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Requisition law 'facing resistance'
Date:2010/7/8      View:1111
The delayed implementation of a draft revision to property requisition regulations is due to resistance from local governments, many of which make money by selling land, experts have said.

Half a year has passed since a draft amendment to the Regulations on Demolishing Urban Housing was published to seek public input. Legal experts said the new regulation, which is intended to expand protection of property owners' rights, will be difficult to implement because it goes against local governments' interests.

Eight Peking University law professors suggested the revision last year, after Sichuan native Tang Fuzhen set herself on fire while resisting the demolition of her house.

The State Council Legislative Affairs Office published a draft revision in January, which many expected to take effect soon afterwards.

Earlier this year, the office had hinted the new regulation might be adopted in June, but it has recently remained silent about the issue and has been refusing to respond to media questions about it.

"We haven't received any information from the office about when it will take effect since January," said Jiang Ming'an, one of the eight professors.

Jiang believes the delay is due to local governments being unwilling to accept the new regulation, because it places more stringent conditions on the approval required for demolitions.

It states that houses can only be demolished to serve the "public interest". Residents must be paid full compensation before moving out. Relocations can only take place if at least 90 percent of residents agree with the compensation proposal.

According to the current rules, residents must move out once the government issues a relocation permit and governments can force relocation before paying compensation.

"Many local governments have already set annual GDP growth targets, which many hope to reach through land sales," Jiang said. "It's difficult to persuade them to close the door to their own wealth."

Demolition-related conflicts, including deadly clashes, appear to be increasingly common.

On June 1, a man from Henan's provincial capital Zhengzhou became so enraged about the forced demolition of his home that he drove his van into a crowd, killing four people and injuring 13.

On April 8, Yang Yi, a resident of Liaoning province's Fushun, stabbed Wang Guangliang, a local official, to death as Wang led a team to demolish Yang's house.

Jiang said he has received hundreds of letters complaining about compensation and forced demolitions every day since December.

"I wish I could help," he said. "But, after all, I'm only an academic."
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