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Tangjialing: the compensation amount kept changing

March 27, 2013

konjaku: retracing the demolition and rebuilding of Tangjialing village, these posts go back to 2010.

Tangjialing villagers, dissatisfied with the compensation for demolition and removal, seek an audience with the authorities


Villagers assemble at provincial government office

Villagers assemble at provincial government office

Government staff member addresses villagers

Government staff member addresses villagers

More than 100 Tangjialing villagers assembled at the Xibeiwang district government entrance, stating that they have not yet been informed of the details of the compensation settlement, and  they request that the settlement which was recently announced publicly be cancelled, until they have time to discuss it and give their input. The district government is investigating the matter.

On the 12th, the compensation settlement for Tangjialing village was reported by various media outlets. In reaction to this, the 100 villagers yesterday came to meet with the official in charge of the demolition, Mr Zhao, assistant town headman, asking that the settlement as published be rescinded, because the compensation amounts are less than what was originally cited to them.

Villager Li Yu (alias) said, when she heard the details on t.v., she was stunned. “This was nothing like I heard before.” She said, in the middle of the 4th month, the compensation proposal was presented to the village. Then the highest payment standard was 3800 yuan per square meter. The village representatives rejected this. In the new proposal, the high standard is 3000 yuan. Many villager say they do not understand how this proposal, which offers less, could have been accepted by the village.

How could this proposal have been passed? The villagers have now learned, that apparently this new proposal passed by a large margin of votes in the village representative assembly.  There were 43 representatives, each one a delegate for 15 households. Now they have become the targets of public criticism and scorn.

“Now, whenever anyone sees me they curse me and say I should not have signed, ”said Zhang Ying (alias). She feels that she did not know what was going on at the time,  and was essentially deceived. On 05-08 at 10:00 AM, she received a  notice from the village committee to attend a meeting. Soon afterward, with 15 other representatives, she was taken by car to the Guesthouse. In the conference room, a village cadre had her sign a blank piece of paper. “He said it was a consent form for the work team entering the village to do the demolition.” The meeting continued until noon. Then some delegates proposed taking a break for lunch as they had in the past, but the cadre refused. However, one batch of delegates signed, and they were invited to a meal with wine.

The next day,  Zhang Ying with 32 other delegates was taken to Xiaotangshan [a hot spring resort], where they met with the remaining 11. At that time, a majority of the delegates ended up signing their names. Another delegate who wouldn’t give his or her name confirmed  Zhang Ying’s account. As for the villagers criticizing the delegates for being taken to the hot springs, Zhang Ying responded that the delegates take a pleasure trip in the 8th month every year, this year it just happened to come sooner. Another 60 year old delegate said he or she came wearing a swim suit, without understanding there was going to be a meeting.

Xiaotangshan hot spring

Xiaotangshan hot spring

A Xibeiwang township official said all the village delegates signatures were taken down and recorded at the assembly of all the delegates. At that time, they all knew what they were signing. Only later, when they were afraid of taking responsibility, did they falsely claim they did not know what they were signing.

A number of villagers believe that the village committee hoped to shirk responsibility for demolition of the village, and lay it instead on the shoulders of the village delegates. Since the village delegates had not yet informed villagers of the proposed plan or had a chance to hear the villagers’ opinions on it, they could not actually be said to represent the villagers.

Yesterday [the day more than 100 Tangjialing villagers assembled at the Xibeiwang district government entrance] the villagers gradually returned home at 10 at night.. Villager Liu stated, at 9 PM, a government staff member received them to hear them out. The staff member promised to send a team to the village to conduct a further investigation, “but the staff member said the compensation package would not change.”

Source:Jinghua Times, reporter Zhang Weihua

Tangjialing demolition and removal process involves corruption

Tangjialing before demolition

Tangjialing before demolition

Demolition begins

Demolition begins

To a certain extent, the problems that occurred in the the demolition and rebuilding of Tangjialing, are a microcosm of the other 50 focal point villages.

On 7-6, the hottest day in Beijing since the beginning of summer 2010, Li Cunbei (a pseudonym), wearing a yellow t-shirt, was waiting at the south gate of Tangjialing for a bus. “ I already found a new place. I just came back today to move my t.v.” Li Cunbei came from Gansu to Beijing, and has been struggling to make a go of it. Because Tangjialing is being demolished, he has to move from his residence of two years, to a rental three kilometers farther out, near Beijing Physical Education University, paying 300 yuan a month.

