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Village #9 Shibalidian: “the land it sits on is like gold”

August 12, 2016

konjaku: village # 9 is Shibalidian village. The larger town which has administrative authority over the village has the same name, Shibalidian town.

Shibalidian village十八里店村
Chaoyang district Shibalidian town 朝阳区十八里店乡

In accounts of the demolition of villages and the relocation of residents, only certain stages of the process receive coverage. In the case of Shibalidian village, we have

1) demolition announced, spontaneous protest, dialogue with town leaders (2011-09)
2) eminent domain hold-outs and use of force against them (2012-03)
3) demolition proceeds, protests in tandem with the 18th National Congress, persons arrested for grave robbing in village (2012-11)
4) replacement housing construction completed (2016-01)

There is nothing between the end of 2012 and 2016, during which presumably the last resisting households were removed, the village was completely demolished, and the villagers dispersed in temporary quarters until the replacement housing was completed. During this period of about three years, the flashpoints of protest and conflict are replaced by smaller, more incremental events, marked perhaps by resignation, about which there is less impetus to call attention to or to narrate.

1) When the town government made its initial announcement 2011-09, the villagers apparently erupted in spontaneous protest. By 2011, the villagers have become quite aware of new regulations formulated on city or state level, guaranteeing them a say in the process, and requiring their consent. They protest that the local town government is not following the process required by law.

taken from two blogs:

Beijing’s “highest” compensation rate for demolition occurs at Shibalidian village! Dogs [the town leaders] are all laughing [at us]

http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-no110-199537-1.shtml
http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-no110-199202-1.shtml

Shibalidian village is located in the SE fourth ring, on the village periphery commercial market priced housing goes for 25,000 yuan per square meter. Because Shibalidian village is a listed up village, it is now faced with demolition, and the land it sits on is like gold. But the Shibalidian town government is offering the common people who live in it 2300 yuan per square meter in compensation!

2) The villagers are all extremely angry. but after several days had passed the town government had managed to use various tricks, subterfuges, and police force to keep all the villagers’ appeals from coming to naught. It is said they planned to make huge profits on the land after forcible demolitions.

2) 2011-09-24, the administration handed down a two page demolition notice with few things spelled out. There was nothing whatsoever about rules regarding demolition, there was no explanation whatsoever about replacement housing, just a minimal amount of explanation, a charade. The whole village, consisting of more than ten production teams, 8000 residents, immediately erupted in anger. In history there has never been such a spontaneous organized protest arising in reaction to a demolition, but in Shibaidian there was one.

2) Key points:
1)There is no regular legal procedure, the villgers are not given any detailed rules and regulations associated with the demolition, they were just forcibly marched off to have their houses measured (to determine compensation amounts) –the point of most rancor

2) After their houses were measured they were given the demolition rules and regulations, but upon looking at it the first villagers were scared to death. Only 2300 yuan per square meter in compensation! Subsequent to that, villagers refused to have their houses measured.

3) the town administration did not use the new legal requirements for demolition put out in 2009, they used the old 2002 edition of regulations to mislead people. The money these call for is small, because it is based on old assessments. Any fool knows land prices aren’t what they were in 2002! It is necessary to use the new edition!

4) Early on it was expressly stated that Shibalidian was extremely important, as one of the Beijing 50 listed up villages. The city administration has a prescribed compensation amount for the 50 listed up villages, but the document from the town had not a word about it, instead they offered us pennies!

5.) The area to be demolished is zoned for commerce, but the demolition rules say it is going to be part of the green zone. This is another subterfuge to lower compensation amounts. The rate is shaved by one half!

6) Shibalidian is one of the 50 listed up villages slated to be transformed. Ground breaking has already occurred, but the government’s rate of progress is slow, they have already procrastinated several years. The villagers look around at the compensation rates given to nearby villages, and see that theirs is the lowest. Yet, Shibalidian is called an “important” [part of the city plan for urban transformation].

