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Village #7,Guanzhuang : “assisted demolition”

March 13, 2016

konjaku: Village#7 is Guanzhuang

官庄村 Guanzhuang village
朝阳区王四营乡 Chaoyang district Wangsiying town

Beijing Chaoyang District coordinates its plan to renovate the “focal point” villages –demolishing non-conforming buildings comprising over 260,000 square meters

2011-12-06 Source: Beijing Fire Services Unit Chaoyang Detachment

Chaoyang District Wangsiying town Guanzhuang village has been designated by the city in 2011 as a public security problem focal point village. The large migrant population, and many privately constructed non-confirming buildings, constitute an outstanding fire hazard. To deal with the problem in a practical and more dynamic way, Wangsiying will demolish 260,000 square meters of pre-fab and non-conforming buildings, clearing out a large batch of fire traps which represent a hidden danger.

As a first step, Wangsiying surveyed and investigated Guanzhuang village. It found there were 1054 permanent resident households, with 1939 people. There were 24,980 members of the floating population, in 3690 rented rooms, in 801 houses. There were many shoddy privately built additions to houses, sub-letted construction projects. If a fire broke out, and the fire trucks couldn’t get through the streets cramped with new construction, the result is frightening to contemplate.

In the whole township an extensive survey has found there are more than 342 non-conforming buildings and pre-fab structures, a total of 560,000 square meters. The township government plans to issue notices to have residents and tenants do the demolition themselves. For those who refuse, demolition will be done by a specialized group.

konjaku: this 2011 article details developments before the demolition of Guanzhuang village. The following story, also from 2011, refers to the fate of one household which was in the way of a road widening project, as the photos below show. The project to demolish Guanzhuang village as a whole apparently dates from 2013.

Beijing Guanzhuang village demolition is carried out –the most stubborn “nail house” hold-outs have their home forcibly demolished, and their compensation is uncertain

2011-08-13, yesterday morning at 8:30, personnel from the Chaoyang District Court came down Chaoyang road and forcibly demolished the three room one story home of Mrs Meng, who had resisted for more than two years. While this was going on, the elderly Mrs Meng and her husband were forcibly transported to the hospital. Then they were settled in a one room 15 square meter home in Wangshiyingxiang town [in Chaoyang]. As of last night, both sides had not reached an agreement on compensation.

The District Court stated that because the Meng household had not carried out their duty to vacate the premises before the appointed deadline, the Chaoyang Housing Administration had applied to the Court for a forcible demolition order. The Court granted the order, permitting the forcible demolition of the home. A person involved in construction of Chaoyang Road said that having the area demolished cleared the way for paving the road surface. They are hoping to open the completed road to traffic by the middle of the 9th month.

According to eyewitnesses, at 8:30 yesterday morning , several cars painted with the insignia of the Court, and several ambulances pulled up in front of the Meng’s house. Twenty or thirty Court personnel entered the house. A few minutes later, the Mengs were brought out and put into the ambulance, which then left the scene.

After that, several workers dressed in everyday clothes entered the house with boxes and bags. They brought out the furniture, and boxes of miscelleaneous items, and loaded them into a van.

Shortly after 9, several forklifts and other heavy construction vehicles surrounded the house and the backyard, and pushed over the Meng’s house.

At 11, there was one forklift still working, at the scene, and several people were in the ruins of the house, collecting and organizing the rubble.

Apparently at the beginning of the year the Chaoyang Housing Department issued an order for the Mengs to vacate, which they refused to do. On 06-20, the Court granted permission to forcibly demolish the house. The Court considered this case to be clear-cut, the permission granted was according to the appropriate legal stipulations.

Sometime after 11 AM, this reporter went to the Chaoyang Number 2 Hospital. At the entrance to the outpatient department a number of Court personnel were milling around. When a doctor came out of that department, he spoke to this reporter, and said the Mengs were fine, although emotionally agitated.
Around noon, the Meng’s second daughter Ms Li hurried in, and attempted to push her way through the outpatient department entrance to see her parents. The Court personnel restrained her, and eventually she was shut up in a police van.

At 1PM, the Mengs were taken from the hospital, and put in an ambulance. With a police van leading the way, they were driven to Wangshiyingxiang town. There they were placed in an room on the first floor of a three story building. This reporter noticed that the majority of other residents of the building were migrant workers.

