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Listed up village #5: Beigao– a rising tide carries all boats

October 30, 2015

konjaku: entering a Google search for Beigao village, the first page of hits consists of map and location entries, generated, perhaps automatically, for an entity which no longer exists. This is true of most of the other villages I search for, most of the 50 villages. There may be, as is the case with Beigao, an encyclopedia entry giving village statistics.

Next, questions on inquiry boards, how do you get from Beigao to…?
Does anyone know if Beigao village in Chaoyang is going to be demolished? If so, when?

Like Changdian, there was an artist colony in Beigao.

At Black Bridge International Arts Garden, a sprawling studio, artist commune and kung fu school, several dozen supporters have gathered outside to demonstrate against the pending demolition. In black robes and hard hats, carrying Styrofoam spears, axes and swords, they pose for photos behind a barbed wire fence.

Last month, Black Bridge’s water and electricity were cut, and then authorities spray-painted the character chai – which means “demolish” – on the walls surrounding the compound. The compound’s residents, a floating population of people ranging from their early 20s to middle age, have refused to budge.

Feng Zhong Yun, 43, an artist and kung fu master who founded the compound in 2007, has been through this before: He was forced to relocate when Beijing’s original artist village, Yuan Ming Yuan, was torn down, and again when rent at 798 became too high.

This time, though, he said he was not going anywhere: “I have to protect my rights.”

Even so, Beigao was demolished. This blog, in Chinese, documents the demolition of the artist complex, in 2010-05.

Black Bridge artist village

Black Bridge artist village

Demolition begins on the artists’ property


Western artists Wolfs + Jung also established a studio there in 2008. They have a site which records the demolition of the village, and their art project recording this fact.

One of their photos. See more on their web page.

Beigao village site

Beigao village site

Another visitor, jordanhi, in 2011 visited the site of the demolished Baigao. He writes,
“When I went to Beigao last week, I found that a handful of new residential buildings had been finished, on the eastern third of the site (one of my research teammates remarked, “it looks like a field of Courtyard Marriotts”).  Construction continued feverishly, with an army of workers pouring concrete and operating cranes. The scale of the scene was unbelievable – I have never seen a site like it, outside of architectural periodicals about, well, the urbanization of China.  I was fortunate enough to bike through a shift change as well, and see hundreds of workers come and go, the color of their hard hats seemingly identifying their position or unit.
The other two thirds of the site was a barren wasteland. There were a few mounds of rubble, and a few buildings standing near the periphery, but these were the exception.  Most of the brick and stone had been harvested.  In both scale and desperation, this landscape far surpasses anything that I am familiar with from my time in St. Louis and Detroit – and there are dozens of scenes like this, all over Beijing right now, which will be converted to various new land uses (some municipally beneficial, some ethically suspect) in a few short years.”


Beigao previously appeared in one of my posts, as follows

Within two years, in Cuigezhuangxiang,  the five villages Beigao, Dongying, Suojia, Cuigezhuang, and Shangezhuang, comprising 6800 village households, will all one after another move into Jingwang Jiayuan, and part completely from the village life of the past.

konjaku: The Dawangjing village demolition (second paragraph below) established a precedent for rural urban unification in Beijing, but because the expectation of future profits from land development, and the resulting compensation amounts paid out, cannot be reduplicated for every village, this example casts a formidable shadow on the demolition of the fifty villages a year later. Beigao village is one of those villages that seems to have benefitted from the Dawangjing precedent. The following article gives a general summary of the situation “after Dawangjing.”

Beijing compensation amounts for demolished villages expected to climb upwards, 70% will follow the Dawangjing example

Among the 227 administrative villages Beijing will transform, 141 will become “reserve land” [land the government holds in reserve as a way to raise capital, either by selling to developers for a high price, or by taking out bank loans with the land as collateral].

In 2009-05 Dawangjing village in Chaoyang was selected as a model for the project of urban rural unification. The village was demolished, and the village land was held by the government as reserve land. The government took out a loan, with the land as collateral, and used the loan amount to finance the replacement housing for the villagers. After the village was demolished, the land was offered for sale, and with the proceeds the loan was repaid.