7 the town has budgeted 300 million yuan for the project, which is already low, but on top of that, the village head Kai Baoma (a woman) has boasted that she will only have to use 100 million to take care of the villagers. This sort of exploitive mentality is the worst, causing the villagers to go crazy.

8. for four days there were spontaneous discussions and protests, which the police eventually suppressed. It is said an old person was beaten to death by the police yesterday.

9. The town government network of control is immense. Our appeals to higher levels of government disappear without a trace. Injustice on such a scale no one is brave enough to take on. Reporters dare not come, for fear they cannot conceal themselves.

This event is occurring right now. Everyday several thousand households are arguing their cases, any hour, any moment, one can see the villagers making their complaints everywhere they can!

Simply, this is seizing the villagers homes by force. Beijing’s empty lots are valuable, but demolishing the structures on them to free them for development, should proceed with equality and mutual benefit. The common people have not seen this low price in any public, official document. In this confusion, so they want to demolish? 2300 yuan for demolition, 2800/3900 to buy the replacement housing, which the people have to pay for, then wait three years for new housing.Move out of their homes, and their new homes not ready? What kind of a bullshit policy is this?

Is it not just polity and Heavens Law to improve the livelihood of the people, but how does this type of governing by the local town administration do anything for the people?

In Shibalidian village there are many greedy officials. Several years ago when a light rail project took over village and town land, these officials scooped up the money which was compensation for the common people, and used it to build themselves an administrative building, said to be the grandest government building in all Chaoyang district. From inside this building there are coffins [see note] in which the bureaucrats shield each other, and fool the public. For the Shibalidian village demolition they did not hold a village assembly, nor did they make the terms public, they just said they would measure all the buildings and give estimates. The people were dumbfounded. Some one hundred of them spontaneously organized to go to the town administration and question thoroughly this matter. However, they were obstructed from their purpose by an overbearing public security force, even to the point of being dragged away. Women and old people were beaten with fists. May we ask, do not the coffins inside their grand buildings provide enough protection, that they must raise their hands against the people? Some of the people heard the current Party Secretary say to them, “I am the law.” What an arrogant assertion! What an overlording attitude! Where then should the people appeal? In today’s society, there is a radical separation between officials and the people, the more enmity between social levels occurs, the deeper it becomes. The officials have forgotten that they themselves come from the common people, they have forgotten their roots. This kind of official is of no use, they can only bring disaster on the common people and calamity to the country. How sad it is!

Note: the word for coffin, guancai 棺材, suggests two other characters with the same possible pronunciation “bureaucratic wealth” guancai 官财, an occasional pun. Otherwise I do not understand what is meant here.

konjaku: the following is from another blog, which collects the documents of protest the villagers gave to the town leadership. I have translated only the first document of several, and I left out some of the specific citations and quotations of regulations in the document. Next, I translate a series of written questions and answers between the villagers and town secretary, which apparently took place over several days. It is interesting to note the specific demands within the questions, and the rather vague, non-responsive answers, although the Secretary readily admits they may have made some mistakes.

Town leaders refuse to sign to acknowledge receipt of the villagers’ protest documents, therefore the villagers have no choice but to shake hands with the town government leader and depart

http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_a571fdef0101917e.html

 

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1 With mounting public indignation, the villagers came to the town government offices, to get a response to the condition of the people and the popular will, but they were not allowed to go in through the entrance gate

a571fdeftd237cf8bd4de&690.jpeg

2. police, plainclothes officers, the director of handing complaints, and the discipline commission secretary, all came out to have a look at the growing crowd in battle array

a571fdeftd237da9f3ed6&690.jpeg

3. The villagers were unable to get an audience with a leader, the only thing they could do was hoist their banner, “Boycott illegal demolitions.”

a571fdeftd237fc65cee1&690.jpeg

4 The Ministry of Public Security forbids police from getting involved in demolition matters, however, here the police took away the villagers’ banner by force. An old man expressed to the police that they could see how little support the demolition policy had among the villagers.

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5. Villagers gave their documents protesting illegal demolition to a presentative of the town people’s conference, requesting from the congress leader a signature of receipt of the documents. However, the leader refuses to sign.