At 3 PM the Court personnel departed. This reporter entered the room which the Court had provided for the Mengs. The room was 15 meters square. It contained a double bed, a wardrobe and other furniture. The Mengs belongings were piled on the floor. Mrs Meng had not entered the room. She said, she was in a wheelchair, and the threshold to the room was too high for her to manage. There was nothing she could do but wait out in the corridor.

The 65 year old Mrs Meng said, when she was 34, while she was helping to construct public housing, she fell from a high place. Both her legs were shattered with multiple fractures, also her lumbar vertebrae was fractured. After that she was unable to use her legs and had to be in a wheelchair. Because it was an injury suffered on the job, she received monthly payments for medical expenses. They also rented out the area in front of their house as a storefront. With these sources of income, they managed to make ends meet. This year, just before the Spring Festival, her husband slipped on the ice and fractured his leg in free places, limiting the couple’s mobility.

Mrs Meng said, 20 years ago they rebuilt their house to make a three room store in the front. Every month they received about 6000 yuan in rent from this, and also a pension of about 1000 yuan a month. The couple have two daughters, and they think about how they can leave them with a little money.

Mrs Meng said, that in negotiations with the Court, she proposed a compensation amount of 10 million yuan (approximately 1.5 million dollars), and a three room residence of 140 square meters in Xinglong Homeland [a large scale residential complex]. Because Xinglong Homeland “was further from the hospital” she required an additional 2 or 3000 yuan a month. In response, the Court negotiators had said they could provide on a temporary basis a two room residence in Xinglong Homeland. At this point, the negotiations stalled. Mrs Meng said she had been holding firm on her demands for more than two years.

In 2005-03, the Beijing city government began the project to expand Chaoyang road. In 2007, the second phase began. But because of what city residents call “an internal obstruction” the project could not be competed, because the Meng’s house stood in the way. Because they could not agreement on the compensation settlement, the Mengs stood firm and would not leave their house.

Yesterday evening a Chaoyang road project manager said, the progress of demolishing homes necessary to build the road has been slow. Now they can begin right away, both with putting in underground pipes and refurbishing the road surface. By the 9th month the road should be open to traffic, and by the end of this year the project will be completed.

Mrs Meng asked, why is that, even though we were not sick, we were trussed in stretchers and taken to the hospital? She said yesterday morning, as she and her husband Mr Li were resting at home, court personnel burst in and told them the building was unsafe, and needed repairs. Soon after, they were told “in order to discuss a land swap” it was necessary for them to come outside. “We saw right away that something was wrong, and refused. That’s when they put me into a stretcher, bound me with straps, and carried me into the ambulance.” Mr Li said the court personnel took him by both arms and put him by force into a different ambulance. When they reached the hospital, they were taken to a room in the outpatient wing, and guarded by many court personnel. They asked why they were in the hospital even though they were not sick, but were never given a clear answer.

A court personnel member said the two had not been bound. They had simply been sent to the hospital to been seen by a doctor, since their health was not good.

Mr Li said that during negotiations they were promised that they would receive advance warning before their house was demolished, but the event came completely without warning.

A court personnel member replied that Li had been personally informed that, since he was not complying with the condition [to vacate] that they needed to proceed with the demolition, there was no need to inform them in advance.

This reporter has seen the written announcement made by the court. It orders Mr Li to vacate the couple’s home and store within three days of the notice. If they do not comply, their property will be forcibly demolished and they will bear all responsibilities for their losses. The date the notice was issued was 06-22 [about 2 months prior].

Yesterday, a citizen wrote about this incident on Weibo. Many netizens expressed their support for the forcible demolition. According to them, Chaoyang Road has for several years been blocked, all because of this one “nail-house,” “demolishing the house was a good thing, it benefits all of us.”

One wrote, every time he drives around there, at the point where three lanes turns into two, traffic is seriously impeded, especially at peak times.

Several netizens believed Ms Meng waited too long, and should have come to an understanding earlier.





konjaku: now we turn to Guanzhuang village in 2013.