Behind Li Cunbei, and across the street, the rumble and roar of machinery drowns out the sound of the summer cicadas. Temporary workers, in this soup of 40 degree heat, are wielding hammers and pickaxes. Shops all have signs saying “Relocation sale–bargain prices,” and everywhere, amid the utter dilapidation, are hung red posters urging villagers to move out as soon as possible…

Even though there was an incentive award offered of 50,000 yuan for villagers who moved out early, almost none of the Tangjialing villagers accepted this and moved. On the contrary, as far back as 2010-05,  two documents, “The Tangjialing villagers appeal to the authorities,” and “Accusation Letter” signed with the villagers’ real names, were delivered to the Haidian District Commission for Inspecting Discipline.

A China Business reporter got exclusive access to these documents, upon which 1300 Tangjialing villagers signed and affixed seals, accusing the Tangjialing party branch secretary Qu Fu of “using his official powers to conclude and sign a sham agreement for personal profit,” with “huge amounts of property going unidentified.”

Tangjialing village  is one case of the urban rural unification project, here undertaken jointly by Beijing city and the Haidian district government. The push to demolish and rebuild at all possible speed did not go as smoothly as imagined.

Li Cunbei works as an electrician at construction sites. In a good month he makes 3800 to 3900 yuan, in a not so good month barely 3000. For him, 300 yuan is not a small amount. But the Tangjialing villagers, in which one household has a monthly income of under 900 yuan, now face the loss of rental income from 50,000 migrant workers, on which they depended.

The Beijing outer suburb where Tangjialing is located, is only 3 or 4 kilometers from Zhongguancun (Beijing’s “silicon valley”) and Peking University Science park. Because of this, the area drew as many as 50,000 members of the “ant tribe” (college graduates and other migrants seeking work). Not only did they rent, they needed to eat –this demand hastened Tangjialing’s development, and it became famous as  the urban village with the greatest concentration of the “ant tribe.”

“Since 2006, when the village was linked up to public transportation, the mass of people coming from outside to rent rapidly expanded. ” A village insider told this reporter that the village committee has not yet been able to reach an agreement with the villagers as a whole as to compensation (for demolition and removal). 2800 villagers, an absolute majority, are worried about their loss of income from rentals.

This China Business reporter has found that in the first six months of 2010, the Xibeiwang town government (which has jurisdiction over Tangjialing village) and the village committee have five times issued notices, encouraging the villagers to move out quickly, so the village can be demolished.

According to the 6-18 report, from 7-18 to 10-15, there will be three 30 day periods in which inducement awards will be offered. The  compensation statement for the first period stipulates 50,000 yuan ($8000) for moving out of household compound in advance of the specified date, for cooperating with the construction 250,000 yuan ($40,102), if one’s house has a second story there would be a supplement of 200,000 yuan ($32,000). In the second period amounts are reduced. Cooperating with the construction goes down to 200,000 yuan, the supplement for a second story becomes 100,000 yuan. In the third period moving out before the date is 50,000 yuan, cooperating is 150,000 yuan($24,000).

“The standard for compensation kept changing. At first it was 3000 yuan per square meter,  then it dropped to 2500, then 1500. For a second story, it was only 800 yuan per square meter. ”A person in the know stated, “ Even though the village committee sent people to measure the surface area of each household,  in some cases confirmation of those numbers is still in progress. Those that have been confirmed, match the village committee numbers. However, these figures are not the same as the villagers’ own measurements. If there was any household that borrowed money to build additions to their homestead exceeding 267 square meters, the village committee limited their area eligible for compensation to 266 square meters.”

In regard to the many disputes that have emerged, the People’s Mediation Committee member Dong Haiquan said he had not yet received all the villagers opinions. At the same time, he divulged that he had little contact with the party branch secretary  Qu Fu, “I don’t have his cell phone number.”

In Tangjialing the process of demolition and relocation has already begun. But aside from the guesthouse which was on village collective land, the only house being demolished is that of the son of Qu Fu, which has now lost its second story.