To whom it may concern:

We are the villagers of Shibalidian village, in Chaoyang district Shibalidian town one of the 50 listed up villages. and we would like to report to you about the illegal demolition issue which the town government initiated on 2011-09-25.

1)We have lived in Shibalidian village for generations, and we heartily endorse the city plan. We support the transformation of the village. At present the village is dirty and disordered, the environment and public security are grim. Economic development has fallen behind. In order to improve the environment and quality of peoples’ lives, we support the ongoing project to remake the village. But in the demolition process, which has already started, there are gross illegalities, which we want to detail in a full report.

According to the regulations of 2003 and 2004, the authorities must strictly follow this procedure: apply for a demolition permit, make a public announcement of the demolition and resettlement plan,, provide an estimate of compensation, then reach and sign an agreement with the affected parties. In particular, the regulations state that the administration must hold public hearings regarding the compensation estimates, they must also hold public hearings and adjudicate before any forcible demolitions. The public announcement should be accompanied by the following legal documents: the demolition permit, official comments on the construction project, permit to use the land for construction, document of approval of use of state land, the demolition plan, criterion for compensation estimates, proof that the fund for demolition and resettlement has been set aside in a bank account, qualifications and certifications of the demolition company and the building estimation company, including qualifications of their employees. But in this case, there has been no public announcement whatsoever, no attempt to follow any of the regulations described above. Therefore we believe the town government in undertaking the demolition, is in direct violation of the law.

2) The town administration has not held a hearing to solicit the villagers’ opinions, as prescribed by regulations as required when the government levies land. They have not publicly announced any details of the plan and procedure they intend to follow in the demolition and resettlement of the village. They have not convened an assembly to discuss the plan and have it affirmed. The matter has only passed through the town congress, which is not the body which represents the rights and interests of the villagers. The villagers’ rights to counsel, their democratic right to have representatives who do not stand to profit, to participate in the discussion and the making of the policy, have been violated. Specifically, it violates article 24, sections 6 and 7 of the Organic Law of Village Committees, that in matters of levying land and determining compensation, these will be decided through a village meeting. I believe the actions of the town administration, an operation hidden from plain view, violate the rights of the villagers.

konjaku: abridge rest of document. It ends with an appeal for the Central Committee of Discpline Inspection to get involved in the matter of the demolition of Shibalidian village, “in order to uphold social stability and unity.”

On 09-30 the village representatives met with the Shibalidian town government complaints office, and submitted the following questions. The office sent back answers to the questions in written form.
1) We request that the city government redress the legal violations carried out by the Shibalidian town administration in regards to the demolition of Shibalidian village.

Shibalidian town Secretary Liu Taiping: previously this project involved Zhouzhuang village and Shibalidian village. The town CP committee definitely met with representatives from both villages, however the next step is for all the village representatives under the town administration to meet. Of course, the representatives of these two villages will also participate. At this larger meeting, the matter in question will be decided by the majority.

Question: in the question of demolition and compensation, which is of huge significance to the villagers, why has not a meeting of all the villagers been called, for all the villagers to discuss and decide the matter? We assert that the town assembly made decisions without any participation by Shibalidian village representatives.

Secretary Liu Taiping: In Chaoyang the urban transformation project was started simultaneously in three towns: Xiaohongmen in the south (Longzhaoshu village), Wangsiying in the north (Guanzhung village), and our town. In a broader sense, it was Liu Qi who two years ago determined the whole 50 listed up villages project.

Question: since the transformation of Shibalidian village is listed as one of the Beijing city priority projects of 2011, Beijing city must have set aside funds to subsidize it. Please explain to us what the Beijing city fund sets as the compensation amount per square meter. Please produce for us the documentation from Beijing city detailing the amount of the fund, or the bankbook of the subsidy account showing the amount.

Secretary Liu Taiping: Because this demolition project is according to the city and district, the town head and town secretary have nothing to do with the money involved.