Not having yet seen a compensation plan, negotiations continue while businesses are already demolished

20 years ago, in order to attract business to undeveloped land, factories, storerooms, supermarkets were built and rented out –over 100 properties in all. These businesses which now find themselves well established and reaping the benefits of years in operation, are faced with demolition. The other day, in Chaoyang district, Wangsiying town, Guanzhuang village, these several hundred businesses found they have to move out.

These businesses raise a challenge. Except for one piece of paper, the demolition anouncement, up to now they have not seen an official assessment report, or a compensation plan. A week ago the village committee posted a notice of forcible demolition, and since then some businesses have been demolished, before dawn.

A Guanzhuang villager stated that besides these many businesses, there are some 10,000 villagers in the village. The land which the businesses and village homes occupy, was leased to the Dazhuanwan corporation by the village committee, with the option to sublease. 20 years ago when the contract was signed, the Dazhuanwan corporation subleased to developers who built up the empty lots of undeveloped land. As one developer said, as much as 10 million yuan was invested.

“Not many years after businesses moved in and started doing well, the village committee began requisitioning the land to demolish. The businesses lost big.” So said Ms Meng, their representative. She said they pin their hopes on compensation. According to their lease contract, if they are are subject to requisition of the land by the state or a readjustment of government policy, those who constructed buildings are entitled to compensation for the buildings, and tenants are to be compensated for their possessions. This involves some 40 large scale tenants, and several hundred small businesses.

Some of the business persons involved stated that the Wangsiying town Removal Committee just posted the demolition notice in the 6th month, “after that no government department has done anything whatsoever concerning a compensation plan.”

“We looked up the Beijing city legal stipulations for removal and demolition.” The business persons said. Besides posting the demolition notice, the government department concerned had to obtain a demolition permit, it had to carry out a special assessment of the values of the properties in question, publish a public notice both of the assessment and the compensation plan. Then, after consultation with the affected parties to resolve any disagreements, only then can the demolition proceed.
The business persons said that concerning compensation, they have only had an oral briefing from the Dazhuanwan corporation head Liu Shaogang, who told them they would be getting five to six hundred yuan per square meter, far below the compensation standard. Mrs Meng and the others said they have heard the non-rental businesses [businesses owned by village residents] managed by the Dazhuanwan corporation are getting 1200 yuan or more per square meter.

On 10-10, the Guanzhuang village committee put up a notice which said the businesses had until 10-16 to vacate, at which point forcible demolition would proceed. [date of this article is 10-18] Mrs Meng and the others stated that several days ago at 3 or 4 in the morning, some buildings had already been demolished. “More than one hundred people came. They started demolishing right away. Some were holding shields. They made us scared.”

“If they are going to forcibly demolish our businesses, shouldn’t they follow the law and apply for a court order? How can the village committee just demolish whatever they want?”

Dazhuanwan corporation head Liu Shaogang said, “We have not seen any written property assessment or compensation plan. We were orally informed by the village and township government that five to six hundred yuan per square meter was going to be the compensation standard, and we passed that on to the businesses.”

In response, a Wangsiyingxiang government representative stated, “This is a focal point village that is part of the urban transformation project. It does not involve levying the land and having the villagers move elsewhere. There are over 10,000 villagers, who by the 10th month of next year will all have moved one after another into their new residences, which will be built right here.”

He said the compensation has been determined strictly according to the law. The government took bids and hired a specialist assessment corporation. The auditing unit has kept as close eye on the process. For the brick and wood homes of the residents, the standard is 1200 yuan per square meter. As for the businesses that were demolished, it is because they were non-conforming [illegal] buildings. Their compensation will definitely be much less.

Regarding Liu Shaogang’s statement that “We have not seen any written property assessment or compensation plan,” Wangsiying town administrative director Zhang said, he does not know why Liu is saying this, since the assessment report and compensation standard were sent to the corporation. “Perhaps he is not the head of the corporation,” Zhang speculated. “In any case, this is a dispute between the corporation and its tenants –it is no concern of the government.” He suggested the businesses use legal channels to file a complaint.

As for the forcible demolitions, Zhang said, these are not forcible demolitions, they are assisted demolitions. In his interpretation, “assisted demolitions” refers to this: the village committee passed a motion to find people to “help” the businesses with the demolition of their property. “If the villagers assist with this, the progress of demolition and construction of new housing here goes faster, therefore they have a motive to ‘assist.’ This matter is unrelated to the government.”