In a short time, 4.3 billion yuan was acquired for Dawangjing village, and the villagers, with this high compensation, moved out in 40 days, without any forcible demolitions or protests to higher authorities. This is what municipal party secretary Liu Qi called “the Dawangjing miracle.”

One year later, the Dawangjing model has expanded over the entire city, “blossoming out everywhere.” But in the space of one year, the real estate market and the regulatory mechanisms have completely changed.

In Beijing, the zone in which urban and rural intersect comprises 753 square kilometers, with 227 administrative villages. Of these, 141 are slated in the plan to reserve land, that is, the village land will become part of a large-scale development project. This is what is happening with Dawangjing.

Beigao village, is, like Dawangjng, also in Cuigezhuang township. 2010-05-13, the proportion of villagers who had moved out in advance of demolition was 98%. Under 40% had signed contracts for replacement housing, which the city was starting to build.

Beigao and Dongying are villages 2 kilometers from Dawangjing. One year after Dawangjing was transformed, these two villages have embarked on the same road. In Beijing northeast and east sections, there are more than 30 square kilometers of village land waiting to be urbanized, following the same method.

Those who are managing the demolition and relocation of Beigao, are for the most part township and village level cadres. The Ciugezhuang assistant township head Hu Zhenjian said, in general when a village is being demolished, the assistant party branch secretary comes with three to five assistants. They help with the work, but their main objective is to study, to learn the methods of demolition and relocation, in order to emulate them.

Interview with Hu Zhenjian, assistant Cuigezhuang township head

Reporter: now that a year has passed, how is the Dawangjing model faring?

Hu Zhenjian: at present, urban rural unification is still a hazy concept. Everyone knows the objective, but how to see it through to the end is still something no one knows. Beiwu and Dawangjing are different, and Tangjialing is more so.

Reporter: is this model the best possible one for the villagers in this locality?

Hu Zhenjian: Speaking generally, our policy benefits the people. In planning how much land is set aside as “reserve land” and how much allotted to be part of the green zone, we have considered the population of the area in our calculations, and left a relatively suitable amount for the villagers.

Holding land in reserve seems to be a key part of model. Why did you choose this method?

As a matter of fact, this is a function of the market. Laat year, when the Dawangjing project was initiated, land prices were at their lowest ebb, the loan granted by the bank was quite ample. One can see that historically this was the most favorable moment, and we snatched it.

Now that real estate prices have climbed upwards, do you not face a significant risk?

There is a risk, if the opportunity passes, but not necessarily. Last year the bank was willing to grant loans, but this year, maybe not. If there are going to be losses, buying and selling land grinds to a halt.

Money raised from putting land in reserve becomes a fund for demolishing and relocating villages

To demolish villages and relocate the inhabitants takes money. Administrations of average villages, townships, or even counties, do not have the budget for it. In the case of Dawangjing, the Chaoyang branch of the Beijing city Reserve Land Center (a state-run institution), proceeded with the first phase of development [requisitioning land, demolishing existing structures, providing basic infrastructure such as roads]. The necessary capital was raised by the Reserve Land Center. The problem of where to acquire the funds needed to transition the villagers into urban residents with the attendant financial safeguards, was solved by taking the price difference between the first phase of development [described above] and the second phase, namely, the commercial development projects. These expenses include providing old-age insurance, medical insurance, etc., as well as help in finding employment.

[konjaku: “price difference,” that is, the money the government received from developers for rights to use the land, a very large amount because of the potential commercial value of the projects to be built, minus the amount the government spent in the first phase of development.]

The price difference in the two phases of reserve land development was the motive power behind the Dawangjing model. It provided stable profits for both the local government and the bank. But in the next round, with a readjustment of the real estate market, there is uncertainty as to whether profits will be forthcoming. The Dawangjing model, which is supposed to bloom everywhere, now has an element of risk.

As house purchase prices go upward, the villagers’ expectations for higher compensation amounts also rise up. When Dawangjing relocated in 2009, prices in the area were 10,000 to 15,000 yuan [per square meter] In a year, this rose to 30,000. Villagers outside the Cuigezhuang township office complained that unless compensation amounts rose to keep pace with the market, the amounts they were slated to receive were only enough to buy half a residence.

