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Village # 24, Xiaowayao-Wujia

Village #24 is Xiaowayao-Wujia village, Fengtai district, Lugouqiao township

小瓦窑吴家村 Xiaowayao-Wujia village

丰台区卢沟桥乡Fengtai district, Lugouqiao township

konjaku: apparently Xiaowayao village (“small pottery kiln”) and Wujia (“Wu family”) village are two villages adjacent to each other. At an earlier stage much of Xiaowayao was redeveloped, before the listed-up 50 villages project. The area referred to in the 50 villages project in 2009-2011 may be parts of both villages. I found very little information on this project.

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Question: when will Xiaowayao Wujia village be demolished?

https://zhidao.baidu.com/question/339457935.html

2 Answers.

Answer 1: 2011-11-23

“This year (2011) in the 4th and 5th months, it was already demolished.  They have already started building on the site.”

Answer 2: 2011-11-07

“The plan was done a while ago, and everything is ready to get moving. However, we have to wait for the high-speed rail construction to be finished, and be patient a little longer!”

Renovations to replacemnt housing in Fengtai

2019-03-06

https://news.fang.com/open/31773888.html

Xiaowayao village with more than 900 households, was designated part of the detached green zone in 1996, and the village was transformed.  The villagers moved to better replacement housing, located at three different addresses.

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2019-03-06 Beijing City announced two new projects: a new section of Xiaowayao villagers replacement housing including a kindergarden, and a science education facility.

konjaku: the following article is about the part of Xiaowayao village which have already been transformed, in 1996. However, it is an interesting look at how residents’ needs are changing. There was previously in Beijing a law that buildings under 12 stories could not have elevators. But as the population has aged, the law was changed.

Xiaowayao villagers replacement housing undergoes “surgery” –12 older buildings add new elevator towers

http://www.bjd.com.cn/zc/sbs/201709/20/t20170920_11070941.html

http://jingcheng.qianlong.com/2017/0920/2044628.shtml

For the past few days, in Fengtai district Liguoxiao township, the Xiaowayao village replacement housing buildings have been undergoing surgery. Every single unit is “growing” its own elevator. The 21 years of the villagers walking up and down is coming to an end. For the twelve buildings there will be 83 elevators installed, in batches over this year and next year.

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At one entrance, six exterior elevator shafts tower above us. Workers in hardhats are rushing here and there, the roar of an excavator fills the air. “I never believed this old building would be reborn, and that I will no longer have to struggle up and down the stairs, but can ride in comfort!” Zhang Huiqin, a resident, beamed.  At her age, her legs are no longer agile, and it is difficult for her and her husband to walk up and down. “”Waiting for the elevator to be completed, is like anticipating our golden wedding anniversary, “ said Zhang Huiqin and her husband, Li Changhou.

In 1996 the 900 households of Xiaowayao village moved to replacement housing in three different locations nearby. The buildings were mostly six-story. At that time, putting in elevators was not standard. The villagers “moved up” to better residences but “moving up or down” was difficult. With the aging of the village population, some 800 of them are over 60 years old, and 80 villagers are handicapped, giving urgency to the problem.

Installation of elevators began 2016-03. The village collective put up the capital. In two months they will continue the project in the other two buildings.

But if the money problem has been solved, this does not mean everything will go smoothly. Previously when the villagers were surveyed, there were some who did not assent. Basically,  first-floor residents had a different opinion from the rest. They felt that adding the exterior elevator shafts would lessen their access to light and fresh air, and they would get little benefit from elevators they would hardly ever use. In order to persuade the residents on lower floors to agree to the project, the village party members called a conference with the village representatives and the construction company representatives, appealing to the lower floor residents to take the initiative and be the first to sign agreements. At the same time, the village cadres and representatives formed a work team and went door-to-door to persuade people to sign on. 

But ideology alone did not persuade, it was seeing the benefits of elevators with their own eyes that brought the villagers around. Nearby Zhangyi village had several recent dozen elevators. The Xiaowayao villagers went in groups to visit, and experience them first hand. Some villagers began to understand the need for elevators, and gradually the opposition faded away.

Once the job started, what has been taking the most time is the infrastructure. “Each elevator shaft needs a foundation of twelve cubic meters of reinforced concrete. Water, sewage and gas utility pipes underground all have to be re-routed,” construction director Li Zhensheng told this reporter. “Elevators consume more electricity, this has to be provided too.” After four months, sox elevator shafts had been completed. Xiaowayao Party Branch Secretary Liu Chunhua said, 

 “After the elevators are done, the outside of the buildings will be replastered, new windows put in, and new layers of insulation will be added, to make the buildings more attractive and functional. In addition, the whole district will be renovated: the surrounding area will be greenified, parking spaces put in, and there will be a city administration website at the service of residents.”

 Reporter Wu Di’she

konjaku: further reference:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-elevators/elevator-makers-see-the-upside-of-evolving-china-idUSKCN0XH29E

This snippet on Wujia village suggests that in the more recent renovation the villagers got high compensation payments and more than one new residence when they moved. (So they could live in one residence, and rent out the others.)

Sudden wealth from compensation payment, gambled away in the wink of an eye

http://www.npc.gov.cn/npc/xinwen/2015-03/03/content_1907543.htm

Excerpt: 66 year old Mr Guo, in 2011, received three new residences and 2.2 million yuan in the Fengtai district Wujia village transformation. According to him,  “Some households received as much as 10 million yuan. To be sure, if these families had lived ordinary lives there wouldn’t have been a problem. But many, within several years, had not a penny left to their name.  Some kept mistresses, or divorced and remarried multiple times, others gambled their money away in Macao. Some even had to sell their replacement residences to get by.”

Villages #22 and 23: Hou’niwa and Shiliuzhuang

Village #22

Hou’niwa village 后泥洼, Lugouqiao township卢沟桥乡, Fengtai district 丰台区  

konjaku: I found very little on this village. A blog post indicates that some villagers were not satisfied with the compensation plan.

http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_58ea08430102vpx7.html

The villages called Niwa are in northeast Fengtai, established in the Qing (1644-1911). Because the ground is low, when there was a heavy rain the area flooded, the roads became muddy and barely passable, therefore Ni “Mud” and Wa “swamp.” The land is composed of silt deposits accumulated at the delta of the Yongding river. As the number of villagers increased, the village gradually extended northward, until it became a southern part, Qian’niwa (“front” niwa) and Hou’niwa (“rear” niwa). Niwa is a station on the Beijing #10 subway loop line.

http://old.landscape.cn/news/events/city/2010/0419/41427.html

Lugouqiao township Hou’niwa village. 3.94 hectares of land was set aside for replacement housing, with 124,000 square meters of built space, with buildings set at 80 meters high.

konjaku: the following is from a blog

http://dq.tieba.com/p/864201693

All Hou’niwa villagers please take note:

As for the Hou’niwa demolition problems, the situation is similar to Xiju!

To the village leaders: When you take a break from your busy schedule,  and dip into the public till to treat yourself to a meal or a  drink and a smoke, what you do to your body is your own affair. But take a look at what is happening around you. Remember, you were once ordinary people, living among the same villagers you now lead. Consider well the demolition and relocation question. Giving each person 46 square meters of space in replacement housing is something we villagers cannot accept! Give us a more rational solution!

Now I say to all villagers:

Stand firm and united through thick and thin!

If we don’t get a better contract offer, don’t give in and sign!

konjaku: in the absence of further details, at least from other cases we see that villagers assume that 50 square meters is the standard to meet, and resist any shaving off from that figure.

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Village #23 Shiliuzhuang village 石榴庄村, Nanyuan township 南苑乡, Fengtai district 丰台区

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konjaku:  Shiliuzhuang was apparently a large village, with a population of 6000. Since may villagers had already relocated due to construction projects in the past, about 2000 were left. What is missing in these accounts is a sense of whether the village site was a highly valued location which could be sold to a developer for an astronomical price, or whether there are factors which inhibited its value, in which case the local government had to worry about paying out over a billion yuan in village transformation which it might not recoup. The latter seems more likely. This would explain why the authorities offered the villagers less in compensation than originally proposed, and less than other surrounding villages, which led to resistance on the part of a number of villagers (how many is hard to determine). There are two conflicting narratives: the tragic resistance of some villagers who took the most extreme measures to protest, and the triumphant story of the beautiful replacement housing which won a coveted architectural prize.

The principal worry of villagers who have a stable income from renting before they move, is what will be their source of income when they relocate to residential complexes. They may see their compensation payment as the last sum of money they know they will receive, and everything after that undetermined. Therefore any amount less than what they feel is appropriate can be a huge source of anxiety.

http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2010-01-26/062816995181s.shtml

2010-01-26

konjaku: excerpt from a longer article

Shiliuzhuang has an area of 2.4 square kilometers. Surrounded by tall buildings, it is a typical urban village.

Lao Gao, 72,  is a born and bred, 100 percent Shiliuzhuang villager. He previously lived on Number 17 West Street in the village, and had a 400 square meter one-story house. Like his neighbors, he rented out his spare rooms, garnering a pretty impressive monthly income.  Apart from this he had no other occupation. However, along with the income,  every day he had to deal with problems associated with renting: problems with water, electricity, kerosene. The strained infrastructure in the village meant there were many hidden dangers. 

The history of Shiliuzhuang villagers renting rooms can be traced back to 1991, when there was a large influx of people who came to open businesses in Dahongmen [site of a large clothing wholesale market]. Prices varied over the years, but in recent years Laogao could get 400 yuan a month for a small room. However, in the 12th month of last year, Lao Gao moved out of his village home, in preparation to move into the new replacement housing on Puhuangyu Road. Now that his house is demolished, it means his “rice bowl” [way of making a living] is gone as well.

For the present, Lao Gao and his wife are living at their son’s house nearby. Their original home is reduced to a pile of rubble. There are twelve people altogether in Lao Gao’s family. According to the compensation plan,  on his 400 square meter house, Lao Gao will get 12,000 yuan per square meter, and can buy a residence in the replacement housing for a reduced price of 7000 yuan per square meter [these figures differ from later accounts of Shiliuzhuang compensation, see below]. At this price, each person (the twelve in his family) is eligible to buy 40 square meters at the reduced price. They anticipate that they will be able to move in before 2012.

As many of the villagers are elderly, and their level of education or training is low, a one-time compensation payment will not solve the problem of how they will support themselves in the future. But Lao Gao is not in the least bit worried. “Before the demolition we had a number of village assemblies, and they said each person will get a thirty square meter store, to manage themselves, or we could rent it out.” Lao Gao doesn’t really know how to manage a store, but thinks it can’t be much different from hia previous experience of managing rentals.  In any case, he will still have a steady income. Also, he has 46,000 shares in the village common stock fund,  therefore he feels assured that that will also provide him with a steady income going forward.

General Party Branch Secretary Xu Wanchao calculates that villagers will have the following sources of income once the village is demolished: the village collective has increased its subsidy to those who have reached retirement age, to 770 yuan per month. The usual rate for villages is 650 yuan per month. Also,  retired persons have a nest egg of 35,000 yuan from village common stock. Once they get a 30 square meter business, if they rent out the space, Xu Manchao calculates that at 1 yuan per square meter, they will get about 10,000 yuan a year.

Xu Manchao said,  “In theory, we could take the collective village capital and divide it now among all the villagers, which would be a considerable sum. But for a continuing income, it would be better to let this captal appreciate in value along with the economic development of village property, which will translate into more long-term profits for all.”

konjaku: here the compensation is 12,000 yuan per square meter, with an option buy a residence in the replacement housing for a reduced price of 7000 yuan per square meter. This article is dated 2010-01-26. It is possible that some villagers received this plan, but, as the following article shows, a new plan was introduced with reduced terms in 2010-07, which became the source of protests.

The Shiliuzhuang Village Demolition Vexations

2010-09-01

http://finance.ifeng.com/news/20100901/2577173.shtml

Shiliuzhaung village is between the southern third and fourth rings, locate at the last stop of the number 5 subway line, at Songjiazhuang station. It is in Fengtai district,, one of the 50 listed -up villages.

This reporter found on the internet that the villagers were using a message board to post challenges to the demolition and relocation plan. The villagers have already applied three times to have an audience with the higher authorities, and they were going to pick representatives to safeguard their rights and interests.This reporter decided to go to the village to take a look. 

The area around the number 5 subway exit was crowded with pedicabs and venders selling things. The ground was flooded with sewage water and garbage –this was without question the typical scene of an urban village. Further down along a dusty road, this reporteer saw some villagers sitting under a clump of trees. It turns out they were waiting to convene a meeting to elect representatives.

At 2 o’clock on 08-03-2010, 200 villagers assembled in the village assembly hall to elect representatives. Unlike previous assemblies, this was a spontaneous action organized by the villagers themselves, not something convened under the supervision of the village committee.

“We were forced to get to this point.” So said Zhou Jie, 29, a Shiliuzhuang villager who had been one of the organizers of the assembly. “The demolition and relocation plan announced by the village committee does not follow the requirements spelled out in the national policy, snd the original village representatives were not able to express the villagers true aspirations. There were previously 72 village representatives, but they were not chosen by us, and they didn’t really represent us, we did not even know who they were.”

Zhou Jie was an accountant, but because she had been organizing the village election, for the last nine days she has not been to work.  This reporter discovered that those who had been bustling from place to place organizing the meeting and putting together the documents were young people in their late 20s. 

“They have education, they understand the law, and they figured out the many problems with the demolition and relocation plan, matters we old peasants can’t understand, “ an older villager told this reporter. It appears they really believe in the younger people.

The assembly went in perfect order, with the ballot selection, registering of votes, calling out the names of those selected,  and finally, on the spot verification. The names of the elected representatives were neatly written out,  to each of which was affixed a thumbprint and phone number.

Zhou Jie said the balloting had gone on for two days, and they were now in the final stage of putting together the list of all those selected. Every villager was to append their signature to the list, and since some villagers were at work during the day, the gathering of signatures would continue into the night.

