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Chinese Revolt Leader Appointed Village Chief

File Photo shows Lin Zuluan, a representative from the village of Wukan in Lufeng county, Guangdong province, followed by members of the international media as he leaves his home, December 21, 2011

A man who led mass protests against land confiscations in a southern China village has been appointed as its head, in a rare move by China's government.

China's state run news agency, Xinhua, says Lin Zuluan has become the new party head of Wukan village in southern Guangdong province. It said Lin would help to organize elections for a new village committee.

Lin was one of the leaders of weeks of protests in Wukan in which villagers demanded an end to local government corruption and illegal land grabs. The protests flared in December when one of the village leaders died in police custody.

Residents then barricaded the town and demanded the release of several village leaders who had been imprisoned.

In a rare response, Chinese government officials called the demands reasonable and released the village leaders.

Protests in China over corruption, pollution, wages and land seizures have become more common in recent years, in part, analysts say, because of the spiraling growth of the Internet.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.