One unnamed villager posted on Internet forums that Chen arranged for his son Chen Guangpei to be the village Party secretary after he retired, the newspaper said.


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