Disneyland Project in Shanghai Spotlights Forced Evictions in China

Nearly 2,000 households will be relocated for the $3.5 billion Disneyland development project in Shanghai, which is set to open in 2014. The Washington Post spotlights one of these relocated households, the family of Wang Quanlin:

It took years and all of the family’s life savings, but in 2008, retiree Wang Quanlin finally completed his dream home. It was spacious, two stories with an attic, and had new furnishings inside.

Then last fall came an unexpected notice from the Shanghai city government. The entire area had been slated for a new development project — a Disneyland theme park. The Wang family would have to move, and their house would be demolished.

The Wangs’ uphill legal battle to stay in their home, or to get what they consider fair compensation, is about to end. The government is set to turn over the land in July for the $3.5 billion Disney project, and the family — having exhausted its protests and appeals — will be relocated to two much smaller apartments.

[…] It’s a story being repeated all over China, as the country’s breakneck economic growth has created a property boom and developers, often working hand in hand with local officials, rush to cash in. Often that means the government seizing land for projects deemed in the “public interest,” and ordinary Chinese who lack high-level connections being forced out of their longtime homes and neighborhoods with meager compensation.


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