Zhou Jie emphasized that the villagers needed to know who their representatives were, and the representatives needed to know which villagers they represented. To allow the villagers to clearly understand this concept, she asked an elected representative at random to call out the names of villagers her or she represented, and the person was able to call out the names without hesitation.

After more than two hours of checking and confirming, the names of 69 representatives emerged, and a list of names was formally produced. However, “This is still a preliminary list. Some villagers have signed for their family members, but in some cases we may need to get individual signatures if a discrepancy comes to light.” According to Zhou Jie, the next step is to present this list to the village committee and the Nanyuan town government. “Once we have notified these entities, the villagers can represent them and uphold their rights and interests as the plan proceeds.”

Soon afterwards, the list of representatives, on a scarlet-bordered roll of paper, was posted on the wall at the village committee entrance, where public announcements are put up. However, this reporter was told by a villager that the paper was only up there for about ten minutes, before someone tore it down.

Three sealed letters lit the fuse

Zhou Jie and several other villagers related to this reporter the events that led up to organizing an election for new village representatives.

On 07-20, the Shiliuzhuang villagers received a sealed letter from the village committee,  stating that a plan to demolish the village and move the villagers to replacement housing had been formulated and approved by the Fengtai district government, and that in a few days the village representatives would vote on it. This was the first letter.

“There was nothing about where we would move to, and nothing about compensation –just that soon the village would be demolished.  With so few details, how could we take it seriously?” The villagers were indignant.

On 07-21, the village committee gave the villagers information about the compensation plan. For the village homesteads, the rate was 8000 yuan per square meter.  The villagers were very dissatisfied: this was below the national standard rate. They objected to the village committee, but the committee said there was nothing that could be done about it.

On 07-24 the village committee convened a meeting, to mobilize the villagers to begin the search for new housing. In the meeting the villagers were told they had three months to finish moving out of their homes.

On 07-25, the village assembly convened a meeting. Several hundred villagers rushed into the meeting, and made the demand to to have a new election for village representatives. “First of all, we do not agree with the demolition and relocation plan. Second, we do not believe the current village representatives can accurately reflect our wishes, because we have not elected them ourselves.”

On 07-26, the villagers received the second sealed letter from the village committee. It stated that the Shiliuzhaung village  rural-urban unification plan had already been examined and approved by the Fengtai district government. Many villagers assembled at the entrance to the village committee compound, requesting again for there to be a new election of village representatives, and asking for the village committee to release more details about the plan. But they received no response.

On 07-27, some 500 villagers went to the Nanyuan town government office, demanding the right to a new election.  The town replied that they would give them an answer by Friday (07-30).

On 07-29, the villagers received the third sealed letter. This one was an apology. It stated, “ Due to a  careless error in printing the plan, the word ‘draft’ was omitted. For this, the village committee expresses its regret to everyone.”

The villagers were infuriated by this excuse. “It is understandable that anyone could make this kind of mistake. The problem is,  the day after the mistake was made the plan was released, and at that time they told us, the plan was fixed and could not be altered, now how could that be true if it was really only a draft?” Saying one thing and doing another, that is not just mere carelessness, that is trying to trick us. They should tell us in detail what is going on.” The next day the villagers went to the Beijing City Complaints Office, and, “the person at the Complaints Office proposed to us that the villagers elect their own representatives.” Two days later, the villagers began to hold their own election, resulting in the list of newly elected representatives, signed and sealed by all.

On 08-02, once again visited the Beijing City Complaints Office, bringing the signed list giving the results of their election. However, the list was declared inadequate, because the requirement was that every signature had to be in the individual’s own handwriting, but on the list some people had signed for others. The villagers have to reexamine the list , and confirm each signature. This is where things stand for now.

What is the problem with the Shiliuzhuang village demolition plan?

This reporter acquired a copy of the plan, which comes to six pages printed on a paper size that is about half of A4, and describes the compensation and replacement housing options.

First, the compensation. It states that those who choose to move out and purchase replacement housing, will get 8000 yuan per square meter for their homestead. 

“According to the Beijing City Compensation Stipulations, homesteads within the third and fourth ring should command 8600 to 112000 yuan. We do not know where this figure of 8000 comes from. Can we find a second village in Beijing with a similar location to ours? Surprisingly. this compensation does not even reach the national minimum standard. ” Indeed, the replacement housing, to be built near the old village site, will be served by three subway lines, the Number 5, the Yizhuang line, and the Number 10 extension to be completed in 2012.

Second, resettlement. Those who conform to the conditions and vacate their homesteads will get 45 square meters per person in replacement housing. If they choose a residence with more area, it cannot exceed 8 percent of the original allotted amount. [Although not specified here, presumably the 45 square meters would be probably be purchased at reduced terms below the market rate].

“Beijing City clearly stipulates that every villager should receive 50 square meters of replacement housing, but for us there is only 45.” The villagers don’t understand. “We are not making this up. If you compare to nearby Dahongmen village, they received 10 thousand yuan per square meter for their homesteads (compared to 8 thousand), and bought replacement housing at [a below-market rate of] 3800 yuan per square meter.”

The villagers did a calculation: if here is a 100 square meter homestead in Dahongmen and one in  Shiliuzhuang,  and the family living in it relocates and buys a 100 square meter residence in replacement housing, than, comparing the compensation plans, the Dahongmen village family ends up with 570,000 more yuan in cash in the end. All the details were clearly laid out in a chart.

Further, this reporter found that market-priced housing in the Shiliuzhiang village area goes for  more than 20,000 yuan per square meter. 

In the compensation plan, this reporter found there are a number of awards, subsidies and bonuses that will be paid to those who agree to move.  Listed are the following: an award of 5000 yuan per household for those who move out in advance,  80,000 yuan per household for those who cooperate with the project,  a moving subsidy of 20 yuan per square meter,  300 yuan to move electrical service,  235 yuan to move telephone service, 400 yuan for air-conditioning service,  a 30,000 award for not interfering with the construction, 1000 yuan per month for expenses per person while waiting to move in for up to two years, 1000 yuan per square meter for assisting in the focal-point village transformation project, and a subsidy of 10 percent of the price the village family pays for their replacement housing. 

“Putting aside the issue of whether those subsidy amounts are large or small, for us the crux of the matter is that if we refuse to move out, the village committee will take our homesteads away from us. ” In the plan, it states that those who refuse to comply with the plan will have their homesteads  reclaimed and seized by the village committee. Specifically, “ the villagers who have moved out in compliance with the plan, have [as a bloc] the authority to seize the homesteads of those who are resisting and keeping the project from moving forward.  For those whose homesteads are reclaimed by the village, all the awards and subsidies will be cancelled.”

A fundamental reason why the villagers object to the plan, is that they are worried about what sort of income and livelihood they will have in the future. 

The villagers have always seen land as the source of their livelihood.  In actuality, the villagers in urban villages like Shiliuzhuang already lost their land some time ago.  This reporter found that at present the villagers’ income comes from three sources: renting out rooms, dividends from village investments, and odd jobs. However, renting rooms to the migrants who far outnumber the villagers is the principal source of income. (As for dividends: in the year 2000, Shiliuzhuang village underwent a revolution in their collective economy system.  Village assets were invested in a corporation, and the villagers became shareholders, getting a monthly dividend when there were profits,  of some 650 yuan a month.)

“In our current situation, we are able to make a living,  but there is nothing in the plan about how we will make a living after we move.” So said a 40 year-old villager in some despair. This reporter has found that if a village family has a 100 square meter homestead, they can rent out six rooms at 300 yuan per month,  amounting to 1800 yuan, which is half, or more than half their total income for the month.  “We don’t have other skills. Sometimes we make a little money driving a car, as an unofficial taxi. Rentals is really the long-term, regular income that we rely on to live.  If our homes are demolished, and we have no rooms to rent, we will have no steady long-term income.”

As for rental income, it is closely connected to the so-called “non-conforming buildings” problem. To add more rooms to rent, the villagers have built additions that take over parts of the alleys or sidewalks, or they have built upper stories on their homes. The villagers do not deny this, but they also have given up on the hope that compensation they eventually get will take the place of the income they now enjoy. “We do not intend to obstruct, we support the government’s actions. We only think the compensation plan is not rational. With inadequate compensation, and no rooms to rent, how are we going to live in the future?”

Registered permanent residences are also a complicated problem

Because of the acceleration of urban development, the villagers lost more and more of their land to various industrial projects, and the building of the subway. Subsequently, their  household registry changed from rural (agricultural) to an urban registry. But, as previously mentioned, the villagers received dividends from a village joint-stock company. This company was structured for shareholders with an agricultural household registry, as urban residents, the villagers lost their connection to it. Therefore the company is being dissolved and the shares distributed,  with each villager getting a final amount depending on the length of time they had been in the company, among other factors.

“Now I have only income from rentals, I no longer get dividends,” Ms Li told this reporter.  Due to construction of the Number 5 subway in 2008, Ms Li was one of approximately 900 villagers who lost their land and transferred to urban residency. At that time, she received a payment of 80,000 yuan (11,900 dollars) as a pay-off from the joint-stock company. “This sum represents the end of monthly payments and yearly dividends which I no longer receive. Technically, I am no longer a Shiliuzhuang villager. However, in the demolition and relocation that is going on now, the villagers still have village representatives, but we, who changed residency already, have no one to represent us  and negotiate with the government concerning the demolition problems.”

Ms Li said she is now an urban resident, but her husband still has an agricultural residency. “If I ask the village representative for advice, what  advice can I get in our situation? During the relocation, do I revert to my husband’s status as one-half of our household?”

This reporter has discovered that Shiliuzhuiang was originally a village of 6000 residents, but 4000 have already changed over to urban residencies.

The disorderliness in the household registry system is not limited to Shiliuzhuang, but is a problem in most urban villages, with many cases of family members with different household registry status. Villages are administered jointly by the neighborhood committee office and the township government [responsible for groups of villages], and they have different sets of regulations and jurisdictions.  The neighborhood committee is responsible for transferring people to new registries, while the township has authority over the land and buildings.

In ny case, the villagers are worried that they will lose more than they will gain.

konjaku: the villagers find their plan wanting when compared to the national standard, which is referred to variously in this article as the “national policy stipulation” 国家政策规定, the “national price” 国家价格,  and the “(lowest possible) national standard” 国家的最低标准.

konjaku: The villagers presented the government with their petition for new village representatives to represent them 2010-08-02, and the government sent it back on a technicality.  Despite that this reporter seemed ready to take the villagers’ side and document their political activity, at this point reporting in the mainland Chinese press on the Shiliuzhuang village situation ends. However, accounts from overseas sources in 2012 show that after two years resistance had hardened and finally the authorities proceeded with forcible demolition of the homesteads of those holding out.

Villagers refuse to move out of their homes — their land is confiscated for right of use by the state

http://www.bjnews.com.cn/news/2012/06/22/206111.html

2012-06-22

Shiliuzhuang village representatives assembly has passed a resolution to confiscate the land of those village households resisting eminent domain (“nail houses”).

New Beijing News ,Reporter Ma Li

Yesterday,  the Shiliuzhuang village assemble convened and passed a resolution to confiscate the land of the few remaining houses that have not cooperated and caused the process to be at a standstill. The villages are relocating to replacement housing located between the third and fourth rings. 

According to the village general party branch secretary Xu Wanchao, since the village urban transformation and compensation plan was announced on 2010-09-10, the village households have been gradually persuaded to move,  and at present 1040 households have signed contracts, 91.4 percent of the total. But there is a group of villagers who refuse to move. 

Xu Wanchao said, “Some villagers hope that if they hold out more money will be offered them. This has already had a negative effect on the lives of other villagers, because construction of replacement housing has been delayed. To safeguard the interests of the thousands of other villagers, the decision was made to conclude the situation of the hold-outs. All of us want to move to the new housing as soon as possible.” The representive assembly has now instructed the village committee to reclaim the homesteads, according to the legal reason that these homesteads are on village collective land.

Yesterday the village committee took the villagers on a field trip to look at the replacement housing, which is near Puhuangyu Road. The exterior is being finished, the prediction is that the villagers can move in early next year.

Shiliuzhuang villager Sun Shuangyan attempts to commit suicide by drinking pesticide at the local police station

2012-07

http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2012/07/blog-post_2244.html

photo: the site of demolished Shiliuzhuang village

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photo: Shiliuzhuang villagers about to go to walk in Tiananmen Square.

(Reported by Weiquan [Defending rights movement] staff Zhang Cheng, Son Yu) On 2012- 07-06,  many Shiliuzhuang villagers went to Tiananmen Square to protest the forcible demolition of their homes, and were taken into custody by the police. On 07-08, villager Sun Shuangyan, having given up all hope,  attempted to commit suicide by swallowing pesticide at the Nanyuan police station, to make her death an act of resistance against the stripping away of the villagers’ rights. She was rushed to the 307 hospital in critical condition, and is at present receiving treatment. 

On 07-04, at 4 in the morning before dawn, an organized group of over 500 people wearing the same black clothes and carrying long and short sticks, burst into Shiliuzhuang village, forced open the villagers’ anti-theft gates, cut off the electricity, cut off internet reception,  and smashed security cameras. They dragged away Zhou Jie, a sixty year old mother, injuring her. Her property inside the house, worth several 100 thousand yuan, disappeared. Other villagers met the same treatment, and forcible demolition of their homes. Zhou Jie went more than ten times to the local police station to report the incident. but the police never came out to investigate. Many villagers were injured as their homes were being destroyed. 

On 07-08, Zhou Jie, whose home had been demolished, gave a news interview exposing the treatment the villagers had received. On 07-09, at 5 AM before dawn, unknown persons came to what was left of her house and, in revenge, broke apart whatever remained, smashing it down to pieces of rubble. Fortunately they missed some of her furniture which was already buried under the ruins of the house. The village committee broadcast threats, accusing Zhou Jie of treason. 

2012-07-20

https://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/beijing_demolition-07202012101356.html

Shiliuzhuang villager Mr Zhou told this reporter that a group of 500 people, including members of the criminal underworld,  was mobilized by the authorities to attack the village. They came to the village before dawn, sealed off all the entrances, and targeted five houses for demolition. Those who resisted were beaten and removed from the scene on stretchers.

