06/28/2011, 00.00
CHINA
Send to a friend

Forced evictions are primary cause of social protests in China

So states an investigation of the Beijing Office for Petitions. Research suggests a new home to give to those who are evicted and render decision making process "transparent". But the problem remains the possibility to denounce the corrupt and seek protection of rights.
Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The forced demolition of homes was the primary cause of social unrest and mass protests in 2010. The official China Daily newspaper stated, reporting a survey by the Centre for Research on Social Contradictions, assisted by private polling companies.

Respondents indicated that the forced demolition of homes has far greater importance than all other causes together, as a reason for conflicts and mass protests. The Centre operates under the the Office of Letters and Calls of Beijing, which handles petitionsfrom disgruntled across the country to higher authorities.

About 70% of respondents said that the problems are also linked to the size and form of compensation and forcible removal of residents. For many, the forced demolition has caused damage across their personal and family life: a place of residence, education, health, social security. In addition, about 36% of the sample said that the compensation received was "well below" market value, and others listed them as insufficient to cover the value of the property and other discomforts (such as moving house). About 10% had not received the promised compensation in full. In any case, not enough to get an equivalent house.

The report suggests that the government could eliminate a major cause of complaints by providing new homes to those who have been evicted, rather than financial compensation, and add that those concerned should be able to protect their rights "within respect of the law through negotiation."

Another problem mentioned is the lack of "transparency" about the choice of houses and settlement and payment of compensation.

Experts note that even if the sample selected is not completely objective (412 persons were questioned who have been or are due to be forcibly evicted from their home), the research identifies the important reasons of the protests of citizens, denied a fair hearing and justice.

The discontent is so widespread that in May Qian Ming detonated three pipe bombs in government offices in Fuzhou, killing two people and dying himself, to protest against two consecutive forced evictions that had destroyed his life. On the Internet, his action was indicated by many as quite understandable.

According to experts, in 2010 in China there were over 180 thousand mass protests, mainly for economic reasons such as widespread corruption, expropriation of land and the escalating food prices. The population, who have no "legal" means to defend their rights, including economic, is increasingly ready to take to the streets to demand justice and welfare. Many analysts believe that this will force the authorities to democratic reforms, but in February repression and police control increased, for fear that Jasmine Revolution style protests may break out

To many the words of premier Wen Jiabao yesterday during his visit to the Royal Society in London appear distant: " There will not be real socialism if there is no real democracy, and there will not be protection of economic and political rights if there is no real freedom " Wen had aroused widespread hopes in the speeches of a few months ago, which at the time had seemed an opening to greater democracy.
Send to a friend
Printable version
CLOSE X
See also
Vietnam, hundreds of police deployed to arrest a dissident lawyer
11/02/2014
In a few days Central Committee plenum to start country makeover
30/09/2008
1 October, Premier Wen calls for 'more democracy' for China
01/10/2011
Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao pledge agricultural and health care reforms
11/09/2008
NPC: Wen Jiabao focus on farmers and jobs
05/03/2004