Now some may question why the focus on these villagers. The question this website seeks to answer is the one posed by Robert McNamara, "I think the human race needs to think more about killing... about conflict. Is that what we want in this 21st century?" But, in the big-picture, long-view sort of way, I believe this fits.
Here's why. In 1988 the Chinese government began allowing for direct elections in villages of local officials. This was done to ease tensions between the villagers and the government. The government also picked the villagers because they are the lest educated and most "back ward" part of China's population thus making elections easier to control and manipulate if need be. A year earlier, in 1987, former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping promised national elections in 50 years.
As I've stated before, revolutions of the kinds that nations on their heads (think American, French and Russian revolutions) happen as life starts to get better.
One would think that revolutions in a given society happen when people are at their lowest. The truth is often the opposite. Revolutions occur as life begins to improve in the lives of the average citizen. As the citizens begin to take more control of their lives, they become more disenchanted with their state. If the state doesn't change fast enough to keep its people happy, revolution occurs.
Life has gotten marginally better in the villages of China. Life hasn't improved as much as in the urban centers over the past decade, but just the ability to vote in a semi-democratic way is an improvement. Now that they've been empowered (however slightly) for seventeen years, they feel they have control over their lives. This feeling of control, of responsibility, leads to the voicing of complaints when things aren't being done or when things go wrong. The clashes in Tasihi, Dongzhou and Hong Kong over the last few months are because of a growing internal Chinese frustration.
Add the problems China is having in Tasihi (and has been having since the summer - by the way, I intend to post a full timeline of events from all three cities after the holidays) to the demonstrations in Hong Kong and it becomes easier to see the root of the over reaction in Dongzhou earlier this month.
As of right now, everything we're hearing about is coming from Guangdong province but is their any doubt it is limited to just this one province?