Qian Yunhui

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Qian Yunhui
Bornc. 1957
Died25 December 2010(2010-12-25) (aged 53)
NationalityChina Chinese
OccupationLocal politician, activist, land rights campaigner
Qian Yunhui
Simplified Chinese

Qian Yunhui (Chinese: 钱云会, 1957 – 25 December 2010), a 53-year-old elected and popular eastern Zhejiang province village head who had a long history of petitioning against alleged abuses by local government, died on December 25, 2010, after being crushed by the front wheel of a truck loaded with crushed rocks for a nearby building site operated by the Yueqing Electric Power Plant. Rumors emerged stating that Qian was held on the ground by four men in security personnel uniforms while the truck was driven slowly over him. A government press conference a week later announced that Qian had died in an ordinary traffic accident, struck and killed crossing the road.[1] An eyewitness by the name of Qian Chengwei (Chinese: 钱成委) said that he saw that four uniformed men held the victim down on the ground while the truck went on top of him. The eyewitness had since been arrested and detained by the police.[2] Other eyewitnesses including villager Huang Diyan (Chinese: 黄迪燕), claimed she saw four uniformed men with gloves struggle with Qian and then put his body under the front tire by force. The truck's owner/driver, Fei Liangyu (Chinese: 费良玉) was detained by the police, along with other villagers who questioned the police's investigation, including Qian's daughter.[3]

His family was paid 1.05 million Yuan (US$159,000).


The village of Zhaiqiao is located in the city of Yueqing (Chinese: 乐清市; pinyin: Yuèqīng shì), part of the prefecture-level city of Wenzhou (Chinese: 温州; pinyin: Wēnzhōu) in Zhejiang province.

Yueqing Electric Power Plant land dispute[edit]

There is an unresolved land dispute between villagers and the power plant.

Road block[edit]

On 17/12/2010, a fleet of trucks loaded with crushed rocks destined for the power plant were being stopped by the villagers.

On 18/12/2010, Qian ordered villagers to create a road block using electric power poles, preventing trucks from leaving or entering the power plant.

On 19/12/2010, a fleet of trucks loaded with crushed rocks were being blocked on the road again. The road was opened on 20/12/2010 after police removed the poles. Delivery of crushed rocks was resumed on 23/12/2010. And on 25/12/2010, Qian was crushed to death under the wheel of one of those trucks.

Internet response in China[edit]

Within hours of Qian's death, images of his dead body were circulating on Chinese websites such as Sina Weibo, Twitter, Google Buzz while many people expressed their disbelief in the official police explanation on these sites. As one Sina Weibo user wrote: “It’s become the habit of the majority of the people to suspect whatever the government says.”

Yasheng Huang, a MIT professor, stated: “No matter what the truth of Mr. Qian’s death, doesn’t this demonstrate a political crisis, considering the preference of public opinion? If you’re the ruler, shouldn’t you be feeling anxious and concerned? Even if you don’t strive for justice, equality and progress, shouldn’t you start considering (political) system reform simply for the sake of ruling?”

Chinese online grassroots activists[edit]

Well known Chinese online activist Wu Gan was among the first citizen reporters to visit the crime scene, and began interviewing local eyewitness. Wu has obtained a police video of the crime scene right after the victim's dead body being removed, and had since posted the video online. Wu regularly posted comments on Twitter and other internet platforms, and with the help of a group of Chinese lawyers, is offering free legal aid to villagers in need.[4]

Well known activist Xu Zhiyong also went to crime scene to conduct his own investigation.[5]


  1. ^ 浙江一上访村长遭撞死 传被5人按住由车碾压2010-12-27 来源: 深圳新闻网(深圳) (in Chinese). 2010-12-27.
  2. ^ 目击者称浙江乐清被轧死村民死前曾与4人扭打 (in Chinese).
  3. ^ "Village head's death sparks outrage". RTHK English News. 2010-12-28.
  4. ^ http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/12/30/china.villager.death/index.html Chinese villager's death sparks national outrage By Steven Jiang, CNN December 30, 2010 -
  5. ^ http://xuzhiyong.fyfz.cn/art/874568.htm Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine 公盟“钱云会之死真相”调查报告 发表时间:2010-12-31