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Tangjialing voices

April 8, 2013

konjaku: from two blogs. The first is about one person’s experience of the demolition of Tangjialing. The second, from almost a year later, is about the process of moving into the new replacement housing.


Tangjialing is demolished by force! Who is in control?

On 2007-04 I began to make preparations. After 5 months of work, I opened my own business, an internet café. I went through every legally required procedure and all the red-tape, submitted myself to examinations by 14 government departments, and at the end the Ministry of Reconstruction and Commerce gave me a license to operate as an independent business.

From 2007-09 to 2010-06 I was in business. I cooperated with every one of the annual inspections by different departments. I paid my taxes on time. In addition, I made social assistance payments for two handicapped persons. I employed 12 persons who had previously been unemployed, as cashier, network manager, cleaner, etc. I contributed enthusiastically to every disaster relief effort, including the Sichuan earthquake, the ‘09 snowstorm, typhoon, etc. During my operation of the business there was never anything illegal, and I never received stricture or punishment from any government department. I assisted Public Security, using the net to locate and help arrest two criminals at large.

2010-06. My internet café was within the area slated to be torn down in the remaking of Tangjialing. My café was on village collective land. The village collective had lent the land to a businessman from Henan, who had built the building on the land, which I rented from him. The Tangjialing village committee and the Xibeiwang township both inspected and approved the rental. Then I went through the 14 government departments:Public Security, Fire, Culture, Taxation, Auditing, Industry and Commerce, Public Health, Farming and Forestry, Telecommunications, etc., for approval.

As the demolition process got underway, the demolition corporation classified my building as an illegal construction, denied to grant compensation, and got ready to forcibly demolish it. Since I had previously been to all these government departments, why did not one of them, when I sought approval, inform me that the building was illegally constructed? They all gave me legal certification, but when demolition comes, suddenly the building is not legal.

Many times I went to the village committee and Xibeiwang township government in regards to the demolition, but without result. As demolition in Tangjialing proceeded, 3 out of 6 internet cafes in the village were torn down, their computers, desks and chairs buried in the rubble. Then in 2010-12 a new demolition policy was issued, and my café escaped utter disaster. However, in the demolition that occurred in the immediate vicinity, the building was seriously damaged, with one wall and the roof collapsing. The building was in danger of collapsing completely. Water and electricity were cut off. It was impossible to use for normal business operations.

I went to the Haidian complaints office, and the staff member said this was a Tangjialing demolition problem, and they would not take up my case. I went to the Xibeiwang government office, and they sent me back to the Tangjialing village committee. In this I was bounced back and forth with no result.  They all just passed the buck, passed the buck.

Now it is 2011-09, more than a year has passed. I have received no explanation, or assistance  of any kind for the great economic loss I have suffered. Now the Tangjialing area is demolished. 6 internet cafes are gone, with a cumulative loss of 10 million yuan, and 80 people now unemployed. I ask the government. Who will take responsibility for this, when will our experience be taken seriously, and will some attempt to be made to settle our losses?


It is often said in media reports that the demolition of Tangjialing village will free the villagers from an abyss of suffering, and propel them onto the broad road of happiness. But, in reality, what do the reporters really know?

Newspaper and tv has been saying from the 6th month we can have the keys, but we haven’t seen a trace of them.  Even if we have keys, without gas water and electricity how can I fix up the place? More annoying is the building maintenance fee, 2.38 yuan per square meter, how did that get worked out? Why, just to get the key, do we have to pay one year of building maintenance fee?

If you are going to do some construction in the new apartment, the contractor you hired can’t get in. There’s a gang of local hoodlums outside, watching over the place. They will let you in, if you use the building company they recommend.

If the builders get in, then you have to pay 3000 yuan for management expenses, 5000 yuan if the apartment is over 80 square meters. What are they managing for me? They are just pocketing my money.

konjaku: the phenomenon of a gang loitering around and inside a new residential complex, trying to squeeze money out of former villagers who they assume are sitting on a large compensation payment, occurred in Beiwu as well. See the next post.

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