[konjaku: taking 150 square meters as the area of a standard residence in a multi-story building, at 10,000 yuan per square meter, the price in dollars is about $236,000. For 30,000 yuan, in dollars it is about $703,000.]

After Dawangjing, villagers in the surrounding area took the Dawangjing amounts as the standard, which became an endless headache for the township during subsequent village demolitions.

Another risk is that the reserve land process is financed by bank loans. According to an Academy of Social Sciences 2009 report, among the various types of government loans, borrowing against reserve land as collateral occupied 70% to 90% of all loans, in some areas it reached 100%. What this means is that if the government starts to suffer losses with its reserve land projects, its financial lifeline will be imperiled.

According to Yan Jinming of the College of Management at Beijing People’s University, loans to the government are different from loans to individuals or other entities, and carry less risk. As long as the economy does not undergo radical change, the risk is manageable. However the government should be aware that in the restructuring of the real estate environment, the banks are going to tighten up their lending practices.

[konjaku: this refers to a restructuring effort by the government to rein in the housing bubble in 2009]

Looking into the future, the key factor is whether all these massive development projects will turn out to be commercially viable.

Beigao 北皋
Dongying 东营
Dawangjing 大望京
Cuigezhuang 崔各庄

konjaku: I found very little material on the demolition of Beigao village. This is one of the few articles.

Stray dogs cause concern in Beigao village, which is about to be demolished

This morning at 8 o’clock, in Beigao village near the Airport Expressway outside the 5th ring, there are stray dogs foraging in the garbage dump. One can see more than 10 stray dogs inside the village perimeter.

Chaoyang district Cuigezhuang township Beigao village was listed this year as one of the 50 focal point urban villages. Demolition of the entire village is about to begin.

“The tenants have all moved away, and these dogs were left behind,” said one villager. Another reason is that many other villages and small towns in the area are being demolished, and stray dogs from those places has gradually assembled in Beigao. The villagers are worried that these dogs may carry disease, or they might injure someone. Villager Wu Xuemei, standing in front of the Primary School entrance gate, worried that children might be bitten.

A township official said, the stray animal problem is being placed under control of the demolition management. Sometime this week the township dog office, the agricultural enforcement brigade, and the local police sub-station will together gather up all the strays.

A member of an Animal Aid Organization said there were probably 100 stray animals altogether in Beigao. Their organization will bring these animals to a clinic, and after sterilizing them, they will try to find suitable homes for them.

konjaku: this article tells us how compensation was determined for Beigao village, and at what price the villagers were be allowed to purchase replacement housing ( 4500 yuan per square meter, considerably under the 2010 market price of about 30,000 yuan.).

Beigao village is on the northern bank of the Beixiao river, near the Airport Expressway. It has a population of 1850 residents, and 20,000 migrants. Village economy consists entirely renting rooms (the so-called “tile economy”).

This morning at 10 AM, inside Beigao village, cranes mounted on tracks appeared, demolition workers assembled, and the demolition began. From the loudspeakers set at the entrances to alleyways a speech, “this is to implement urban rural unification” was being broadcast. Inside the Relocation Office, the villagers were lined up, receiving the reports on the estimated values of their houses [which determines their compensation amounts.]

Those determined to be long-standing village residents will be granted, for each individual, a reduced price of 4500 yuan per square meter for 50 square meters of their replacement residence.[a family of three would get 150 square meters at this reduced price]. If they purchase a residence that exceeds this standard, they will pay 7000 yuan per square meter for the additional space. In addition, those villagers who move out within the designated time period will receive other awards and subsidies. To start with, they will receive 5000 yuan per household.

Residents of Beigao village and nearby Dongying village will both move into the same replacement housing as Dawangjing village residents: Jingwang Jiayuan. At present it is under construction, projected to be completely by the end of this year.

Jingwang Jiayuan will consist of buildings from nine to eighteen stories, with a community services center, a sports and recreation center, welfare facilities, a concentration of green spaces, kindergarden, primary., and middle schools,and a community hospital. The residences are designed as 50 square meters for one person, 75,100 square meters for two persons, and 150 for three persons.

Once Beigao village is demolished, its land will taken as Chaoyang district reserve land.