Question: please submit in written form the legal regulations behind this demolition, and all the certified government documents.
Secretary Liu Taiping: We really have taken into consideration the interests of the common people in our implementation of this project, but it is possible that there are some people who find some matters to be not clear. It is possible in the early stage of the project we did not go into detail. If we had explained in more detail, it is possible the people would not feel as they do now. We admit we made mistakes in the early stage of the project, this point we cannot deny.

Question: please explain in written form what these mistakes were, including whether or not you violated any of the state laws. If you did not violate any laws, please explain step by step the legal basis for the demolition project, giving the relevant articles and clauses.

Secretary Liu Taiping: this matter has been pushed forward by larger entities. It is only natural that you come to us with your concerns. The town CP committee and administration must consider this question. Probably our thinking on this matter has not been attentive enough, nor has it been comprehensive enough, and has gone in a different direction from your interests.

Question: please explain how this lack of attention to our interests can be remedied. Give a realistic solution as to how the legal rights of the Shibalidian villagers will be safeguarded.

Secretary Liu Taiping: look at Baiqiangszi [a residential community in Chaoyang]. In 1996 it belonged to the class of land levied by the state, but it took 15 years before the residents moved to better housing, and that land became part of the green zone. At the time this was the “first land opened to development.”

Question: if it took 15 years, what was the policy of the state during all that time? How much was allocated for the project? Where was the money spent? If the Baiqiangzi patch of land was allocated to the green zone, how did this spread to Shibalidian village? On what legal basis? Please provide the evidence in written form.

Secretary Liu Taiping: it must have been like this: since you built commercial properties and sold those around that time, we thought our villagers should also move up to better housing [first by having their village demolished]. At that time net costs were high and the buildings sold cheaply, not like today when building costs are high.

Question: please provide in written form how much the village land will sell for after the village has been demolished, by the square meter.

Secretary Liu Taiping: the 50 listed up villages is a city project. After the village is demolished, development of the land will occur under the Bopai Sea General Economic Zone. When that time comes, there will definitely be a large scale project.

Question: if there is going to be a large scale development, why is it said that the village is being demolished for the sake of the green zone? Is this legal? Doesn’t this violate the Beijing city regulations for constructing the green zone? Will Shibalidian villagers eventually receive a share of the profits of the large scale development?

Secretary Liu Taiping: in the village there are over 8000 residents, 1680 households. This is far far larger than any project we have undertaken before.

Question: if this has been such a large project directly affecting the livelihoods of so many people, why hasn’t there been any public announcement, Why have you not sought the opinions of those masses of people affected? Is this not a violation of the three forms of fairness (to be impartial, to be just, to be open)

Secretary Liu Taiping: Beijing city and Chaoyang district have many legal statutes in place. If we do something wrong, we can change it. This is not to say we will just change anything, it has to be something which is incompatible with the city and district.

Question: at present there are many people who are dissatisfied.How will the town government work to improve their state of affairs?If the town follows the instructions of the city and district, what will it do if these instructions conflict with national policy? How will the town ensure that each step in the process is actualized?

Secretary Liu Taiping : This is the blue handbook, I don’t know how many of you have a copy. The group answered, we do not have it. Secretary Liu Taiping said, this is a mistake we made at an earlier stage. We should have given everyone a blue book when we sent out the notice. There are two work units that have not even received the notice, and they still don’t have it. Those groups joined to form one committee [to protest], this is something the town government didn’t consider.

Question: does this blue book lay out clearly and in detail the regulations regarding demolition? If it is regarded as laying out the guidelines for the demolition process, why were there no public announcements, no soliciting of the peoples’ opinions, no assembly in which all the villagers decided the matter by vote?

konjaku: in 2015 Liu Taiping was issued a “party warning” for holding an overly lavish wedding banquet for his son, with a total of 48 tables, spending 331,500 yuan

http://gaolinled.com/news/html/?1468.html

konjaku: now we turn to 2012 six months later. Demolition of the village is in progress.
2012-03-29

In Shibalidian, many home businesses are repeatedly attacked

Source: Jinghua Times

On 03-23, the doors and windows of many home businesses in Shiblian village were smashed. Eyewitnesses stated that those persons who perpetrated the attacks were riding in vans belonging to the village joint defense patrol group. Because of the dispute over compensation amounts, some ten home businesses have had their water and electricity cut off for two months. These have been repeatedly attacked, while other businesses have had portions of their premises forcibly dismantled.