Mr Zhou said, “One of these was Zhang Yurong. The assailants used a fire extinguisher  to spray him and his wife through the window of their house. They were removed,  still covered in the white substance, and their house was demolished. Both were beaten up, and needed to be carried away on  stretchers. and were later arrested by the police.

Another victim was Deng Ruyong. Deng faced off the attackers with gasoline, causing them to pause, but in the end he was subdued, and bundled into a police car. The three are still confined in the police station.

Villagers have refused to sign contracts because the compensation rate offered is too low. One after another, they have seen their houses demolished, and they have been forced to live in the streets, without any shelter. Many of these are old people. 

Mr Zhou said,  a case that has particularly affected people is the Guo’s. Mr Guo is 76, his wife is 68. Their house was demolished and all of their property taken away by the attackers, now they have nothing. They spend the cold nights curled up on the street corner near the village entrance. 

When the Guo’s house was being demolished, Ms Guo called Emergency (110) for help, but the police said it was the action of the government authorities and did nothing to intervene.  Since then the anonymous forces have come back twice and demolished more houses. Since the police do nothing, the villagers feel utterly helpless.

Since Sun Shuangyan attempted suicide by drinking pesticide, for two weeks she has been in the hospital, and is not yet out of danger. A doctor indicated that since she drank a large amount, there has been severe damage to her organs. Mr Zhou believes that if the situation continues, other villagers may feel compelled to take the same drastic step.

To this reporter’s inquiries the Fengtai government office refused to give any response, and the village committee has not returned any phone calls. 

A number of netizens have commented on Sina and Weibo that there are millions of yuan riding on the demolition of the village which will ultimately profit government officials, and for that reason they are flagrantly engaging in this forcible demolition in such a manner.  Early on ten villagers who had lost their homes went to Tienanmen Square and handed out protest leaflets. They were arrested and detained for seven days before being released.

photos:

http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_5d6c9c2a0101359b.html

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 https://www.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2013/02/201302151440.shtml  

From 2012-04-27 to 08-07, the Shiliuzhuang villagers’ homes were forcibly demolished, and the ground cleared of all remaining rubble. The villages had resisted, and protested by all means possible, to no avail. 

To accomplish this, the village committee, township government, and the demolition company, employed persons from the criminal underworld and loiterers, to go into the village and threaten the villagers, managing to force some of them to sign unfair contracts and vacate their homes. Those who resisted were beaten up,  locked up, and abused while in custody.

In the end, some villagers, desolate about the loss of their homes, continued to appeal their case with the higher authorities,  while wandering homeless in the streets. They joined the masses of  people who had come from provinces from all over to the capital to plead their cases. For once,  there was the rare sight of home-grown Beijingers in this assemblage of petitioners. In the end, these lovers of their native city were thrown into the barracks where protesters often end up.

photo: the village demolition complete

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konjaku: the above is an excerpt from a longer article that details the struggles of individual protestors. Now, the other narrative.

Putting into practice the principles for a good life, the Shiliuzhuang village replacement housing project wins the “Spacious Mansion Prize”

2019-01-02

http://k.sina.com.cn/article_5395425339_14197a83b00100jx48.html?from=estate&subch=

2014-11, the Shiliuzhuang village second-stage replacement housing construction went through its final check, and villagers can start moving in at the end of the month. This brings to a successful close the complete transformation of Shiliuzhuang village. Looking back over the process, Shiliuzhuang village went through a number of detailed efforts to reach this point.

From 2010-12 to 2014-10, under the leadership of Fengtai district and the township local government, 1.7 billion yuan was invested on a construction project of 380,000 square meters. The Beijing Jinrui Tongfang Development company was chosen by the government to build the project. The first stage, the Dingxiu Jingshi Homeland,  with 1600 residences, was completed 2013-06, and residents moved in. The second stage, the Dingxiu Jingyi Homeland,  and Dingxiu Jinrui Homeland , with 1700 residences, is now finished. This huge success was brought about by the confidence that the total transformation of the old village could be done in a timely manner.

Shiliuzhang village original appearance (photos)

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The Beijing Jinrui Tongfang Development company took seriously their responsibility to provide for the residents the highest quality of life.  The buildings are all aligned north to south, and each section forms a complete set of all the services residents need.

The “Spacious Mansion Prize” is a national-level prize ratified by the State Council,  the most prestigious real estate development prize one can receive.  It takes into consideration livability, environment, economic factors, safety, durability, upkeep,  and building technology. After a rigorous inspection, on 2018-12-25, the Shiliuzhuang replacement housing project was one of the recipients of this prize.

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http://house.ifeng.com/news/2014_11_24-50134883_0.shtml 

Tracing back the history of the village transformation:

2009-04 Shiliuzhuang was designated one of the fifty listed-up villages.

2010-06-30, the ground-breaking ceremony was held to lay the foundation for replacement housing.

2010-12-17 Construction on the first stage of the project, the Dingxiu Jingshi Homeland, began. With 1600 residential units, this would improve the living conditions of some 4800 villagers.

2011-11-29 The effort to have villagers sign agreements to buy replacement housing and move out of their homesteads begins. The compensation plan and replacement purchasing plan strictly follows the stipulations in the 2010-09-10 village assembly eighth session second convocation document.

[note: the plan the villagers were dissatisfied with was issued 2010-06. Whether this plan is in any way a revision of the previous plan is uncertain]

2012-10-15 construction begins on the second stage of replacement housing, Dingxiu Jingyi Homeland,  and Dingxiu Jinrui Homeland. With 1700 residences, this will solve the housing problems of some 5000 villagers.

2013-05 the first stage, the Dingxiu Jingshi Homeland is complete. All the utilities are hooked up to every unit, and the exterior gardens are finished, it is ready for villagers to move in. All during this month the villagers are coming in to inspect the new residences. 

2013-06-16 the Dingxiu Jingshi Homeland welcomes residents to move in. This is the first listed-up village in Fengtai district to have reached this significant step in the process of village transformation–a highly significant event.

2014-04-26 The Shuangshiyi residential district was formed to replace the village committee and become the new administrative entity through the former villagers, now as urban residents, will have the autonomy to form a new organization and govern themselves.

2014-10 the second stage of replacement housing,  Dingxiu Jingyi Homeland,  and Dingxiu Jinrui Homeland, is completed. The process of handing over units to residents begins.

The residents of replacement housing have clean running water. A new vacuum technology system brings the water through pipes directly to their homes, without the need for storage tanks [replacing the older system of pressurized pipes that sometimes did not operate well enough to get water to the upper floors of buildings].

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Traffic is also being improved by the building of major roads in the area.

The development has various automated operating systems. The complex has a local network server which connects to the internet. It has an entrance checkpoint, video monitoring,  an automated metered parking system, a heat metering system for the buildings, and a sophisticated security system with surveillance cameras, that signals the police if an alarm is tripped.

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The heating system: 2014-11, the heating system was inspected, and the pipes cleaned. On 11-15 the system was turned on. Residents of the second stage housing will be able to adjust their own room temperature, and will pay according to their usage.

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Parking: an automated parking barrier gate records all cars that enter and leave. The entering car is issued a ticket and the driver pays upon leaving, all done without an attendant. This system also increases public security, since there is a record of every car. The first-stage housing has 273 parking spaces above ground and 705 in the 3000 square meter underground parking garage. The second stage has 374 above, and 904 in the 3000 square meter underground parking garage. There is an average of .7 cars per resident.

The garden area is planned to give people many opportunities to  meet and interact. As the villagers have become urban residents, they need even more an open space in which to come into contact, to stroll, to play games, to have rest and relaxation. There needs to be facilities for pre-school children and for older children, including slides, see-saws, etc. For adults, space for individual exercise and for group exercise. Synthetic resin is applied to the ground of play areas, as a safety precaution.. There are many benches around the play area for those adults watching the children, providing another opportunity to socialize.

A new home, a new life. After relocating the villagers must discard old habits and learn new ones. They need to sort their trash and try and reduce carbon emissions, consider how to live with environmental awareness.

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————

The future of Shiliuzhuang village

The transformation of Shiliuzhuang village involves an area of 66 hectares [approx 140 football fields] involving 2000 households, more than 6000 people in total. The total investment in the project is 7.7 billion yuan, of which 1.7 billion yuan was slated for the replacement housing. The other 6 billion yuan is for [unspecified] “first class development.” This project is part of the comprehensive development of southern Beijing, in which a one-million-square-meter new city is being built.  It consists of 460,000 square meters for mixed residential development (including public housing), 280,000 square meters for replacement housing, (not including the construction of 100,000 square meters underground for subway lines and civil air defense shelters), 110,000 square meters for retail businesses, and 150,000 square meters for traffic, education, and medical facilities. This involves turning village collective land and village homesteads into state property, to be developed by stages into a new urban entity.

First stage:

Dingxiu Jingshi Homeland 顶秀金石家园

Second stage:

 Dingxiu Jingyi Homeland 顶秀金颐家园

Dingxiu Jinrui Homeland 顶秀金瑞家园

Shuangshiyi residential district 双石一社区

Other sources:

English:

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/725522.shtml

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/722880.shtml

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/beijing-evictees-04112012105535.html

Chinese:

https://chinadigitaltimes.net/chinese/2012/10/维权网-北京石榴庄村委强拆民房,李焕君维权遭/

https://chinadigitaltimes.net/chinese/2012/07/维权网-北京丰台区石榴庄周杰等家凌晨遭遇强拆/

(Villager Zhou Jie’s house is forcibly demolished)

https://chinadigitaltimes.net/chinese/2012/07/自由亚洲-北京石榴庄数百人凌晨强拆-村民自焚抗/

(several hundred people enter before dawn and demolish houses –a villager incinerates himself)

Village #21 Huaifang: from village to International Soccer Town

Village #21 is Huaifang, in the Fengtai district

Huaifang village 槐房村( to the north of Xiaolonghe小龙河以北地区)

丰台区南苑乡 Fengtai district, Nanyuan township

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konjaku: Huaifang village seems to have been swept up in a boom to develop the southern suburbs. Village site land was auctioned off for record-breaking prices, and the area around the village is being transformed in a scheme to build an “International Soccer Town,” and similar projects. Replacement housing was built for the villagers, and a generous compensation was planned for them, but it seems that over several years there have been some missteps. The village Communist party secretary, Zhang Hong, is under suspicion of siphoning off funds for his own development projects. People’s Daily investigated, but as yet there is no conclusion to this story.

http://house.people.com.cn/n/2015/1109/c164220-27793887.html

Beijing 11-09-2015. (reporter Yu Yanming). “When there is money, there is trouble.” Mr Chen, a resident at Dexinjiayuan, sighed. He, his wife and children were at loggerheads over the demolition compensation fee. 

On the day this reporter met old Mr Chen outside his residence in Dexinjiayuan, it was one of those days in Beijing marking the onset of winter,  with a fine rain steadily falling. Still Mr Chen was outside, wearing a thick wool coat, old leather shoes, and holding an umbrella, going for “a stroll around the bend”, (liuwan 遛弯, Beijing slang). If I hadn’t started a long chat with him, I never would have guessed he was worth millions.

Dexinjiayuan photo

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On the north side of Dexinjiayuan there are two neatly smoothed out plots of land, which are part of the site of Huaifang Village, where Mr Chen previously lived. Around a week ago these two plots of land went on the market, and the final price was 8.6 billion yuan for one, and 8.34 billion for the other, about 17 billion in all. Whatever is built on this land will sell for over 50,000 yuan per square meter. 

When this reporter informed Mr Chen of this he said, never in his wildest dreams could he have imagined it.  And the majority of Huaifang villagers now living in Dexinjiayuan were also unaware that the land they were living right next had gone for such a high price, actually the second and third highest price paid in history for land in Beijing.

Mr Chen lives by himself in a 70 square meter two room apartment. Some years ago he and his wife got divorced, and now his wife and two children live in another residential district, having used the compensation money to move.

The transformation of Huaifang village started at the beginning of 2011. The village began to be demolished, and a portion of the villagers moved in 2012 to replacement housing in Dexinjiayuan, while a corresponding portion of villagers waited until the the first half of this year (2015) to move, because their housing was still under construction.

Mr Chen was one of those who moved in the first half of this year. According to him, together with his wife and children, the total living space for which they were eligible for compensation was 2000 square meters. They received eight apartment residences of 70 square meters, altogether 700 square meters. In addition, the whole family received 20 million yuan in compensation (2.9 million dollars) for demolition and relocation.

Mr Chen says that the combined area of the houses lived in by him, his wife, and children, was at the time the largest of any family in Huaifang village. He says at present there is one apartment residence under his name, two in his wife’s name, two in his childrens’ names, and three under the name of the man his wife married when she remarried, As for the compensation funds, there is a portion they have not yet received. 

In previous interviews, a number of other Huaifang villagers stated to this reporter, that Huaifang was a large village of 2000 families,  and that Mr Chen’s account of his compensation is exaggerated. In fact, the compensation rate for Huaifang was much much lower.

A village who moved to Dexinjiayuan in 2012 told this reporter that the Huaifang compensation standard was that each person would receive 50 square meters of space in replacement housing. In addition,  the surface area of the  homestead of each family would be calculated, and they would receive 10,000 yuan per square meter for their total surface area.

Another former villager said that, for example, if there was a family of four that had a homestead of 100 square meters, this family would receive 200 square meters of replacement housing, which would come to approximately three 70-square-meter units in Dexinjiayuan, and a compensation amount of 1 million yuan.

A 2013 Fengtai government notice on the urban transformation project of Huaifang and Jiugong villages states that the size of Huaifang village collective land levied by the government is 144 hectares. In compensation, a total of 1.58 billion yuan will be paid, with priority given to transitioning the villagers from agricultural to urban household residencies (increased outlays for social security and other forms of social insurance) .

This reporter was able to examine one contract a Huaifang villager signed with the village committee. This village family had a homestead of 152 square meters, with 76 square meters of built space. They received compensation for their homestead area, and an “encouragement award,” along with various subsidiary funds. They purchased four replacements residences  using these funds, and when the purchase price was deducted they were still left with 1 million yuan.