Qu Fu is going along with the leaders’ orders and is taking the lead in demolishing his own house, but this is all on the surface. In reality, he is getting the maximum amount of compensation by demolishing, but he also owns a villa and two other multi-story buildings.” A villager told this reporter, that the villagers have changed the words of the village song, to go, “Qu Fu moves out of his house but he still has a villa to go to, the villagers demolished and have nowhere to live. Qu Fu demolishes Le po du [unknown], the villagers have nowhere to weep. Qu Fu’s family for 8 generations have no worries, the villagers taste hardship.”

The Written Accusation states, that Qu Fu has a villa, his “original villa” at Xinzhuangqiao, Badalingfu road, and the city district purchased another villa, “if this villas was sold, the price would be 28,000 yuan per square meter. The construction and sale  all occurred through the state-operated Dongbeiwang Nongchang corporation.” Gu Fu also “has an apartment of over 100 square meters in the Bejing Renjia housing complex, and another in the Dongxinyuan residential development (also built by Dongbeiwang).”

This reporter has not yet been able to find the selling price of the “original villa” from the real estate company website, but in the nearby Zongguancon Yuancu development nearby, 2 kilometers from Tangjialing, a multi-story residence retails for 30,000 yuan per square meter.

This report of the villagers concerning Qu Fu abusing his position of authority for personal gain, is an important problem.

It states that in 2005, Qu Fu, knowing that the proposed Jingbao Expressway would pass by Tangjialing,  secretly took a 30 sixth-acre piece of land [village collective land] within the proposed route of the expressway and gave it over to his son Qu Xuebao for rent at the low price of 150 yuan per sixth acre, for a period of 10 years. At the time, the land was planted with 1250 five year old peach trees and 500 mature jujube trees, and should have been rented out for at least 10,000 yuan per square acre.

In 2009, Qu Xuebao, from the Jingbao expressway project received 1,803,200 yuan ($289,108) in compensation for the value of the land with its fruit trees. According to the Written Accusation, the Jingbao Expressway only used a 4.5 sixth-acre plot of the land, and the village committee lied about 10.5 sixth-acres.

In compensation the other villagers received 150,000 yuan per sixth-acre for land they had planted with fruit trees  over 10 years before, while Qu Xuebao received 180,000 yuan for land he had had just three years. That the village committee had signed such a contract with Qu Xuebao is a clear case of using authority for personal gain.

The Accusation also itemizes multiple examples of Qu Fu harming the interests of the village: breaking regulations in drawing up contracts, forging census registers to cheat the state compensation fund.

In 2000, we began to report to the authorities about the previous village party branch secretary, Qu Fu’s predecessor. In 2003, this secretary was arrested for corruption. At that time, the head of the village agricultural production team, Qu Fu, was elected village head, and afterwards he concurrently held the post of secretary. The Accusation says, “we did not expect Qu Fu to turn out to be more greedy than his predecessor.”

This reporter phoned Qu Fu, and also phoned the Haidian District Commission for Inspecting Discipline Secretary to find out how the Written Accusation charges were being dealt with. As this paper went to press, the Haidian District Secretary had not called back. As for Qu Fu, he stated that a number of months ago he had talked to the Xibeiwang town Commission for Inspecting Discipline staff member, and that the truth was different from what was stated in the Accusation. He at the same time confirmed that the real estate development corporation which the Tangjialing village committee had given the principal role to[in demolition and rebuilding], was in fact headed by himself.

“Up to the present, we have not discovered any violation of law or precedent committed by Qu Fu,” the Xibeiwang town Commission for Inspecting Discipline member Liu Han told our reporter. Asked whether they had checked the apparently suspicious process by which Qu Fu had come into possession of his several residences, Liu Han made no direct reply, but only said the Commission has its own procedures to follow.

The problems associated with the demolition and rebuilding of Tangjialing are actually not unusual. The same problem has occurred in another focal point of the Beijing urban rural unification project, the transformation of Beiwu village in the Haidian district. [Omitted: summarizes the conclusions of Xu Zhiyong,  Haidian district representative and activist, that the Beiwu villagers were forced to move out to allow the demolition of the village, even though they had doubts about the compensation they would receive, and that they were not given due process, but illegally stripped of their properties by the village committee. For more, see

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