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Violation increases from forced evictions in China

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Mainland Chinese government sources show that in 2003, more than 1,500 incidents of violence, suicide or public demonstration occurred as a direct result of forced evictions. This reflects escalation in the level of conflict between evicted tenants, developers, and local governments.

Hong Kong-based Mingpao reported that among the 1,500 incidents, the self-immolation of Zhu Zhengliang from Anhui was the catalyst for a wave of suicides on Tiananmen Square by evicted tenants. More than 10 people attempting suicide were arrested between October 1-16 for “creating social chaos.” Tiananmen Square became a hotbed for self-immolation. This has shocked the highest level of Chinese government.

The report said that the Chinese government has given the issue of forced eviction high priority, similar to level of attention given the issue of laid-off workers in 1998, when huge demonstrations occurred all over China. Besides sending high-level public security officials to patrol the Tiananmen area, the State Council also held special meetings to end the violence in the eviction process. (In China, developers often resort to violence when a tenant refuses to move to make way for development. -- Editor) Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan was appointed to monitor the implementation of large-scale evictions in urban development.

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