Since the replacement housing in Dexinjiayuan was not finished when Huaifang village was demolished, a number of villagers, like Mr Chen, were given 1500 yuan a month as rent money. Mr Chen lived for two-and-a-half years in a rental in Xihongmen.

A number of villagers said the village committee had promised them they could move into new homesteads with gardens after their old homes were demolished, but they had instead been moved into the replacement housing. They said that they were not given  property rights to their residences in Dexinjiayuan, which means they can’t put them on the market. However, this reporter looked on a number of real estate websites, and found more than ten secondhand units from Dexinjiayuan for sale, at a price of about 25,000 yuan per square meter.

A real estate professional told this reporter that in the case of villagers with replacement housing,  they must first wait for five years before they can sell. They must then pay back the combined deductions they received, and pay taxes on the market price value of the property as well as other outstanding taxes,, before they can sell (after these steps, they receive a certificate granting their residence the status of saleable property).

As recently revealed,  the first phase A-block of land in the Huaifang and Xingong village transformation project sold for 8.6 billion yuan. There are estimates that when the property is developed, the sellers will be able to charge 10,000 yuan per square meter.

The Wanda corporation also has plans to build a Science and Technology Park next to the Wanda Plaza. They are currently taking bids to raise the financing.

The Huaifang and Xingong village transformation project is near the Xingong subway station in Daxing, and space in commercial residential buildings goes for 25000 yuan per square meter. But the sale price of the A-block parcel and another plot nearby will probably act as a detonator driving prices upward. 

Next to the former Huaifang village record-breaking land plot, is villager replacement housing, which is facing many complaints

People’s Daily Net 2016-01-25 (Yu Yanming)

http://house.people.com.cn/n1/2016/0125/c164220-28083354.html

2015-11, two plots of land from the former Huaifang village site in Fengtai sold one after another,  for 17 billion yuan altogether. For plots of land managed by Beijing city, these two plots fetched the second and third highest prices in history, and broke the records for that year.

On the southern side of these land-plots, several tens of sixteen story residential buildings tower up to the sky. These serve as replacement housing for the close to ten thousand Huaifang villagers, whose village used to sit on those record-breaking plots of land. 

These residences formally opened on 2014-11, but up to one hundred village families have refused to move in, and are still living in rentals, even though the village committee has cut off the rent subsidy payments of 1500 yuan a month per person.

As for the majority of villagers who have already moved in, they have a ton of complaints. The area they were promised has shrunk, the quality of the building is not good. To quote a number of villagers: “ Now that the village committee has cut off our rental subsidy, it’s unrealistic for us as villagers to think we can keep paying that kind of rent, therefore we have no choice but to take our keys, even though the replacement housing is smaller than promised and not of good quality. Nowadays, having to fix up and repair one’s place is an everyday occurrence.”

A People’s Daily reporter went to check at the Beijing Planning Office, and at the Beijing Bureau of the National Land Office, and in both places found a lack of proper procedures and illegal violations in regard to the second phase project of Huaifang village replacement housing.  These violations involved the land, the planning, the construction work, and the transfer of units to residents.

Replacement housing for Huaifang village is in three phases: the first is already finished and functioning, the second phase is mostly finished, and the third phase is still under construction.

Huaifang villagers are complaining about the second and third phases. While the first phase was constructed with every step certified by the appropriate government office, the second phase is only partially certified, and the third phase not at all. When this reporter brought these concerns to the Fengtai branch government offices, staff members acknowledged there were problems. Villagers requested to see the certified plans for the development, but a staff member admitted these plans did not exist, and there is still not an answer to the request on the website.

Villagers: construction is shoddy, and our surface area has shrunk. Government: there are problems with the construction, but the surface area has not shrunk.

Many villagers who live in Dexinjiayuan in the second phase replacement housing say that the doorframes are not straight, the walls are hollow and lack support, the bathrooms are not waterproofed leading to paint peeling off, and strong winds blow away pieces of the outer wall.

In the 5th month of last year, villagers sent complaint letters setting out these problems in detail, to the various government offices. The reply they received stated that the Huaifang village second phase is part of the focal-point village replacement housing,  and the formal organization of all aspects of this project has not yet been completed. As for the reason of how funds were allocated for construction when the necessary permits and certificates had not been filed, this matter is under investigation. 

After investigation, the Fengtai Building Committee believes that the problem with the exterior walls is that the morter was not properly affixed to the heat-preserving boards using a reinforcing net, causing sections to fall off. Construction did not follow what was indicated in the plans. “This is clearly illegal. The evidence is irrefutable.” The Building Committee is in the process of imposing a fine on the construction company.

However, other problems brought up in the complant letter have not been investigated by the government, and no action has been taken.

“When the village was demolished, the village committee promised us a standard of 50 square meters per person in the replacement housing, The village committee showed us a sample unit constructed for Dexinjiayuan first phase, and we were very satisfied with it. However, when we moved into our residences in the second phase development,  we discovered that while the area set aside for public space [space beside the actual residence,  such as corridors, exterior, etc.] was especially large, the units  themselves were only 30 or 40 square meters per person. In addition, there were problems with the construction.”

Government offices at various levels responded to the villagers, that surface areas of residences correspond to both national and Beijing city standards, and the problem of shrinking space just doesn’t exist. In its wording, the government reply simply repeated the same figures for area as appeared in the villagers’ complaint letter.  It stated that in making space for elevators in the second phase development, the space for residents had to become smaller.

A People’s Daily reporter has discovered that the investment company behind the construction company which is building the second phase replacement housing in Dexinjiayuan is actually the Huaifang village collective, and the legal representative in charge of the investment company is the Huaifang Village Party Branch Secretary  Zhang Hong. The reporter has attempted to contact Zhang Hong to get his response to the villagers’ complaints, but has so far been unsuccessful.

(Editors Yu Yanming, Sun Hongli)

konjaku: a third People’s Daily article, by the same reporter, dated 2016-01-21 

http://house.people.com.cn/n1/2016/0121/c164220-28073547.html

describes the construction of a “Temple of the Dragon King” on village land, and the villagers’ efforts to find out the details behind this construction from Zhang Hong and to have it stopped. Since there are more details about the background of this incident in a Boxun account, I have translated that instead, (People’s Daily is the newspaper of the communist party in China. Boxun is an overseas news service which reports on human rights abuses, and is blocked in mainland China.)

konjaku: next, two articles about the project developments at Huaifang. Both are promotional, so I have not translated everything.

Dexinjiayuan — a sign of the times for Beijing south

http://www.sohu.com/a/112048666_419164

2016-08-25

In 2011 the Huaifang village site was completely reborn as one major construction project appeared after another:  Dexinjiayuan residential district,  Qianmuhuai garden, International Soccer town,  and Ice and Snow Valley (a winter recreational park). Well known developers also settled in: a Wanda Plaza and a Danke Apartments, causing the Dexinjiayuan district to become a hot spot for potential renters.

Huaifang village is located on the Beijing north-south axis, extending from the National Stadium at the north 4th ring through Tiananmen, straight down to the south 4th ring. It is 5 kiometers from Beijing South train station, 10 kilometers from Tiananmen Square, and 35 kilometers from the new Daxing Airport (Beijing Daxing International Airport). Within its boundaries is Beijing’s largest subway station, Xingong, (the #4 line, The New Airport Line, #19 line, the L5 line, the L6 line), and the #8 line is nearby. Public transportation is very convenient, in the future it will be a transportstion hub.

Xingong station is the first station of the Line 4 extension (the Daxing line), and for that reason it is full of scrambling office workers. From Xingong station exit B, it is a six or seven minute walk to Dexinjiayuan. On the way one passes the recently completed Wanda Plaza. White collar workers who are tenants here, can relax and take the #4 subway line nonstop to Xuanwumen, Xidan, Jinrongjie, and Zhongguancun (major finance and high-tech centers), without worrying that they won’t be able to find a seat.  What a happy prospect!

Wanda plaza

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As everyone knows, when a Wanda Plaza is built it becomes a “city center,” a place to which all who live in the surrounding area naturally gravitate, a district landmark. The Huaifang Wanda Plaza is the fifth to be built in Beijing, and brings to the southern part of the city a new level of  commerce, of shopping and recreation. Together with the Huiju shopping center, the huge IKEA (in Xihongmen),  these three form a complete set of commercial development, a great stride forward for south Beijing.

 Dexinjiayuan residential complex, situated on the way to Xigong station, will open at the end of this year (2016). Young white-collar workers, for whom time is precious, should not let slip this  golden opportunity to live here, and enjoy fast and easy commutes to work!

The history of Huaifang village is full of depth. In Yuan, Ming ,and Qing, Nanyuan was an imperial garden and hunting ground, divided into an “inland sea” and an “open sea.” Huaifang was part of the inland sea area,  and was used as a place to train troops. In the beginning of Qing it was open to the Manchu to build houses and live there. It was a Manchu custom to plant a locust tree whenever a baby was born. Before Huaifang was demolished there were more than a thousand locust trees in the village, some over 350 years old. When the village was demolished, the old trees were protected, and Dexinjiayuan was built around the trees, preserving them. There are ten trees certified as nationally important trees, which form one of the neighborhood’s special features.

Photo: Dexinjiayuan with one of the old locust trees, bottom left

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Huaifang is within an area set aside as Beijing’s first detached green zone. Comprising 305.4 hectares, a number of large-scale parks form a continuous web of water and oxygen-producing forest land: Huaifang Park, Taoyuan Park, Qianmuhuaiyuan Park, Shidi Park, Nanyuan Park, and the Huaifang Fishing Park. All these spaces will supply residents of Dexinjiayuan with an abundance of places to exercise and keep fit.

Section on Danke Apartments, aimed at young white-collar workers. Advantages: only “one months deposit, one month’s rent” in advance (instead of the usual three month’s rent in advance), no extra charges,  free WIFI, free cleaning service.

More on Danke Apartments:

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2018/03/09/danke-apartments-an-alternative-for-college-graduates/

International Soccer Town

The boldness of Huaifang’s transformation goes beyond what most people would imagine. Taking over 366 acres of the detached green zone, and an area of old and dilapidated buildings, they made preparations to construct an “International Soccer Town.” 

Unlike other soccer facilities, the Huaifang soccer town will furnish high-quality soccer fields free for the people. It will allow those who have little or no chance to exercise to integrate regular exercise into their lives. Close to Dexinjiayuan, the white-collar tenants who like to play soccer will have a great opportunity.

Since Beijing’s successful bid to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics, there has been an explosion in the development of winter sports facilities, but at present inside the 5th ring there are only a few skating rinks, and no ski slope which meets international standards. Only the National Stadium (Bird’s Nest) has a short slope utilized in winter. There are not enough facilities to meet the increased demand. 

Now the International Soccer Town also comes with a Snow and Ice Valley, to help people of all walks of life master the techniques of skiiing.  One hopes the Snow and Ice Valley will be a training ground for the Winter Olympics, and fill the need in Southern Beijing for large scale exercise facilities. Dexinjiayuan residents can also enjoy this benefit. It is the only place in Beijing where you can ski from right outside your door.

A complete sports training center — boundary-crossing, eco-friendly, synergized — Huaifang becomes a new star of the local economy

2016 -06-14

http://www.chinanews.com/ty/2016/06-14/7903493.shtml

The Internet, tourism, sports training, and “cultural and creative industry” are the trends of the age. Boundary-crossing, synergy, and eco-friendly are the watchwords of regional economic development. Industrial capital is pouring in to develop regional towns, to create  new urban patterns.

After the completion of Gubei Water Town [a tourist resort, see below] Huaifang in southern Beijing became the next new star of this trend. Public opinion has dubbed it “a new landmark for modern sports training in China.” 

“Giving free play to Huaifang’s natural wealth and resources, and unearthing a 1000 years of cultural history, we want to step-by-step adjust industry, courageously adopt new ideas,  and make this a place famous for its people, its village, and its products.”

Huaifang village sits astride both sides of the southern fourth ring, in Nanyuan town, on a direct axis south from Tian’anmen Square. During the Qing this was a vast area used as the imperial hunting grounds. Because there were an abundance of locust trees (huaishu), the village got its name. However because it was remote and out-of-the-way,  and poor in resources, economic  development has been slow.

Starting in 2013, the Wanda Group and the Zhongzhao Group, along with other large real estate developers,  have built one project after another there.  Huaifang Village Party Secrtary Zhang Hong first introduced the International Soccer Town project to the media, as an eco-friendly facility for the people to do physical exercise, a training center for soccer, and an ice and snow recreation area in winter, covering 366 acres.

Zhang Hong emphasized that although the “Soccer Town” and “Ice and Snow Valley” are getting the most media attention, the plans for Huaifang village go much further. It will in the future be a comprehensive modern physical education and sports training center, the largest such development in Beijing, complete with an ice skating rink, a natatorium, indoor soccer facilities, a small theater, a public art gallery, and stores and restaurants. From physical training, to culture and the arts, to businesses of various kinds, it will form a complete set of facilities that will celebrate “Chinese making and manufacturing, first in the world in bringing forth new ideas.”

note: Gubei Water Town is a replica of a historic water town built next to the Simatai section of the Great Wall, a two hour bus ride from Beijing.

https://www.tour-beijing.com/blog/beijing-travel/gubei-water-town%E2%80%8D

konjaku: the following material is a partial translation of a series of articles on Zhang Hong, which appear in Boxun.

https://blog.boxun.com/hero/201511/cunminzhengyi/1_1.shtml

https://blog.boxun.com/hero/201511/cunminzhengyi/2_1.shtml

photo: Zhang Hong

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Since Zhang Hong became the Party Branch Secretary of Huaifang, he has channeled huge profits into the Zhang family, relying on ties of blood and consanguinity. Colluding with state-run businesses, using legal and illegal means, covering for each other, the family has seized property by trickery, embezzled profits from the people, extorted their flesh and blood.  Over several years, their greed has yielded them 100 million yuan. Now I will draw back the curtain and, bit by bit, expose their corruption.

