China Defends Relocation Policy

Beijing says no one was forced to leave for the sake of the Olympics; the Washington Post finds otherwise.

Beijing officials on Tuesday defended their of nearly 15,000 people as part of the massive construction projects that have transformed the capital into a 31-venue showcase for this summer’s Olympic Games.

More than 6,000 households have voluntarily relocated from the venue sites over the past several years and all have been fairly compensated, Zhang Jiaming, vice chair of the Beijing Municipal Construction Committee, told reporters.

“The relocation project went very smoothly, so no one was forced out of their homes at any of the venues,” Zhang said.

But the official English language paper China Daily has its own version of the story, or half of the story to be more precise:

People living near the Bird’s Nest told China Daily the government-assigned developers paid the required compensation and affected residents moved out of their homes within a month in late 2002. There were no “nail houses”, or people who refused to leave, Na Heli, a former resident, said.

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