One business attacked on 03-23 was a pharmacy. The proprietor, Mr Dong said that Ms Liao who ran a hair salon next door, was a witness. She told him that at 3 o’clock in the morning, three men got out of a van and used brick fragments and iron clubs to smash the front of his store. Afterwards they jumped back in the van, which had no license plates, but the patrol insignia painted on the side. It was a village joint defense patrol van.

In addition to the pharmacy and hair salon a Jingkelong supermarket was also targeted. In front of these businesses, this reporter found that a trench about 2 feet deep had been dug. On 02-10, a crowd of village faction members had piled up dirt, sealing off the entrances to the stores, but the proprietors had afterwards removed the dirt and cleared the road. After this the village committee sent workers to dig the ditch.

As an example of forcible dismantling, Mr Xu, the proprietor of a glass factory, said that 03-19, his workers were herded out of the premises by village joint defense personnel, who proceeded to demolish the front gate of the factory and tear off the roof.

Jingkelong Supermarket manager Ms Pang said that since the incidents of harassment ( sealing off the entrance with dirt and digging the ditch) the daily volume of sales has decreased from 15,000 yuan to about 3000 yuan. The store has no choice but to reduce their stock by one half. Mr Sun, proprietor of a tea factory, said that on 02-10, the main entrance of his factory was dismantled. After that thieves entered the unprotected building, and he had losses of more than 200,000 yuan.

The victims say that these incidents are connected to the demolition of Shibalidian village. Since the time when the village was scheduled to be demolished, the majority of the villagers have vacated, but the compensation issue has not been resolved through negotiation. Therefore some businesses have not moved away, and those that have remained have been subjected to continuous attacks. Many businesses said the compensation rates offered by Shibalidian town are very arbitrary, varying from 20 to 500 yuan per square meter, which made them feel they had no choice but to decline the offers. After two months, the harassment began. Their water and electricity was cut off. To ensure that their buildings would not be torn down, the business owners resolved to stay on their premises, 24 hours a day. “Every night the slightest sound woke us up, and we would get out of bed to investigate.” Mr Dong of the pharmacy said their preparations included a wooden club one meter long, for protection.

Yesterday afternoon this reporter telephoned the village chairman Wang Baozong. He claimed he knew nothing,and saying he was in a hurry as he had to go somewhere by car, he quickly terminated the conversation. The glass factory proprietor Mr Xu said he had phoned the police sub-station many times, “after more than ten phone calls they finally come out, but they say they are too busy with demolition issues to deal with my problem, and that I should file a complaint with the court.”

About these attacks on businesses, the Shibalidian police sub-station has nothing to say.

Authors: Wang Mei, Gong Mian.

konjaku: 2012-11, eight months later, a blog has photos of a protest sign put up in the village addressed to delegates of the Eighteenth National Peoples Congress. Photos detail the damage being done to the village, in the form of heaping up earth in front of stores and digging ditches, as described in the previous article.

http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_a571fdef01017qsn.html

Protest sign:
We warmly congratulate delegates to the 18th National Congress! Take notice of Beijing’s BLACK demolition. Stopping water, cutting off electricity, with masked faces threatening, brandishing swords and twirling sticks, defying laws human and divine! The demolition and relocation process is not public or transparent, the compensation price fools superiors and defrauds subordinates. …Those in sympathy please inform the media

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photo below is of the Jingkelong Supermarket referred to in the previous article

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digging ditches and piling up earth to isolate the village and make going to and fro difficult

a571fdeftce38d9270238&690.jpeg

konjaku: as demolition proceeds and people move away, the neglected village site may provide openings for criminal activity.

