Demolitions Cause Most Social Unrest
China Daily covers recent research by the Research Center for Social Contradiction, attached to the Office of Letters and Calls which handles petitions in Beijing. Their poll results illustrate problems faced by those relocated to make way for construction and development projects, including inadequate compensation and lack of transparency:
Nearly 70 percent of those polled said they had come across problems in the course of demolitions and relocations, such as problems related to compensation and forced eviction ….
Economic loss caused by relocation compensation was the most serious effect because the compensation tended to be less than the value of demolished properties. About 36 percent of respondents said they had been given compensation plans well below market value.
About 10 percent said they had not received the full compensation promised in the demolition contracts.
A lack of information related to demolition led to many of the compensation problems, the report said ….
Demolition and relocation could be fairer if people were given stronger rights to information about the process and were allowed to participate in it, the report added. They should also be allowed to demand their rights in accordance with the law through negotiation.
These issues were brought to the fore in May by the bombing of government buildings by Qian Mingqi, who had fought for years to receive due compensation for the demolition of his property. Many Chinese sympathised with Qian after the bombings, with some even proclaiming him a hero.