The Huaifang village houses were demolished by the Shengshi yuanda corporation, owned and operated by the Zhang family. In the process, they took over all the village property, like passing something from the left hand to the right hand.  But if after that they let us live in real homes, that would at least be like eating up our meat while leaving us some broth. Instead,  our residences are smaller than promised, and the workmanship is shoddy and made with poor materials. 

Because members of the Zhang family occupy most official positions, they block the appeals of the villagers from reaching the intended authorities. Step by step the collective village property is transferred to their family corporation, then into the hands of the individual members. Zhang Hong has appointed his cousin as village head, his wife’s uncle as village secretary, his mother’s adopted son as the assistant board chair. All the power is in the hands of one family,  and the route to appeal to a higher authority is blocked.

Zhang Hong’s younger female cousin is the finance affairs manager, his  wife’s younger brother is the finance board president, his two sisters manage the books. Through this control of finances, the family can manipulate accounts and transfer wealth.

The family corporation has a building project in Shandong province, as well as the contract to build the villagers’ replacement housing. The Shandong project is large, and the investment company for this project, headed by Zhang Hong’s younger cousin, keeps investing more in it. As for the replacement housing, the two sisters (who manage the books) pay out to their husbands to be in charge of construction, everything is neat and tidy.

Zhang Hong’s Longwangmiao (Temple of the Dragon King)

The ruling class uses superstitions that have been passed down from ancient and feudal times to deceive the lower classes. Utilizing people’s primitive fears and their desire to overcome the  uncertainties of their fate, they create an atmosphere of  mystery and ignorance, in which fear overcomes innate strength, evil defeats justice, and the good is ruthlessly exterminated.

Originally, agricultural villages were a breeding ground for feudal superstitions, but the party cadres in each village responsible for thought-training, purged the villages of these residual poisons. However in the present, it is the Party Branch Secretary Zhang Hong who is trying to bring back one of the most pernicious feudal superstitions into the village.

Zhang Hong has spent vast sums to worship Huang Daxian,  and makes every decision concerning our village and his own daily life based on the god. He vainly hopes to use superstition to attain his illicit goals, even if damages the interests of the common people, and corrupts the Party’s style of work and its methods.

The final straw is that Zhang Hong believes the deity asked him to build a Temple of the Dragon King. Only when this is completed will his career continue to advance from village to town. Therefore he took over land which was not yet approved for the project, and spent vast sums to build the temple, buying the best wood and rolled steel, far exceeding what he allowed to be spent on replacement housing for the villagers. 

Photo: the priest at the temple

cunminzhengyi2015112501361.jpg

Fortunately, due to efforts of the villagers over half a year to report this to authorities, Zhang Hong has been ordered to tear down the Temple of the Dragon King by 2015-10-30. Through the villagers’ concentrated efforts, this temple of superstition will crumble back into the earth, ceasing to exist.

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Why does someone like Zhang Hong manage to stay in power? Is it because the villagers tacitly consent, and do not investigate? Is it because, in seeking personal profit, he tries to minimize the harmful effect he may have on villagers? Not at all! Using the villagers’ own funds, he hires members of the criminal underworld to root out dissidents and oppress the people. As far as I know, he has resorted to this method more than a few times. Each time, he becomes more foolhardy and brazen.

Huaifang villager Li Zhi, well-known as a person of good conscience,  has been unceasing in his efforts to inform the higher authorities of Zhang Hong’s degree of corruption, and his collusion with state-run companies to cut corners in constructing the replacement housing, without doing any quality inspections. He has also reported on how Zhang Hong believes in religious superstitions more than the communist party, and how he has spent large sums of money to build the Temple of the Dragon King. For this, he has been threatened and intimidated on numerous occasions by men whose identity is unknown.

At 9 AM on 2015-10-27, while Li Zhi  was on his way to the government office to formally question Zhang Hong about a number of village financial matters, accompanied by a group of villagers which had spontaneously joined him,  he was accosted and beaten by a group of men of unknown identity. These men suddenly leapt out from behind some trees, forcefully pulled Li Zhi off of his electric bike, and hit him on the face with lethal weapons. When the other villagers got over their fear and gathered together to approach, the men, in one concerted action, ran to several waiting cars  with no license plates, and sped away. All this happened in full public view. 

Photo: village protest against Zhang Hong

http://wickedonna.blogspot.com/2015/07/2015710_78.html

19627155645_6e8758eba3_o.jpg

Next to the Huaifang village record-breaking land plots, one illegal building is being torn down, the Longwangmao (Temple of the Dragon King)

https://blog.boxun.com/hero/201511/cunminzhengyi/3_1.shtml

The two Huaifang village land plots auctioned off for a record-breaking 17 billion yuan, are, as the villager Mr Chen put it, like “a thumb measure of land, a thumb measure of gold.”

To the east of these land parcels, these “tiny parcels of gold, ” there was a plan to build a Temple of the Dragon King. But the concerted effort of the villagers in notifying the authorities, resulted in the North Beijing Fengtai Branch Land Department designating the Temple as an illegal construction, and ordering it demolished.

Villagers said Zhang Hong was the one behind the construction of the temple.  When villagers requested that he explain to the village committee why he wanted to build the temple,  he stated, “this is to protect village cultural relics and restore the ruins by building a new temple.”

When villagers expressed doubt, he produced a document from the “Beijing City Cultural Relics Research Institute,” entitled “Huaifang Village Temple of the Dragon King Ruins Protection Project,” which stated that as of 2015-05 the Research Institute had started an archeological survey of the ruins, which would encompass 10,000 square meters.

However, when villagers went to visit the Beijing City Cultural Relics Research Institute, a staff member said without doubt that there was no such survey in progress, and that the Institute had not issued the document, which also had a forged seal. A People’s Daily reporter visited the Institue and confirmed these facts.

The villagers then reported to the Land Department that this temple was being built on village collective land, without going through the approval process. The Department did its own investigation, and ordered the existing construction to be demolished.

When the reporter went to the site a few days later, the structure had been disassembled and there were just piles of construction materials remaining on the ground.

Summary of longer section: The writer goes on in detail about several construction and development companies incorporated by the Huaifang village collective, but which are controlled and operated by Zhang Hong.  Through these companies the Temple of the Dragon King was being built, and a number of other construction projects were in the works. The largest of the companies controlled by Zhang Hong is one of sixteen shareholders in the much larger development company that purchased one of the record-breaking plots of land in Huaifang village. With 1.56 percent of shares, once the sale went through, the Zhang Hong-controlled company received a compensatory bonus of 4.154 billion yuan.

“A real estate expert told this reporter that usually enterprises run by village collectives do not have the resources or clout to get into land development. They may own a few shares in the bigger development company which purchases the village land and develops it, but usually they are limited to assisting in the demolition of the village, and that is all. However, the Zhang Hong-controlled company is actually involved in development projects outside of Huaifang village.

The People’s Daily Reporter has repeatedly tried to contact Zhang Hong to ask about the corporation which is building the Temple of the Dragon King, however there has been no response.”

Village #20 Jiujingzhuang

Village #20 is Jiujingzhuang (Fishery workers housing compound)

Fengtai District, Nanyuanxiang (Nanyuan township)

久敬庄村(渔场大院排房地区)

丰台区南苑乡

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 10.05.34 AM.png

konjaku: Jiujingzhuang is outside the South 4th Ring Road. Unlike our first two examples from Fengtai, it is not “inside the 3rd ring” on sites highly desirable for big developers. It’s origin as row-housing built for fishery workers illustrates the formerly rural character of this area.

http://news.sina.com.cn/o/2010-04-10/011717348891s.shtml

Jiujinzhxuang is located in Fengtai, Nanyuanxiang town, under the Dahongmen administrative village. Land for replacement housing is 14 hectares, with buildable space of  294,000 square meters, on a site to the southwest of Dahongmen village, not too far from the #10 subway, near the South 4th Ring Road.

A Fengtai district official said that this year (2011), Fengtai would start the project of rural-urban integration, involving the transformation of five listed-up villages. By 2015, urbanization of the district around the Yongding river should be completed, bringing about the transformation of rural areas inside the 5th Ring.

The transformation of the 50 focal-point villages began in 2010. In Fengtai, Jiujingzhuang and eight other locations will be transformed, involving 8078 houses, 22,600 residents, and 170,000 migrants.

http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_5e7f2b6e0102yn6l.html

(original date unknown)

Jiujingzhuang was originally the living quarters for workers in the southern suburbs rural area who were raising fish. There were 200 households living in evenly lined-up buildings inside a large compound. In recent years, this compound became famous in Beijing’s southern suburb as “the rental compound.” The were more than 4000 migrants living inside it, therefore in 2009 it was selected as one of the 50 listed-up areas to be transformed.

At present the illegal buildings in the compound extending over 70,000 square meters have been demolished, and the area is all empty ground. According to an official the villagers will each get get 50 square meters in replacement housing for free, and other residents 30 square meters. They will get compensation for demolished homes as well as 1000 yuan per month in living expenses until they move into new housing, and once they move in they will transfer to urban household registry and receive social security payments. The Dahongmen government will also set aside land for commercial purposes. They will construct buildings for businesses to provide employment opportunities for the villagers.

konjaku: the following article describes Jiujingzhuang before it was transformed

Tenants worry that urban transformation “putting in order” will sweep them away

http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2010-01-08/095216901552s.shtml

2010-01-08

The typical tenant in the urban village has come to Beijing from elsewhere, and opened a small business to support his or her family.  Although part of the drifting population, these tenants feel affection for their current home, just like the original villagers. There are many such tenants in urban villages in southern Beijing They have mixed feelings about the urban transformation. What will it bring for them? They can’t say for certain, they can only go forward one day at a time. Will they be able to grow their businesses in the new situation that emerges, or will they find they can no longer afford to rent, and have to give up? ‘Will the coming urban transformation leave us as we are, or will it fall upon us and transform us too?’

Jiujingzhuang

There are many shops on both sides of Jiujingzhuang Village road, and behind the shops are two- and three-story buildings. The stores are mostly run by migrants. On the buildings behind the upper floors are divided into rooms, which the village residents rent out to migrants.

Rental signs ate posted everywhere, and perhaps everything is for rent. The villagers have all moved to another district nearby, and are renting their one-story houses, as well as the rooms upstairs. It would be hard to find an original inhabitant anywhere.

The villagers’ original one-story houses, set inside a courtyard, are now occupied by three or four tenants. They live in cramped rooms, piled up with odds and ends, the bed taking up half the space. Clothes are drying on the low rooftops.  If there is a 20-inch color  TV to watch, it’s not such a bad situation.

Fried meatballs: At around 3 in the afternoon, in Jiujingzhuang, in a shack inside the Xin family compound, old Mr Chu has already prepared  his frying equipment and put on his cook’s hat. Sitting straight, with his left hand he takes a portion of his prepared material, and with one movement a round meatball emerges up from between his forefinger and thumb.

1262935946_0nhSZS.jpg

In Jiujingzhuang, there are many people like Mr Chu.In the Xin compound there are some twenty other families. Two sell pig’s head meat, another goes out into the village streets to sell breakfasts, next door is someone who sells water…they have all come to Beijing to use their skills to make a living.

Inside the limited space of the courtyard, Mr Chu built himself a shack out of brick fragments and asbestos shingles, and stocked it with his cooking supplies. This became his workplace kitchen.

Four yuan (60 cents) worth of Mr Chu’s meatballs fill a small container. From a line of cooks, he is proud of his skills, and he charges slightly above what is the norm in Jiujingzhuang. He sells enough to make a modest profit.

Mr Chu is from the northeast. He came with his wife and child to Beijing two years ago. Strangers here, at first they had to pay 1000 yuan a month to rent one room.

When Mr Chu was telling about this, an expression of worry came onto his wife’s face.  At that time they worked so hard to pay the rent, and had so little left over.  Now their business has finally improved, but how could they have imagined that the place they were renting would be slated to be demolished? Now they will have to start all over again.

After coming to Beijing and renting the room that was too expensive, Mr Chu tried again. This time, he went south, on a search for something for 500 yuan a month, and the only thing suitable he found was this place in Jiujingzhuang. The family of three settled down here, living in a compound with many other families.

The compound with multiple other tenants was dirty and messy. If you walk inside, the first thing you see is a big pile of garbage. In the summer, the stench can become unbearable. But for the Chu family, this was for a time a secure and stable place to rest  after a drifting, transient existence. Even though the family works from dawn to dusk daily in their fried meatball business, they are actually content with their lot.

Now that information about the areas affected by urban transformation comes out daily, Mr Chu has to face squarely the fact that their  compound will be demolished. “If it is demolished we will get no compensation [not being village residents], if it is not demolished, it is still no guarantee of anything.” If they have to move, they have no choice but to accept their fate.

Mr Chu now pays only 300 to 400 yuan per month for rent, and another 900 yuan to rent his store.This is a considerable expense for his family. Where will they be able to go to find such low-priced accommodations?

Mr Chu doesn’t want to have to start over again. They will run their business from day to day, and when the time comes that they cannot continue without moving, they will pack up and go back to the northeast. “My home is within the northeast open economic zone, so things might actually be better than here.” He smiled bitterly.

Reporter Wang Yi, trainee Tao Ran

Village # 19 Xiajia Hutong

Village # 19 is Xiajia Hutong, literally, “Xiajia Hutong Managed Area”

Xiajia Hutong Managed Area 夏家胡同管委会

Fengtai District, Huaxiang town 丰台区花乡

konjaku: Unlike Xiju village with its population of 6700, Xiajia Hutong is small. But both are in the same area, the “southwest third ring,” which has drawn the interest of large developers who see an opportunity to build luxury mansions for the wealthy.

