China will continue cracking down on rural gangsters who manipulate village elections, encroach upon collective assets and terrorize the countryside, a ministry spokesperson said Wednesday.
"For civil affairs departments, the focus of the anti-crime campaign remains in rural areas where villagers autonomously run village affairs," said the spokesperson for the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
"The crackdown targets gangsters who manipulate village elections, enter village committees or put their proxies on the committees instead. It is forbidden for gangsters to interfere with village affairs, monopolize rural resources, encroach upon collective assets, or use family or clan influence to terrorize the countryside and bully fellow villagers," the spokesperson said.
"At present, most village committees are good. Only a tiny number are related to gangs," the spokesperson said, adding that enhanced oversight and more checks would be enforced to root out rural gangsters.