Police are now ordered not to participate in land grabs and home demolitions. If this is actually enforced, this could be one of the best new regulations coming out of the two big meetings, making it our news story of the week.
One of the few Communist holdovers in China is that the gov’t still technically owns all of the land. Farmers only have agreements to work the land, but in recent years greedy local gov’ts have been taking it from them to sell to developers (again the developers don’t own the land, just the rights to build on it).
This would be a huge step in slowing down local corruption, and I can’t stress this enough, if it is enforced.
Home demolitions have been a touchy subject these past few months after at least three people have decided to set themselves on fire to protest the demolition of their homes. Often the police take the side of the developers and force these residents to accept weak compensation for their property, or take drastic actions.
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For the past three years the BBC have been following the life stories of people in White Horse Village, Sichuan. Carrie Gracie, a BBC newsreader who speaks fluent Mandarin, has been back recently and found a bunch of people who are refusing to move into their new accommodation. They say it is shoddily built. Their houses were compulsorily purchased a year or two ago. Now they are in limbo. The village has virtually gone now, swallowed up by the encroaching city. People want to better themselves but the poor standard of new buildings is obviously a great concern for them.
I had a funny talk with a teacher at a school about these forced relocations. She was jealous that they got such nice apartments, but didn’t seem to realize that those apartments had removed them from their only source of income. Shoddy buildings, in Sichuan?! Unimaginable! (this is sarcasm)