Screen Shot 2018-10-15 at 11.03.27 AM.png

http://business.sohu.com/20140228/n395814141.shtml

Excerpt from “Two plots of land sell for 8.5 billion — the Xiju village site may become a new development of residential mansions”

2014-04-28

Even though the environment around the Xiju land parcel is complicated, with a lack of amenities and services, and a high-density population living in old and crumbling housing, the Longhu Real Estate Company considers that “the defects do not outweigh the merits.” “Otherwise, on the day of the auction, there wouldn’t have been so many companies scrambling to bid.” This Longhu Beijing representative divulged that the Xiju location was highly desirable, with subway and business districts close by. Longhu has not participated in many land auctions in recent years, but rather has concentrated in developing properties over subway stations, and land parcels in better environments. However the Xiju area is not too bad, and it fits Longhu’s “taste” of land acquisition, close enough to the city proper, but spacious enough to expand in all directions.

A Taihe Group representative said that the southwest third ring area of Beijing had recently become the location for a number of high-end residences, with more to come. Was the Taihe Group thinking of becoming “neighbors” with Longhu there? The representative laughed and responded that in regard to this area, “great minds think alike,” and that rather than one developer working all alone, it would be far better to have several developers creating complementary projects, thus increasing the overall value of the district.

konjaku: Taihe Group became famous (or notorious) for a 2012 development of luxury villas that sold for 47 million each. Here are some images of Longhu xichen yuanzhu, a development near Xiju village:

600x400c.jpg20150706162247_1660.jpg

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konjaku: the following article from 2010 gives a description of Xiajia Hutong before it was transformed.

http://news.ifeng.com/mainland/201004/0402_17_1593812_1.shtml

2010-04-02

Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 10.50.44 AM.png

Xiajia Hutong Managed Area is in Fengtai District, near the southern Third Ring.  Of the 50 focal-point villages, it is one of the most stressed, with the inverted ratio between residents and migrants being especially prominent. There are 187 households with 404 residents in total, and a migrant population of 6518, making the ration 1:16.

A Beijing City planning committee official said,  the Xiajia Hutong Managed Area is not actually a village, but rather an area run by the Huaxiang Agricultural Company, dispersed around Jijiamao village. In this area there are many illegal buildings, built up to four or five stories, with many rooms to let to tenants. There are many safety problems (hidden dangers).

The official said because the Xiajia Hutong Managed Area has very little land which can be used to build on, they cannot follow the usual procedure for relocating villages. Because only 187 households need to move, replacement housing will be close by in Jijiamao village,  on the  number 10 subway line next to the Second Stage Yuquanying station.

As for the Xiajia Hutong Managed Area site, the official said,  the current plan is that half of it will go to building rental housing, and the other half to high tech industry, to make up for the relative lack of such industry in the southern part of the city. 

Reporter’s visit

The car going on the Wanliu Bridge side road follows a bend, entering a three meter wide alley. The traffic noise from the Third Ring Road gradually disappears, and we see a dirty and messy residential neighborhood. A sign on a gate says, Xiajia Hutong. Not many people know this place even exists.

There are three and four story buildings, massed tightly together, some only one meter apart. At 4 in the afternoon people have already turned on lights [because there is so little sunlight]. At the car repair shop at the village entrance, one can hear many dialects.

Yesterday afternoon 55 year old Si Tongxi and his wife were sitting at home watching TV. They live in one of the few one-story household compounds in the area, surrounded by taller buildings. It’s like living under a ceiling, no sunlight gets through.”  Starting in the 1990s many temporary workers came here, and Si Tongxi  began renting rooms to them. With eight rooms to rent, he makes 2400 yuan per month. About relocating  Si Tongxi  said, “On the one hand, we will have sunshine, and I won’t have to worry about the building sinking into the ground. On the other hand, when we ‘move up’ to a better residence,  we won’t have the land and household compound, we won’t have the rental income,  and making a living will become difficult.”

konjaku: Now we move to 2013. The Xiajia Hutong buildings have been demolished and the residents relocated.

http://fdc.fang.com/news/2013-06-20/10350369.htm

2013-06-20

In 2010, Xiajia Hutong, as one of the 50 focal-point villages, was slated to be transformed. According to the media, the compensation terms were favorable, and in only 20 days 87 households had signed contracts agreeing to be relocated.

When we investigated the terms of the plan, we discovered that the residents would be paid 20,500 yuan per square meter for moving out, and 25,500 yuan per square meter for agreeing to the demolition and relocation. In replacement housing they would receive the same area as the area of their old homes. If  the replacement housing unit was smaller than their old house, they would receive 19,000 yuan per square meter to make up the difference.

At the end of 2010, commercial market price housing in that area  was already 30,000 yuan per square meter. A villager said that the amount of money actually in the compensation fund was not as much as the plan required.

According to the public announcement, the plot of land to be sold was 144,000 square meters, with a starting price in the auction of 1.31 billion yuan. It was required that not less than 10,000 square meters be set aside to build public housing.

The auction was suspended, apparently because the Beijing city government felt the real estate market needed to cool off, and letting this auction continue was like pouring oil on the flames. However, the auction was quickly resumed, but the opening bid was lowered from 1.359 billion (the price before it had been suspended) to 49 million yuan. Because the site was inside the third ring,  once again competition was fierce.

Apartments up for re-sale at the nearby Wannian Huacheng 5th stage [high-end residential ] complex  go for 38,000 yuan per square meter, but one real estate consultant believes that by the time a project is completed at the Xiajia Hutong site, the price they can get will be up to 80,000, because of the excellent location. The site, excluding the public housing, is just big enough to build 400-500 residential units.

But the immediate environment around Xiajia Hutong is not in good shape: it lacks decent stores and facilities, and to the north and west are neighborhoods of shack-dwellers which the government at present has no plans to clear up. To produce a desirable real-estate product in the midst of this environment will be a real test.

konjaku: omitted rest of article, which describes the real estate corporations bidding on the site, and their respective strategies.

Wannian Huacheng 5th stage 万年花城五期

photo of Wannian Huacheng 5th stageCgqJM1p6w6OAAUNAAAlAGzNGGRg533.jpg_P5.jpg

konjaku: despite the cooling-off period, the land still went for a record-breaking price.

Maoyuan for 17.7 billion (2.5 billion dollars) picks off Xiajia Hutong site –a value of 45000 yuan (6,500 dollars) per square meter

http://bj.house.163.com/13/0703/16/92SEJPAD00073SD3.html

2013-07-03

On 07-03,  the Fengtai district Huaxiang town Xiajia Hutong parcel went to Maoyuan, after fierce competitive bidding from fifteen firms, for 17.8 billion, 30.2% above the original price. With a price of 45819 yuan per square meter , this is the highest land price in Beijing this year (2013)

Photo of the site

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The Xiajia Hutong recording breaking price — Beijing core districts becoming increasingly for the wealthy

http://bj.house.163.com/13/0702/15/92PQ9OIN00073SD3.html

2013-07-03

A strong demand from the wealthy class for luxury residences is driving them outward, to the “outer city.” Sunhexiang in Chaoyang, Wanliu in Haidian are high-end residential districts. Tiangongyuan, Fangshan, etc., are being settled by office workers.

But the goal of the rich to buy a residence within the city center has, if anything, increased. Nowadays, any land parcel inside the fourth ring will fetch record breaking prices — this is only a mild exaggeration. Previously land in Fengtai district Huaxiang town has twice gone for soaring prices. On 2013-07-03,  the Xiajia Hutong site became the “land king” of the day.

[omitted –analysis of the land king phenomenon and how it shows no signs of dissipating]

Sunhexiang in Chaoyang  朝阳孙河乡

Wanliu in Haidian  海淀万柳等区

Tiangongyuan 天宫院

Fangshan 房山

Village # 18: Xiju village in Fengtai

konjaku: Village #18 is Xiju, located in Lugouqiao township, Fengtai District. We move from  Haidian District, in the northwest, to Fengtai, directly to the south.

Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 10.27.24 AM.pngI will follow the transformation of Xiju by starting at the end of the process, in the near present (2017), and going backward to 2009, when it was put on the list of 50 focal-point villages (with a few exceptions for coherence). Xiju was a large village, which meant that funding was, and continues to be, the major problem. Although it seems that the villagers are now well-off, and that plenty of capital has been raised selling off parcels of village land, the issue of whether villagers have fully transitioned to urban residencies with all the benefits involved, is left unsettled.

Xiju village 西局村

Fengtai District, Lugouqiao township 丰台区卢沟桥乡

2017

Two land parcels in Beijing sell for 8.66 billion yuan –Kowloon Wharf Holdings buys the Fengtai parcel

http://www.ckxx.net/p/84112.html

2017-09-22 

The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Land and Resources has closed the deal on two parcels of land that it auctioned off. One is in Tongzhou, the other is the Fengtai district former Xiju village site transformation project. The Fengtai parcel attracted nine major developers, and after 38 rounds of bidding in the end it went to Kowloon Wharf Holdings (a Hong Kong-based company) for 6.26 billion yuan, with a reserve requirement ratio of 16 percent (see note below), a 49.05 percent rise over the offering price.

The Fengtai district former Xiju village site 0611-638 parcel is about 37,000 square meters. It was auctioned off according to the “limited home-price competition” form of bidding, in which the price of the land itself is set beforehand, and the bidder who pledges to sell completed housing units at the lowest price among the bidders wins the right to develop the land. In this case,  the average price of a residential unit will be 77,800 yuan per square meter, and cannot exceed 81,690. In this development, 1500 square meters will be for a police sub-station, 200 square meters for a Community Health Service Center, 630 square meters for a nursing home,  140 square meters for a Senior Center, and 102783 square meters for residences.

In the vicinity of the Xiju village site one large residential development Longhu xichen yuanzhu, apartments resold on the market average 120,000 yuan per square meter, while apartments in other less fancy complexes go for 60 to 70,000 yuan. With a shortage of land parcels available for building in the area, it is rare for new residences to come on the market, so it will be interesting to see what prices will be like if any more come on the market. 

自持16%拿下reserve requirement ratio (the amount of cash that some banks must hold as reserves. In this case, those who bid had to have 16% of their bid,  perhaps 6 billion yuan, in reserve)

限房价竞地价limited home price competition

Longhu xichen yuanzhu龙湖西宸原著

konjaku: a land parcel from the site of former Xiju village (demolished 2010) is auctioned off by the government to a major developer –apparently a very desirable piece of land. Longhu xichen yuanzhu is a development of luxury houses (after Beijing, there is now one in Guanzghou, and one in Chongqing). 120 thousand yuan is 17,440 dollars, which means buying a 400 square meter house would cost approximately 7 million dollars. The “less fancy” apartments nearby would also cost in the millions. 

Longhu lichen yuanzhu photo:

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konjaku: there happens to be a photo on Google maps street view of the Xiju village site as it looks today.

There is a large shopping mall

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From this view, one can see part of the village replacement housing complex (the two tall buildings on the far right

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In this view, the replacement housing is on the left, and a new building project is on the right.

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A rendition of this building when it is completed (the surroundings do not seem accurate)

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konjaku: I can’t find any photos of the former village, but it is clear the area has been completely transformed.

 

2016

Wang Yibo, in Xiju village, the one who “cuts the braids.”

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2016-11-08 

http://renwen.beijing.gov.cn/jrbj/bjr/t1458333.htm

(Fengtai district, Luguoqiao town, Xiju village)

Wang Yibo was born in 1972. In 1990 she enlisted in the military, in 1991 she joined the (Communist) Party,  in 2005 she transferred to civilian life with a job on the Beijing City Defence Planning Commission,  in 2015 she took the post of Paryt Branch Secretary for Xiju village.

The location of Xiju village is advantageous, and the villagers are well-off. Renting apartments and other properties is the principal source of income. These well-to-do villagers are gradually transitioning from traditional village life to becoming residents in an urban community. From the outside, this looks like a typical urban neighborhood.

But after Wang Yibo settled in to her job, she discovered that although the villagers wore brand- name western clothes and had fancy cars,  on their heads still grew the long braids of the past. Their minds were closed off, their daily habits unchanged. If she did not lead them out of the small group in which they congregated, lagging behind together, then their urbanization would be on paper only, outward form without inner substance. As First Secretary, her job is not only to help them get by financially, but to help them merge into modern city life.

In 2014, Lugouqiao town began the “Intelligent Community” project, with Xiju village as one of the pilot locations [setting up an ICT system for information and social management]However in Xiju village nothing happened. The villagers were used to things as they were, and saw no reason to change, or  pursue something they considered “mere show.”

The Intelligent Community Project has been launched in a number of Beijing communities over a number of years now, and many residents have become aware of its benefits [lit., tasted its pleasant flavor]. In the so-called “big seven”: food, travel, transportation, housing, health, purchases, recreation –any resident with a cell phone or computer can access the network to find information or to complete transactions. Conversely, the network can also send residents important notices about health and other matters. 

The Intelligent Community is a project to make life more convenient for the people, but can only work if people work to make it happen, and participate in it. If all of Xiju got involved,  it would optimize the use of resources, lead to new ideas in social management, and promote social progress locally.

When Wang Yibo made these points to the Village Committee, she did not get the result she anticipated. One village cadre said the Intelligent Community was just a waste of time. Wang Yibo realized that minds of the village cadres were closed off, and they could not understand the tangible benefits of the project and the beneficial effect it would have on the lives of the common people.

Wang Yibo contacted the first Intelligent Community project completed in Beijing City, in Tuanjiehu, Chaoyang district, and on 01-11-2016 she led a team of seven from Xiju there for a tour. A staff member in the Management Service Center showed them in detail how the software worked, as they stood before a group of large monitors. The staff member used a keyboard to call up the transportation module, and on a large screen, they could focus in very clearly on an incident that had just happened: a driver had run his or her car into the entrance gate of a house, causing damage. This provoked a dispute. The staff member at once notified Public Security to go and take care of the issue.

Just as they finished watching this screen, there came in a communication from a resident that a building in the community district had lost power. The staf member at the keyboard called up the repair module,  and a moment later, the screen showed repair personnel arriving at the scene!

“Good heavens, so convenient, I’m awestruck!” Comments of amazement did not stop. “Our brains need to be repaired!”

After that, the village cadres held many meetings,  and after research began to construct an “Intelligent Community” that would fit with the situation of Xiju village. Since there were many older people, and medical treatment resources were limited, Wang Yibo suggested that they make a supplement to the software package focusing on medical issues.