He further said, if the businesses are still unable to resolve the dispute through negotiation, it may be necessary to continue to resort to the “assisted demolitions” policy.

konjaku: Zhang is apparently saying the villagers are in support of the plan to move into a new residential project to be built on the village site ( See Guanzhuang New Village, below). Therefore they are willing to “assist” in the demolition of buildings within the village site. The government feels it can sit back and let this conflict of interests between villagers and tenants play out. Demolition may become the object of protests, but “assisted demolition” is harder to oppose. However, as we will see, when villagers protested their compensation amounts, the term “assisted demolition” was used against them.

帮拆 assisted demolition. This does not appear to be a term in general use, as a google search does not turn up anything.

from a blog:

Guanzhuang village is in the vicinity of Dajiaoting (a subway station on line #7). In the near future it will be demolished, but the conditions are not equitable. It is situated outside the 4th ring, inside the 5th ring, the #7 subway line is in the process of being renovated there. The price of land in that area is not likely to be low. But the demolition corporation is pressing through at 2700 yuan per square meter. This price is below the value of ten years ago! Worse than that, then they have to buy their new housing at 3300 yuan per square meter!! The notice regarding the demolition has many stipulations directed at the villagers, and if they violate any of them they will receive this punishment or that punishment. But there are no stipulations regarding the conduct of the demolition units, so they can violate whatever they please!The notice forces the villagers to accept measurements of their homes, and forces them to take a low rate of compensation. We have lived here for generations, are suddenly driven out of our ancestral homes. Is this Heaven’s justice?

A while ago, the newspapers often reported on demolition problems, but now, with the new stipulations in the “National Land and Buildings Requisition and Compensation Rules,” an orderly process of eminent domain has replaced demolitions, and forcible demolitions are entirely abolished. Problems of compensations have been rectified, the provision is “ the compensation cannot be lower than the price of a comparable building on the market.” Following this stipulation, is it possible that the price of real estate in Guanzhuang is just 2700 yuan per square meter? Would you be capable of buying a house at this price? Also, there is a stipulation that in fixing the compensation plan there must be a solicitation of public opinion, and if a majority of people consider the compensation to be inadequate, there must be a public hearing to revise the plan.

Why is the government not following its own stipulations? Who will look out for the interests of the common people?
konjaku: meanwhile…



Laying the foundation for the new village, for Guanzhuang village residents, a dream come true. The new village project will provide for over 9000 residents.

Colored banners flying, a coordinated gun salute. On 03-29, amid gong, drum, and cheers, the ceremony for the opening of construction of Wangsiying town Guanzhung New Village took place. Three years from now, on the original village land, there will be built an 812,500 square meter new residential buildings with the capacity to settle 9052 residents. The district leaders Chen Gang (now Beijing vice mayor) Tong Keke, Xin Yanqin, etc. were present.

The Guanzhuang New Village project began on 11-01 last year, one of three such projects in our district. As it is situated in the zone in which urban and rural come together, in Guanzhuang village there were close to 80,000 people. The population density was outside the norm, and there were many privately constructed rentals. Water and electricity systems were overloaded. Although the water pipe system was redone twice, at peak times only a thin trickle of water would come out of faucets. Long time Guanzhuang resident Chang Shuyuan said, of that original living environment, that villagers had had enough of it: “ We villagers have been looking forward to demolition of the old village and moving into something better. When we meet others, the conversation is all about how much they envy us.”

The villagers dream of many years is now coming to reality. This village transformation project will follow the guideline issued by the municipal city party committee and city government, “ to improve the environment for the benefit of the common people.” Demolition and relocation of residences and businesses in Guanzhuang village will be carried out by the Wangsiying town government. The Wangsiying and Guanzhung village cadres have gone door to door to explain the policy to the people, and have gotten their support. In just a few months the task of moving out of Guanzhuang village is almost entirely complete, and the laying of the foundation for the New Village is going smoothly.

Chang Shuyuan said, “We have all gone to see the table-top model of the project.” She has heard the details from a member of the planning unit. “ Water, sewage, electricity, gas –all provided. Built to the same standard as market price housing –cable t.v., phone and internet connections in every unit. In the residential district there will be a school, a kindergarden, a health service center, a recreation and sports center, a green open space. Post office, telecommunications, shopping, amusement, truly nothing is lacking!

