Personal tools

Without forced demolition there can be no new China

From China Digital Space

Revision as of 09:30, 1 September 2011 by Sandra (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

没有强拆就没有新中国 (méi yǒu qiáng chāi jiù méi yǒu xīn zhōng guó): Without forced demolitions there can be no new China.

Forced demolitions in China are one of the major causes of social instability and anger at the government. These incidents often lead to violence when demolition crews or hired thugs clash with local residents.

One such incident occurred in Yihuang County in Jiangxi. To protest the forced demolition of their home, Ye Zhongcheng and two members of his family ignited themselves with gasoline.

A government official commenting on the incident wrote:

From a certain perspective, without forced demolitions then China will not be urbanized. If there is no urbanization then there will be no "brand-new China." Isn’t it then because of this that one could say that without forced demolitions there can be no "new China?"


The official’s statement set off a firestorm of criticism, within a day receiving on the website where it was posted more than 6,000 comments.

The official’s complete statement and commentary on the self-immolation incident are available here (Chinese) and here (English).

Similar incidents have occurred elsewhere. According to the Shanghai Daily:

On November 13, 2009, a 47-year-old woman, Tang Fuzhen, in southwest China's Sichuan Province, set herself on fire to protest the forced demolition of her house. She died in hospital 16 days later.

This March, a 92-year-old man and his 69-year-old son from Jiangsu Province torched themselves for the same reason. The son died.

In Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, 57-year-old Li Bingfeng is still waiting in her building - with eight bottles of gasoline. On the building there were banners with a statement by Premier Wen Jiabao: “All the things we do are aimed at letting people live more happily and with more dignity."

For more on this incident see here.


For more horrific pictures of the incident see here.