The compensation villagers will receive for their homesteads is calculated as an equation:
the “standard” land price, 1600 yuan per sq meter x K(see note below) + house purchase price, 600 yuan per sq meter + reward for moving out in advance of the deadline, 500 yuan per sq meter x the homestead surface area + the building replacement cost (in the case of Dawangjing, this was set at 400 yuan per square meter)

K is apparently a coefficient, expressing the difference between the average land price and the current actual land price. However, I am not confident in my knowledge of how K works in practice.

konjaku: In an actual calculation made for Dawangjing village
K was “1” so multiplying by 1 did not affect the valuation.
Using the same method as the Dawangjing one (see next paragraph), and taking the homestead area to be compensated at 300 meters, this is the total for a Beigao village family
(1600×1+600+500)x300+ (400×300) =810000+120000=930,000 yuan ($146,261).
This family is 70,000 yuan short of being “millionaires.”
If a family of three then bought a 150 square meter residence for 45000 yuan per square meter, they would spend 675,000 yuan, leaving them with 255000 yuan ($40,099)
In contrast, the Dawangjing formula included a bonus, “ cooperating with the urban rural unification pilot project bonus,” and the standard land price was 2500, giving this formula, for a homestead area of 280:
This shows how the Dawangjing families become “millionaires.” If they spent the same amount on a replacement residence (675,000), the remainder would be 949,000. Since we have been told many villagers were millionaires even after purchasing their new residence, probably at least some Dawangjing families received higher compensation packages. However, what the Dawangjing family has left over after purchasing a residence is still more than the total compensation received at Beigao.

This equation for determining compensation for demolition in Beijing was set out in 2002

konjaku: this article gives the impression that Beigao villagers were well compensated.

Beigao village is demolished — the banks march into the village to take on customers

Guangdong Development Bank looks to opening a branch in Beijing

The other day, the work to demolish and relocate Beigao village began.

Besides the team pulling down houses, the team removing and gathering bricks, and the team involved in waste recovery, this reporter found that banks were very much a presence in the village. Working to attract customers, they had managed to take in 100 million yuan in deposits.

“Guangdong Development Bank can handle all your needs, please come inside and talk it over.” At the southwest entrance to the village, inside the compound of the demolisher’s offices, six or seven people in work clothes were calling out to the passing villagers. The bank had set up an office in the two story government building where the demolition activities were being coordinated. Inside the village, posters advertising the Guangdong Development Bank were everywhere.

As the villagers, who had come to the government building to receive estimates of the compensation they would receive, were passing in and out, the staff members of the bank were calling out to them from either side, and handing out flyers. They also handed out gifts, such as umbrellas or handbags. The flyers had the heading “Service program for customers undergoing demolishment and relocation.”

“In less than one day, we have given away close to 1000 flyers.” A bank employee said they had rented this office especially to get customers whose homes were being demolished. They had made her a service plan just for these circumstances.

This reporter through interviews discovered that in Beigao village a number of banks were competing with each other. They had special counters offering money management, they offered gifts, even VIP bank cards. The banks were going to great lengths, and drawing in lots of customers, with the enticement of VIP cards.

Guangdong Development Bank hired a Beigao villager to be director of operations there. He said the bank gave him the assignment of getting 100 million yuan in deposits. If he achieved that, they would make him a regular employee. “Just by putting together all the compensation funds of my family and relatives, we nearly made that amount,” said the 20 year old, with an air of confidence.

Four years ago, Beigao villager Wang Hairong (pseudonym) built three stories on top of his house, making it in total more than 400 square meters. He calculated that, with four family members, at the time of demolition they would receive over 2 million yuan in compensation. “If we buy a new residence, we’ll still have more than 500,000 yuan, which will more than qualify us to receive a bank VIP card.”

Because he had not yet received his estimate, Wang Hairong did not yet know how much compensation his family was entitled to. But this reporter found that many villagers were buying new residences and putting the remainder into bank accounts.
If every family had some 500,000 yuan to deposit, and assuming there to be 500 homes in Beigao that were being demolished, the total would be 2.5 billion yuan.
note: VIP cards entitle the bearer to comprehensive wealth management services, the ability to use the card overseas, and various discounts on goods and services.

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