Demolition of Shibalidian village provides the inspiration for thieves to rob graves

http://www.chinaluxus.com/20121122/245318.html

2012-11-22

When the demolition of Shibalidian village was in progress, several grave robbers took advantage of the situation to excavate three tombs, and made off with a large quantity of Qing dynasty artifacts. Yesterday morning, the gang went on trial in Chaoyang district court.

Han Fei, Zhao Xianhai, Zhao Yunyin are all peasants from Funan County Anhui province. For some time they have been laborers in the capital. Since the beginning of last year, when large scale demolition began in Shibalidian village, the three heard villagers talking about the old tombs in the village area. The existence of the tombs also surfaced in media reports. Once they decided to rob the tombs, in order to make the job easier, they colluded with Laojuntang village defence force member Liu Biao, At night they began searching the old tombs for material objects buried inside.

According to the accusation brought against them, from the 12th month of last year to the third month of this year, Han Fei and four other persons excavated a huge quantity of gold and silver hair clasps, jade and silver bracelets, and antique money from three tombs at construction sites in Shibalidian village.

After they were apprehended by Public Security, the Beijing Cultural Relics Research office ascertained that the objects they had stolen dated from the Qing dynasty, and had scientific and culture value. The police have recovered all of the stolen objects.

In court Han Fei and the others admitted their guilt. They testified that in the 9th month of last year, they happened to bump into each other. Having no good means of earning a living, they hit upon the idea to rob some old tombs. Just around that time they became aware of the opportunity offered by the large scale demolition of Shibalidian village.

They testified that there was nothing advanced about their methods. They used shovels, pickaxes, trowels, and dental probes. They started by probing in holes others had already excavated, and by chance found a relatively undisturbed plot of ground, which they excavated with shovels. The whole process was very smooth, it was nothing like the plot twists of suspense novels involving tomb robbing. The goods they acquired without much effort they sold to dealers, and each made more than 10,000 yuan.

Within the gang, Laojuntang village defence force member Liu Biao served as the look out. He explained that he stood sentry as the others worked. Thanks to his special status, whenever a person walked by, he either did not let them linger and do anything, or if they suspected something, he told them not to report it to the police. “I am a local person, I know this place very well, if they find anything, I’ll take care of it.”

As of yesterday, the court has not yet pronounced judgement.

konjaku: now we turn to the replacement housing.

Shibalidian –more than 2500 households of villagers will move to new housing

http://www.bjchy.gov.cn/affair/fwcq/8a24fe83498ee95f014ae140617d2e46.html

2015-01-13

At the beginning of 2015, the entire population of Shibalidian village of over 10,000 residents will be relocated to new residences in the Zhouzhuang 2nd Stage and Third Stage development. The village team, working energetically, has outstripped the plan and brought in a large scale comprehensive hospital in two branches, enabling all residents in the surrounding area to be able to see a doctor.

Shibalidian is one of the 50 listed up villages in the urban rural unification project. 2011-09, the work of demolition and relocation began. 2012-03, construction on the Zhouzhuang Third Stage (residential complex) officially began. Zhouzhuang Third Stage is in Shibalidian town. Total land area is 230,000 square meters, the total building space will be 930,000 square meters. It will be divided into three sections: A,B,and C. It will be oriented on a north south directional flow, the whole complex constructed with natural building surfaces, comprising altogether 7800 residences.

konjaku: rendering of the Zhouzhang Third Stage

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photo of the completed project 2016

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konjaku: from a blog:

http://tieba.baidu.com/p/1442538646

They are mounting intense publicity for Zhouzhuang Third stage, but about Shibalidian village they couldn’t care less

In order to ensure that the Shibalidian villagers move into the Zhouzhuang Third stage replacement housing at the appointed time, the nail houses (protesters resisting eminent domain) have all been removed. The local government was unable to forcibly demolish their residences. However there was a village self-government organization that was able to proceed, under the name of “assisted demolition.”

Blog comment: “Assisted demolition?” This so-called “assisted demolition” is just forcible demolition in a disguised form!

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