The Bitter Earth

Ryan Pyle for TIME

Stumbling blocks: A worker clears the rubble of farmers' homes in Jiangsu province that were razed to make way for a tourism complex

The farmers of Zhuhai village knew they were courting trouble. With the help of a Beijing lawyer discovered through the Internet, they filed a suit against local authorities to try to stop what they said was the illegal expropriation of their land for a tourism complex. Sure enough, as the case dragged through the courts over the past year, the remaining residents of what was once a picturesque village set amid the bamboo-forested hills of Jiangsu province about 125 miles (200 km) west of Shanghai say they were subject to intimidation ranging from officials pressuring their employers to downright...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!