2016-07, the software arrived and was put through a trial run, then released for use. The village committee not only helped every household set up the system’s mobile app on their phones, but showed them how to use it. Now the village committee operations, and the people’s daily life, have both undergone a great change.

For instance, previously village notices had to be communicated by phoning one household at a time. With 2300 households, this would take two or three days. If it was something important, they had to transfer personnel from other departments to help make the calls. Now the villagers all get the notices on their cell phones instantly, and the village committee can economize on its labor force and financial outlays.

The Xiju village software consists of  a system for managing or responding to 1) public emergencies  (sudden outbreaks of disease, natural disasters, etc.) 2) traffic problems 3) Public Security issues 4) announcements and messages in real time 5) on-line purchases from local stores and restaurants 6) health and medical treatment information 7) cultural activities 8) internet maintenance

The villagers that were most suspicious of and resistant to the Intelligent Community, are now volunteers spreading the word about it, on their own initiative. An elderly uncle who before did not understand or recognize the value of it said to Wang Yibo, “Secretary Wang, the new app is great! To get a haircut, I don’t have to go out, just go on the internet and soon a barber will be there,  making a house call. The other day our water tap was broken, before I had to call on the phone and make an appointment, wait a long time, and fill out a lot of papers. Now with just a tap on my cell phone, someone comes right away to fix it. Truly I never imagined a 70 year old like me could ever have such an easy life, and I’m so grateful to the Communist Party!

konjaku: the Xiju villagers have moved into replacement housing (details below). They apparently have received generous compensations (enough to buy fancy cars), and have extra residential units in the complex to rent out for a steady income.

2014

http://business.sohu.com/20140221/n395417839.shtml

2014-02-21

http://society.people.com.cn/n/2014/0220/c136657-24415983.html

2014-02-20

konjaku: the translation includes sections from two articles with similar content, put together. The Xiju village land is being sold off in stages, above was the 2017 auction, below is the one from 2014.

An official of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Land and Resources has disclosed that the three land parcels sold yesterday, will add to our city163,000 square meters of land devoted to public housing (rental units aimed at mid to low income renters).

One of the land parcels was from the closely watched Xijju village site, which comprises the second stage of the transformation of that former village site to be auctioned off. It went to the Fuzhou Taihe Real Estate Company for 4.958 billion yuan, with a pledge to construct 50,000 square meters of public housing, at an average price of 29,000 yuan per square meter.

The former Xiju village site across the West Third Ring Road,  is close to the Beijing West Railway Station, the Liuliqiao subway station and the Lizeqiao  Bus Terminal, all of which service long-distance travellers. It is also convenient for 44 public transportation routes, including stations of the number 10 and number 14 subway. Xiju village was a typical linking point between the urban and rural areas, with a permanent resident population of 6700, and a floating population of over 80,000. The village environs were dirty and disorderly, with 30 tons of garbage needing to be removed every day. There were many public security incidents (crimes and arrests). The villagers urgently desired a change.

As part of the focal-point village project, in 2010 Xiju began to be transformed.  At present (2014) the villagers have completely the process of moving into a new residential community. After the village was demolished, the vacant land was set to be put on the market in four stages. Income from the sales will go to pay off remaining costs of demolition and relocation, and the villagers’ welfare benefits and social security.

The Xiju parcel was in high demand, as one of the few land parcels inside the third ring zoned for residential use.  The Municipal Bureau requirement that public housing must also be constructed there, will benefit some several thousand families. There is also a plan to use another section of the land for business development,  to accelerate development from the agricultural to more profitable enterprises, which will give the former villagers more wealth, and opportunities for top-quality employment.

The Xiju village land put on the market previously, in the first stage, which had 220,000 square meters of buildable space, was snapped up by the Longhu Real Estate Company. This parcel includes 100,000 square meters of replacement housing. What is up for auction now in the second stage is 170,500 square meters of buildable space, including 50,000 square meters of replacement housing. Even better, in three years, more adjacent land will be released for commercial use by the village.

public rental housing 公共租赁房

“buildable space of 220,000 square meters” 建筑规模22万平方米

konjaku:  I assume “buildable space” means, not the area of the land plot, but an estimation of the amount of space available after construction, including the space inside multi-storied buildings.

According to this article, the original Xiju was large: a population of 6700 means approximately 2000 households. This requires quite an investment just to demolish the village and relocate that many people, not to mention providing the social security and other benefits urban residents receive.

2013

Xiju village replacement housing will open its doors next month

http://esf.fang.com/newsecond/news/10494380.htm

2013-07-10

Yesterday was a special day for the residents of the former Xiju village –they were given a first look at their newly-built replacement housing.  These villagers –pioneers of the 50 village urban transformation project –will get the keys to their new residences over next month. The replacement housing, built on the Xiju D and E parcels, will have an area of more than 400,000 square meters (99 acres), fulfilling the goal of solving the housing issue by providing 3283 households with units. The 50 village project started in 2010, and the replacement housing for Xiju village was actually finished a year earlier than scheduled.

The new housing is served by three subway lines. Lines 10 and 14 –which just opened in May this year (2013) — go through Xiju Station, and a three or four hundred meter walk will bring one to line 9 at Qilizhuang station.

The new housing with the subway entrance in the foreground

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konjaku: Assuming a household is on average three people, 6700 divided by three is 2233. That would mean some 1000 extra units in this large development. The villagers moved in the 7th month of 2013. The following article takes Xiju as an example (at the end) of a larger problem: the lack of sufficient funds to complete the “urbanization process.” It cites this as a special problem for the sixteen villages in Haidian and Fengtai districts that are of the  ‘the utmost importance.’”

Follow-up development for the urbanization of “focal-point villages” suffers from a lack of funding

Source Xinjingbao, reporter Wang Shu

2013/12/20 (republished 2018-01-20)

Replacement housing for villagers displaced in the the 50 villages transformation project, started in 2009, has now by-and-large been completed. However, difficult problems still remain  in terms of assisting villagers to truly enter into urban life.

The project to transform 50 villages in Beijing’s urban-rural unification project has been physically completed, in the sense that construction of replacement housing has been essentially completed. But what about “urbanization” for the people who have been moved? There is still a lack of employment opportunities for former villagers, and the social security funds they should receive as new city residents (with an urban household registry) are lacking.

Yesterday, the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences issued its Blue Book for 2013. Included are several section on these problems, “ Thought and Practice Concerning the Urbanization of the Focal-Point Villages,” and “Employment Problems of Relocated Urban Villagers.”

The  transformation of 50 focal-point villages began in 2009, involving 85.3 square kilometers, 214,000 residents, and 1 million members of the floating population. There was widespread interest and concern throughout society in witnessing the demolition and relocation of Beiwu, Dawangjing, and Tangjialing.

Continuing after the first 50 villages, there are an additional 227 villages that are waiting to be transformed. The Blue Book’s analysis of the problems in completing full urbanization of the villagers will be useful as Beijing continues to go forward with urban-rural unification.

Timeline:

2005 Beijing city government identifies 171 “urban villages” at or near Olympics sites, or within the fourth ring, that must be renovated within three years.

2008-12 Beijing Municipal Party Committee starts the urban-rural integration experiment 

2009 the experiment begins as a pilot project transforming two villages (Beiwu and Dawangjing)

2010 a synchronized drive to transform all 50 villages begins

2012 transformation of the villages is essentially completed, replacement housing construction is set, and occurs step-by-step.

Up Close:

Funds are strained: focal-point villages borrow money to reach the status of being able to qualify for loans

Among the fifty focal-point villages, the sixteen villages in Haidian and Fengtai districts are of the  “the utmost importance.” The Blue Book report on urbanization points out that to  transform these villages and relocate the residents cost 730 billion yuan. However, the sixteen villages did not have this much in assets. In order to get a bank loan for the necessary amount, they were required to put up 20 percent of the total. In order to fulfill this condition, the focal-point villages had to borrow money from other villages.

At present,  the villages have sunk into a funds bottleneck. As the report states, if the situation of the funds remains as severe as it has been up to now, in the future the system will break down completely. Not only will this influence construction already underway, but will have grave consequences for future development. 

The original plan called for using “three days money.” “Yesterday’s money” refers to putting the underlying value of the village land on the balance sheet, “tomorrow’s money” refers to taking the current market value of the same land to actually generate capital, and “today’s money”  refers to the amount the government is willing to invest into the capital fund at the present moment. In all three of these, the village land is assumed to be the principle source of capital.

But because of the new regulations on real estate enacted over the last several years, it has become more difficult to put village collective land on the market. Not being able to sell any land has left villages with no funds to withdraw. In the 11th and 12th months of last year the National Land Resources issued several notices forbidding local governments from selling off land to generate capital, and to protect “reserve land” [land set aside from development]. In the past, local governments have used land to raise money for social programs, now they are forbidden from doing so.

Keyword: Agricultural villagers “change professions”

With compensation money from relocating, and a suitable new home, the former villagers are unwilling to do strenuous work

 Taking Xibeiwang town as an example, the town government put together 100 jobs in Tangjialing and Tujingcun, but only twenty people accepted the available positions.  The town assembled a labor force of 272 people and gave them job training in seven types of jobs. While the villagers were in the process of moving into their new housing, the building maintenance company employed 110 of these people. However they soon quit, saying they didn’t like working so hard for so little money.

The Blue Book report states that it is quite common for the former villagers to quit on their own initiative, especially young people. The unemployment rate among this group is 20%. Even if the town offers vocational education for young people, there are very few responses.

Why do villagers who no longer have land give up on working? According to the report, the relocated villagers have gotten large compensation payments and good housing, if they rent out extra residential units they have received they will be comfortably-off. They hope to get a job that pays well but is not strenuous,  however, their technical abilities are not high. Their is a gap between their expectations and reality.

Keyword: Social security funds

According to Academy of Social Sciences scholar Ping Xiaoying, of the sixteen focal-point villages on Haidian and Fengtai, the majority have not yet put in place the organizational system to transition the agricultural villagers to an urban registry (hukou).  The main reason for the delay is that the social security safeguards for them (available to urban residents) have not yet been linked up to a funding source. For residents of the sixteen villages, the minimum amount necessary is 10 billion yuan.

Perhaps because there is a limit to how much value there is is in the village land,  it is unlikely that the cash to be raised from the available land can cover that amount. Even if the funds needed were factored into the development cost from the beginning, because of fluctuations in the real estate market there is no way to accurately project how much can be raised from land sales in the future. At present the funds available are enough to cover demolition, relocation, and the construction of replacement housing only.  “Whether the additional costs to transition villagers to an urban registry (including an expanded social security package for every individual) can be raised, will depend on the determination of those involved.”

Dialogue with Ma Xiaoying, Academy of Social Sciences Fellow, from 2012 to 2013 conducted research on construction of replacement housing for focal-point villages in Haidian and Fengtai.

Xinjing news: how do you evaluate the 50 focal point villages transformation project?

Ma: This project will allow the former villagers to be urban residents with jobs, savings, and better social security. The improved environment, coupled with a more efficient use of land,  will spur on more development.  In Haidian and Fengtai, except for certain areas of collective land, the process of demolition and relocation in replacement housing has been completed. But the follow-up job of developing village collective land [since it is illegal to sell it to raise money], of changing villagers to urban residents, of  changing villagers from agriculture to employment in an urban setting, of changing the former villages from a village administrative structure to an urban administrative management system –these tasks still face many difficulties, and progress is slow.

      Xinjing: What are the main problems? 

As the example of the nation-wide “city-creating campaign” demonstrates, using land as collateral to raise funds,  and using government debt to support the urbanization of villages, is an approach full of hazards. Since the focal-point village project depends on raising funds through village land, it will run into difficulties.

What should the next step be?

The reason why the follow-up development is difficult to continue, may be because there is a flaw in the higher levels of the plan, and a lack of readjustments in the practice. It is urgent to recalibrate the plan, the follow-up cannot be allowed to stall.  We need a completely new approach.

This involves finding more efficient ways to utilize village collective land, opening new channels of communication to make obtaining bank loans easier, and prioritizing ways for former villagers to complete the transition to urban residents, obtaining social insurance benefits and being intergrated into a new social management structure created for them.   

     One case

 Xiju village in Fengtai district, Lugouqiao town, is one of the fifty focal point villages.  Yesterday, a Xiju village leading cadre said,  by the end of the year all the villagers will move into replacement housing, which has already been completed. At the same time, they are putting together a system to transfer each villager household to becoming urban residents.

The replacement housing is in the west third ring, near the Number 10 subway line Xiju station.  The fourteen multi-story residential complexes are finished, and the residents have already gotten their keys. According to the cadre, “At present the new residents are making any necessary alterations to their new homes. The occupancy rate is 90%.”

Once the villagers move into their new residences, the majority will have extra units which they will not be using. In order to avoid the phenomenon of mass renting, and to avoid any problems which may arise from individuals acting as landlords, the villagers have voluntarily agreed to turn their extra units over to a rental association in a five year lease, and allow the association to act as their agents in renting out the properties they are not living in.

Xiju village is trying to find a plan to solve the problem of a lack of sufficient funds to transition the villagers to urban residents.

全国范围的“造城运动” nation-wide “city-creating campaign” 

群租现象 group renting phenomenon

konjaku: further details on “group renting”

Renting out units in replacement housing –can a system of wholesale renting work?

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2013-12-31

Source Beijing Evening Paper

When it comes to replacement housing, many people have the impression of a poor living environment, of “group rentals” [to make more money, residences are remodeled with partitions to split then into smaller rental units, resulting in more people living in less space, a phenomenon of overdensity]. How can we restrict the occurence of this group renting, and keep the residential units owned by the villagers from gradually losing value?

In Fengtai district, we examine how the building management company is using new methods to marketize the properties owned by village collectives in replacement housing complexes.

