Beijing Demolition Plan on Hold as “Voters” Object – Reuters

From the “nailhouse” in Chongqing to the Hutongs, it’s hard for Chinese to follow an idiom which says–“Be the Master of a Home”/‰∏ÄÂÆ∂‰πã‰∏ª. When the demolition plans goes forward for the Olympics, can Beijingers really decide whether or not to keep their homes? From Reuters:

A rare vote by residents of a dilapidated neighborhood has thrown the largest demolition project in Beijing in decades into doubt, a result state media on Monday described as an embarrassment for the developers.

State media hailed the “referendum” as significant in a country with a lucrative urban development business where arbitrary settlement terms, forced eviction and even “brutal demolition” are more common…

Rapid urban growth across the country in the past two decades has meant the tearing down of numerous neighborhoods to make way for office towers, hotels and upscale residential buildings. The scale of demolitions in Beijing has risen as it builds grandiose venues for the 2008 Summer Olympics.[Full Text]

See the original Chinese report from Sina.com. See also “Democracy Had Better Be Something First” from ESWN, a translation from the Southern Metropolis Daily on this topic.

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