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Demolition law criticized

[ 2010-02-02 11:23]     字号 [] [] []  
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Draft permits the destruction of housing for non-public interests

Scholars have opened fire on a new draft amendment on the demolition of urban housing, saying a stipulation permits the destruction of homes for "non-public interests" is in violation of the country's Constitution.

The amendment, which was made public on Friday, is being criticized for its No 40 item, which says, "to demolish housing for constructions of non-public interest, the constructors, such as real estate developers, need to ask permission from related governments".

Ma Guangyuan, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said this stipulation should be deleted as both the Constitution and the draft revision itself say "the government can only confiscate citizens' property for public interest".

The draft revision emphasizes public interest but could be ruined by this single item, Ma said. This stipulation still authorizes the government to permit demolitions for non-public interests.

The existing regulation on urban housing demolition, allowing local governments to confiscate homes and claim land, has sparked growing violence and even prompted some protesters to set themselves on fire.

"If the new guidelines do not make real changes concerning this part, the draft revision is just a technical instead of a real change to the original one," said Wang Xixin, a professor from Peking University, who also disagrees with this stipulation.

Wang said the State Council Legislative Affairs Office had informed him that they would issue another regulation about demolishing for non-public interest. However, no date for its publication has been given.

"I suggested the deletion of this guideline too but they didn't do it," Wang said.

The law ought to make clear: You cannot confiscate land if the purpose behind it is not "public interest," Wang said.

"If non-public interest demolitions are specifically outlawed, then the property owner and the developer would have to work out a selling price between themselves, in a civil agreement, and the government would not get involved.

“Government officials are not supposed to permit anything."


1. Which number is the disputed topic in the new draft law?

2. What does item No 40 allow that has caused the debate?

3. What is the emphasis of the new demolition draf laws?


1. 40.

2. Demolition of housing for non-public uses.

3. Public interest.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Demolition law criticized

Demolition law criticized

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for China Daily for one year.