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Village #20 Jiujingzhuang

October 23, 2018

Village #20 is Jiujingzhuang (Fishery workers housing compound)

Fengtai District, Nanyuanxiang (Nanyuan township)



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konjaku: Jiujingzhuang is outside the South 4th Ring Road. Unlike our first two examples from Fengtai, it is not “inside the 3rd ring” on sites highly desirable for big developers. It’s origin as row-housing built for fishery workers illustrates the formerly rural character of this area.

Jiujinzhxuang is located in Fengtai, Nanyuanxiang town, under the Dahongmen administrative village. Land for replacement housing is 14 hectares, with buildable space of  294,000 square meters, on a site to the southwest of Dahongmen village, not too far from the #10 subway, near the South 4th Ring Road.

A Fengtai district official said that this year (2011), Fengtai would start the project of rural-urban integration, involving the transformation of five listed-up villages. By 2015, urbanization of the district around the Yongding river should be completed, bringing about the transformation of rural areas inside the 5th Ring.

The transformation of the 50 focal-point villages began in 2010. In Fengtai, Jiujingzhuang and eight other locations will be transformed, involving 8078 houses, 22,600 residents, and 170,000 migrants.

(original date unknown)

Jiujingzhuang was originally the living quarters for workers in the southern suburbs rural area who were raising fish. There were 200 households living in evenly lined-up buildings inside a large compound. In recent years, this compound became famous in Beijing’s southern suburb as “the rental compound.” The were more than 4000 migrants living inside it, therefore in 2009 it was selected as one of the 50 listed-up areas to be transformed.

At present the illegal buildings in the compound extending over 70,000 square meters have been demolished, and the area is all empty ground. According to an official the villagers will each get get 50 square meters in replacement housing for free, and other residents 30 square meters. They will get compensation for demolished homes as well as 1000 yuan per month in living expenses until they move into new housing, and once they move in they will transfer to urban household registry and receive social security payments. The Dahongmen government will also set aside land for commercial purposes. They will construct buildings for businesses to provide employment opportunities for the villagers.

konjaku: the following article describes Jiujingzhuang before it was transformed

Tenants worry that urban transformation “putting in order” will sweep them away


The typical tenant in the urban village has come to Beijing from elsewhere, and opened a small business to support his or her family.  Although part of the drifting population, these tenants feel affection for their current home, just like the original villagers. There are many such tenants in urban villages in southern Beijing They have mixed feelings about the urban transformation. What will it bring for them? They can’t say for certain, they can only go forward one day at a time. Will they be able to grow their businesses in the new situation that emerges, or will they find they can no longer afford to rent, and have to give up? ‘Will the coming urban transformation leave us as we are, or will it fall upon us and transform us too?’


There are many shops on both sides of Jiujingzhuang Village road, and behind the shops are two- and three-story buildings. The stores are mostly run by migrants. On the buildings behind the upper floors are divided into rooms, which the village residents rent out to migrants.

Rental signs ate posted everywhere, and perhaps everything is for rent. The villagers have all moved to another district nearby, and are renting their one-story houses, as well as the rooms upstairs. It would be hard to find an original inhabitant anywhere.

The villagers’ original one-story houses, set inside a courtyard, are now occupied by three or four tenants. They live in cramped rooms, piled up with odds and ends, the bed taking up half the space. Clothes are drying on the low rooftops.  If there is a 20-inch color  TV to watch, it’s not such a bad situation.

Fried meatballs: At around 3 in the afternoon, in Jiujingzhuang, in a shack inside the Xin family compound, old Mr Chu has already prepared  his frying equipment and put on his cook’s hat. Sitting straight, with his left hand he takes a portion of his prepared material, and with one movement a round meatball emerges up from between his forefinger and thumb.


In Jiujingzhuang, there are many people like Mr Chu.In the Xin compound there are some twenty other families. Two sell pig’s head meat, another goes out into the village streets to sell breakfasts, next door is someone who sells water…they have all come to Beijing to use their skills to make a living.

Inside the limited space of the courtyard, Mr Chu built himself a shack out of brick fragments and asbestos shingles, and stocked it with his cooking supplies. This became his workplace kitchen.

Four yuan (60 cents) worth of Mr Chu’s meatballs fill a small container. From a line of cooks, he is proud of his skills, and he charges slightly above what is the norm in Jiujingzhuang. He sells enough to make a modest profit.

Mr Chu is from the northeast. He came with his wife and child to Beijing two years ago. Strangers here, at first they had to pay 1000 yuan a month to rent one room.

When Mr Chu was telling about this, an expression of worry came onto his wife’s face.  At that time they worked so hard to pay the rent, and had so little left over.  Now their business has finally improved, but how could they have imagined that the place they were renting would be slated to be demolished? Now they will have to start all over again.

After coming to Beijing and renting the room that was too expensive, Mr Chu tried again. This time, he went south, on a search for something for 500 yuan a month, and the only thing suitable he found was this place in Jiujingzhuang. The family of three settled down here, living in a compound with many other families.

The compound with multiple other tenants was dirty and messy. If you walk inside, the first thing you see is a big pile of garbage. In the summer, the stench can become unbearable. But for the Chu family, this was for a time a secure and stable place to rest  after a drifting, transient existence. Even though the family works from dawn to dusk daily in their fried meatball business, they are actually content with their lot.

Now that information about the areas affected by urban transformation comes out daily, Mr Chu has to face squarely the fact that their  compound will be demolished. “If it is demolished we will get no compensation [not being village residents], if it is not demolished, it is still no guarantee of anything.” If they have to move, they have no choice but to accept their fate.

Mr Chu now pays only 300 to 400 yuan per month for rent, and another 900 yuan to rent his store.This is a considerable expense for his family. Where will they be able to go to find such low-priced accommodations?

Mr Chu doesn’t want to have to start over again. They will run their business from day to day, and when the time comes that they cannot continue without moving, they will pack up and go back to the northeast. “My home is within the northeast open economic zone, so things might actually be better than here.” He smiled bitterly.

Reporter Wang Yi, trainee Tao Ran

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