At the ceremony, party district committee secretary Chen Gang said, “The Guanzhuang New Village project is officially started! Listening to the district leaders’ earnest speech, seeing the beautiful buildings dancing on the plan display, Chang Shuyuan can hardly wait for the day when she can move in.

konjaku: another blog:

Guanzhuang village, bucking the effort to combat corruption, disregarding party discipline and the law of the land, wants to perform assisted demolition on villagers’ legitimate property, one-sidedly sending out these notices about compensation, as in these examples below:

Notice on the process of assisted demolition in the project of relocating the focal-point village of Guanzhuang

To the household of_________ (blanked out) subject to vacating of premises

Your property is part of the Wangsiying designated green zone, and subject to removal as part of the Guanzhuang focal point village reconstruction. As you have repeatedly opposed the work of the personnel who came to remove you and your goods from your property, at present your property has not been vacated. This has obstructed the construction project to create the separate green zone, and has had a severe effect on the project of building replacement housing. The village committee has investigated, and consequently your house has already been placed in the Guanzhuang focal point village renovation by assisted demolition process. Within seven days, please report to the property removal office, and the demolition company office, to sign contracts to cooperate with the vacating of your property.

Hereby notified.

Guanzhuang village brigade committee (seal) 2013-01-04



Guanzhuang village property removal compensation notice

Your property is subject to removal as part of the Wangsiying designated green zone and Guanzhuang focal point village reconstruction. In addition, your property is in the area designated for building replacement housing for the village. Although the demolition personnel came many times to negotiate with you, you were unable to agree on a compensation amount. In order to assure that the process of completing the green zone and the replacement housing goes smoothly, we must now inform you with all due seriousness of the following details concerning the compensation plan:

1. The process of your removal and transfer to replacement housing is set forth in the stipulations issued by Beijing city.

2. The compensation plan is determined by the total area used as living space of the residence ______(blanked out), the total area of the constructed building ______(blanked out) and the number of persons_______(0), in addition to children and minors________
1) monetary compensation_______ ( blanked out)
2) Vacating the property compensation (including replacement value for building and property)___________ the Wangsiying green zone building price__________, and the encouragement bonus__________. Transition period special payments and payments for living expenses during this period will be calculated by the number of days.
3. replacement housing (if you choose the monetary compensation, you are not granted replacement housing).

Replacement housing site: it is in Guanyuexincheng, you can chose the floor plan and type, the purchase price is 3000 yuan per square meter (may vary by building purchase price), the replacement housing area is_______

Within seven days after receipt of this notice, you must come to the Guanzhuang Village Committee and make your choice regarding the compensation plan in writing. If you do not make a decision and exceed the time limit, your household relinquishes the authority to make a choice, and the authority will be given over to the Guanzhuang Village Committee.

If your household disagrees with the figures for building area or number of persons in the home given above, within seven days after receipt of this notice you should go to the Village Committee and request a review of the figures. If the stipulated time period passes, it will be assumed that your household agrees to the figures given above.

Within seven days, you are required to come to the Guanzhuang removal and relocation office to sign an agreement regarding compensation. Once that time elapses, the village committee, according to the resolution of the number 8 Villagers Congress 5th meeting, shall proceed with assisted demolition of your home.

Hereby notified Guanzhuang Village Committee 2013-01-11

(Blog comment) The village committee does not have the authority to violate the constitution,how can it force villagers to assist in demolition of their own homes?

Is this compensation notice lawful or not?

konjaku:  “assisted demolition,” or, the phrase “the Guanzhuang focal point village renovation by assisted demolition process” is used by the government against the villagers protesting the terms of compensation. Here, “assisted demolition” seems like a euphemism for the old “forcible demolition” which has become illegal under the new stipulations.

The process of clearing out villagers resisting demolition seems to have continued into 2015.

from a blog:

Today, in the early morning, at Wangsiying town Guanzhuang village, there was a forcible demolition incident involving bloodshed. The demolishing entity hired a large number of thugs, who beat and injured the local villagers with sticks. Large excavators have already appeared on the scene to tear down the houses, besides this, there are many uniformed personnel imposing martial law on the scene! This incident is still in progress. It makes one’s blood boil with anger!




more photos at the link

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