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Forced eviction continues after New Year
The Epoch Times

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Standing on the ruins of his demolished residence, 53-year-old Shanghai resident Ding Xunhua vows to continue legal appeals to demand the justice and the protection of rights that he says he deserves.

Without warning on the afternoon of Jan. 7, 2004, Ding’s residence was forcibly reduced to a pile of rubble.

“I knew that resistance was useless and I could only passively watch as my residence tumbled down,” he said.

In 2003, after negotiations with the government housing administration office failed, he sued the office and subsequently lost two lawsuits. He has now appealed to a higher court.

In 2003, around 100,000 Shanghai houses were demolished. Since 1990 Shanghai has demolished 40 million square meters of old houses, forcibly evicting about 2.5 million people in the process. The human toll from the demolitions manifesting in conflicts, suicide and self-immolation has emerged again and again throughout China.

Nearly 20 provinces and cities have modified their codes relating to eviction and demolition. The Construction Department of the Chinese government recently issued guidelines aimed at standardizing the evaluation of residences for demolition and protecting the legal rights for those whose houses are to be demolished. This document was to be officially executed on Jan.1, 2004. Moreover, in a recommendation for modifying the Constitution to the National People’s Standing Committee, the Chinese Communist Party clearly pointed out that, “citizens’ legal personal properties cannot be impinged upon” and “for the sake of public beneficial needs, the nation can collect or confiscate personal properties, but should give compensation” should be written into Constitution.

Ding sounds skeptical, “What I worry about is, will the home owner really have any true rights? And will the compensation be enough for me to buy another place of my own? After they rebuild here, I won't be able to afford living in this part of the city.”

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