Tomorrow is the first day of 2014, and Xiju villager Chen Cuiling said that in as the next year dawns,  not only will he be living in the brand new replacement housing, “Xiju Yuyuan,” but he will also be getting rent from a two units being rented by the company for him.  “ I don’t have to fix it up, I do not have to look for tenants, but every month the rent of 2800 yuan will be entered into my account.” Sixty year old Chen Cuiling  feels that for him good times are ahead.

In 2010, when Xiju village was listed as one of the 50 focal-point villages, Chen Cuiling, like many other villagers, was making a living from the “tile economy” [renting out rooms in his homestead]. His family consisted of three people, and he had built three stories on top of his house, which allowed him to have more than twenty tenants. However the tenants frequently fought with each other, and there were times when he couldn’t collect the rent.

“I will be getting 2800 yuan per month, and I don’t have to spend anything on fixing up the units or purchasing furniture and appliances. If for five years the rent amount stays the same, and having tenants is guaranteed, that will save me many worries,” Chen Cuiling told this reporter.

“394 units have all been rented out,” said Xiju village head Peng Jun said, relieved. 394 is the total number of units that the villagers have for wholesale rental.

As for who manages these rentals, Xiju village has created a Xiju Yuyuan Management Corporation, equivalent to the type of management corporation that exists for market-priced housing. This corporation handles all the details.  They follow a standardized procedure: register the tenants, get a signed contract, and share their data with the local police sub-station.

Peng Jun said, “After five years, we want our rentals to continue to be rented at the same amount as comparable units in the surrounding area, and not drop in value.If we start at 2500 yuan per month, which we calculate based on other rentals in the district, we want to maintain that rate five years later. Frankly, if we suffer losses it is the village collective that suffers, and if we make profits, we can return those to the villagers.”

Peng Jun said they have selected this rental management strategy because they want to avoid the phenomenon of “group rentals.” When we checked the brand new residences, there were six that the owners had already privately partitioned. We tore those out.” Peng Jun said if they did not directly intervene in management of the rentals, intermediaries would enter in and develop a pattern of going against regulations, that would become very difficult to control.

Just down the road from Xiju Yuyuan is Xiju Xinyuan, a complex of replacement housing built in 2001.Due to illegal renting practices, Xiju Xinguan is being overhauled. After ten years, these units have passed through many hands, the situation of who lives there is complicated.  Earlier it was discovered that 69 units had become group rentals, at present it is down to 27. “The group rentals are mostly operated by intermediaries, some separate a two-bedroom apartment into six units, the balconies are also partitioned and people live in them. This leads to elevators being overused, hygiene problems, and public security issues.”  Peng Jun said that since they began to oversee these group rentals, public security cases have dropped 70 percent.

Example 1

Lugouqiao town, Dongguantou village resident Ma Lin has no problems going to work every day, since his residence and workplace are in the same neighborhood. He is a maintenance worker in an nearby residential complex Lizejingyuan. When a phone call comes in reporting a problem with the electricity or water service, Ma Lin springs into action.

Ma Lin is very happy with his situation. Because his family has two residences in the neighborhood, he gets 3600 yuan a month from the wholesale rental company, on top of the 3000 yuan he gets in wages. He takes care of his own building, so he is motivated to do a good job, and he makes a profit on top of that.

Example 2

Lize Jingyuan has more than 3000 residents, and 90 percent are relocated villagers from Dongguantou village. When Lize Jingyuan First Stage opened to residents, the village recommended the “wholesale rental plan.” They invested 30 million yuan to renovate 1000 units, and started a management company to supervise these units, some as rentals, some as full-service apartments. Since this company needed employees, villagers were appointed as staff members, settling the employment problem for former villagers.

Dongguantou village party secretary Guan Hui said, the full-service apartments are 80 percent full,  and as for the rentals, the rental amounts they are getting are far higher than ordinary. A one-bedroom can go for as much as 7000 yuan a month. This is the main source of current profits. “Periodically we issue a report on the wholesale rental situation to all the residents, because losses and gains are shared by the village collective.”

“About one third of the replacement housing is used as rentals.  What sort of people are living in these rentals, has a big effect on the living environment,” said Guan Hui. The nearby Lize  Financial Business District provides 150,000 high-end job opportunities. Guan Hui said, “if we let things slide, and allow conditions at Lizejingyuan to deteriorate,  the type of high-end people who work in the Business District will abandon us, and instead of becoming part of a wholly urban area, we will be stuck in the rural-urban transition state. Once our monthly rental amount goes down 2000 yuan, we villagers will start to lose money.”

A low-end environment cannot attract high-end money.  One kilometer away from Lizejingyuan  is Xiju Xinyuan (discussed above), and although it is in the vicinity of the Third Ring, and not far from the subway, because of its group rentals problem, its rental income is one-third less than other similar residential complexes in the area.

Lize  Financial Business District

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Reporters: Sun Ying, Liu Pingshe

Xiju Yuyuan 西局玉园

Xiju Xinyuan 西局欣园

group rentals 群租房

wholesale rentals 趸租 

Lugouqiao town 卢沟桥乡

 Dongguantou village 东管头村

Lize Jingyuan丽泽景园

Lize  Financial Business District 丽泽金融商务区

konjaku: this is a view of possible problems that may arise in replacement housing built for villagers, especially in the larger residential complexes, when things can slip out of the control of the village committee. Villagers used to rent rooms to migrant workers in their village homestead, now, in a residential high-rise, they are supposed to still be landlords, but now renting to high-tech workers. The village leaders seem to have to prevent them from falling back into their old pattern, and renting to migrant workers again, by partitioning their spare apartments or allowing this to be done by “intermediaries.”

2010

A Loan from the Beijing Branch of the China Construction Bank helps Xiju smash through its  perennial “pattern”

2010-11-04

http://www.adbc.com.cn/n5/n18/c8217/content.html

Among the 50 focal-point villages, Xiju village is a truly tough nut to crack. There are a great many villagers, many more members of the floating population, many illegal buildings, and many hidden menaces to public security and the overall environment. All of Beijing society is following this with a great deal of interest, watching a new era of urban village transformation unfold, with the support of a bank and the utmost efforts of the political sphere.

The Fengtai government had already devoted a large amount of manpower and material resources to get 600 village households to sign contracts and it raised money to pay for a portion of the the demolition and relocation. However, it was short of the total amount needed. The villagers who signed contracts have been anxiously waiting for the process to begin.

At the moment of truth, the Beijing Branch of the China Construction Bank stepped in. This bank, whose main function has been to provide low interest loans for state projects, has since 2006 been in the vanguard of providing financial support for the development of the rural areas in and around Beijing city.  (details omitted). Relying on the “imperial sword” of the head office of the China Construction Bank, , the Beijing Branch, together with the Fengtai local government, with urgency, courage and vision, is setting out to crack open the hard nut.

Despite the well-known difficulties, the Beijing City Branch Bank is taking responsibility to provide financing for the project by itself.

2010-09, the  bank succeeded in arranging a loan for 3.4 billion yuan, which ensured that the 600 families could begin to relocate, and that the rest of the Xiju village transformation could go smoothly. Despite the hardships on the road ahead, the bank will continue to advance forward calmly.

konjaku: Excerpts from a long article on Xiju village. It states that the government began to transform Xiju village as early as 2000, when it co-opted it to be part of a green zone project on the city margins. From 2000 to 2009, the village farmland was turned over to the project, but the villagers were not relocated due to a lack of funding.

https://www.zaobao.com.sg/wencui/politic/story20120206-172853

Villagers: “If we wanted to plant crops we had no land, if we wanted a job there were no businesses hiring, if we wanted social security or unemployment insurance there was no share for us.” It all came down to a lack of capital.

For Xiju and the other villages designated to be part of the green zone, they first needed to raise capital to demolish and relocate. They contracted with developers to build commercial housing which they could sell on the market, but the profits were only enough for demolition expenses and rents for villagers who needed someplace to live while replacement housing was being built.  It wasn’t enough to cover construction of replacement housing. Therefore the process stalled.

In 2003, the prospects for village transformation were dismal. The land zoned for commercial and agricultural use was all co-opted into the green zone, and on the small amount of remaining  village homestead land, the villagers without exception made their living in the “tile economy” –renting rooms in their homestead to tenants. There were 6000 registered permanent residents, and 50,000 migrants who had checked in with the village authorities, but the actual number of migrants living in Xiju probably exceeded 80,000.

“The villagers added stories to their houses –the higher they built, the more they made.” Peng Jun said there was one villagers who actually built his house up to seven stories, and made 60,000 yuan a year in rents. When a village cadre went to remonstrate with him for the illegal additions, the villager said, without mincing words, “Go ahead and build my replacement housing then.” At that time the village collective didn’t have the money to hire a work crew to clear the ground for the foundation of the new residential complex for villagers.

————–

konjaku: in 2009, Xiju village was listed as one of the 50 focal-point villages. This became a new impetus to find the means to demolish the village and build replacement housing for the villagers.

—————

Ten years ago, the city government put forward the concept of the green zone, but did not follow through. To erase this “scar,” there must be a huge expenditure to cover the net costs, including those costs not yet fully known.

According to city government data, to build replacement housing for the villagers in all the fifty focal-point villages  involves a total area of 29 million square meters,  with 15 million square meters of constructed housing. There must be a  new system put in place to provide various types of social insurance for 130,000 people.

Although responsibility is delegated to the district government offices, Beijing city keeps a tight rein on the process. As a Fengtai official revealed, the district is not allowed to make any profit by completing the transformation project under budget, and they must pay all expenses in cash.

While the net costs of transforming a village are large, if the real estate market cools off during the process, expenses for the district government become even larger [they raise less capital when they auction off land to developers to pay for expenses].

The Fengtai Party District Committee Secretary Li Chaogang stressed that they will make the replacement housing a priority. “There is no need to worry about the quality of the construction. The  living environment will be pleasant and the surroundings orderly. The villagers will be fully satisfied.”

The plan for the replacement housing for Xiju village has been already set. In the first stage they will build 1596 residences, and in the second stage 1687. It will be a high-rise residential complex. The buildings will be 27 stories above, three stories below ground. “Previously, replacement housing was 8 units per floor and north-south (shade) facing. We have secured funding for 4 units per floor (larger units) and oriented south-north (sun) facing. This went  to vote and all the villagers voted for what would satisfy them the most.”

At the neat and orderly construction site,  a reporter remarked, the spacing between buildings is very generous. It is like an expensive residential complex in the most prosperous areas of China along the coast.

Another thing which they have learned from experience, is to not put any small shops and businesses on the first floor of the buildings. These in the past have not been profitable, and have had a less than positive effect on the living environment. Instead a free-standing service center will be built three or four hundred meters away, which will also be a commercial center. A Fengtai official said, this follows the new model of  “all community services within a five minute’s walk.”

At the end of 2010, 700 villagers had signed contracts to relocate. The reason that the demolition and relocation was starting up without a hitch was because the Beijing Branch of the China Agricultural Development Bank had supplied Xiju village with a loan of 3.4 billion yuan.

With the loan in place, this was a key moment. The Beijing government specified a timetable of one year to demolish, two years to build, and by the third year to be done.

But, as with other urban villages, a number of villagers who had made their living in the tile economy were not ready to give up their old homes so easily. When emotions were running high, they sealed off the village entrance to prevent project personnel from coming inside to survey the village.  Peng Jun [village committee chairman] said that they considered the villagers easy to handle. They would listen to reason and move out. The problem was with another large unit which was renting, leasing, or running factories or other businesses on village land. Although it was village collective land in which ownership could not be transferred, some had long-running leases which were not much different from buying the land outright. These needed to be compensated for the rent they paid, but after that they still needed to find an equally convenient location to move their business to.

This “large unit” refused to move, which meant the process stalled, the villagers’ replacement housing was not being built, and time went by.  Peng Jun estimated that just to compensate all those commercial renters would take up all the project budget.

After ten years, the government had gradually built up the budget to start. The value of the village land had gone up  [more capital could be raised]. The conditions were ripe –now was the time for the transformation of Xiju village to get underway. If this was going to end well, it was going to take a lot of determination and effort. 

konjaku: finally, we see a glimpse of the stage of resistance to demolition.

(2010)

 The shady plot behind the Xiju village committee uncivilized demolition strategy

http://blog.tianya.cn/post-3476494-30349702-1.shtml

To accelerate  construction and development in Beijing, the urban villages in Fengtai district are being demolished and relocated. The Beijing city government has a magnificent large-scale plan it is putting into effect. The State Council and associated ministries have over and over again prohibited those homes to be demolished from being the target of one-sided, despotic actions and forced demolitions using violence. Those households who protect themselves from this violence are exercising their legitimate rights. On 05-15 of this year the State Council issued another urgent notice saying that in demolition operations the legitimate rights and interests of households must be preserved, repeating that “ it is essential to go rigorously by the law,  to demolish and relocate according to the established standards, to fully respect the rights of those people subject to demolition.” Even so, it is amazing that in this important project the Xiju village committee are only feigning compliance with these standards, causing the complaints of the local merchants and villagers to sound out in the streets. One merchant told this reporter, “the village committee did not negotiate with us at all, but immediately cut off our water and power, causing us to face bankruptcy.” On 2010 -07-09 this reporter went to the village committee headquarters, and asked committee head Zhao Jia why the committee was taking this aggressive course. He replied, “We do not discuss internal village matters with anyone from outside the village.” Mr Zhao then took us to the luxurious office of the village head Peng Jun. In response to our question, Mr Peng replied, “I had no idea the power had been cut off anywhere. ” He said we should take up this matter with the township government or some higher authority. We then showed him photos and a videotape of the area of the village which had lost power, to which he replied, “ About that, I have no comment.”

This reporter wonders why, in this era of “together building a harmonious and civilized society,” the Xiju village committee dares to ignore the admonitions of the Council of State and other higher levels of government. Just as they did before, when it comes to demolition and relocation, they go against the tide and force their own way in one-sided arrangements, taking extreme measures like cutting off water and electricity. The village committee is going against the instructions and the spirit of the central government, but shouldn’t the committee remember that it is also part of the Chinese Communist Party? Is there- or is there not — a connection between the village committee and the developer? And are there other unknown secrets?

Villages # 16 and #17 Liulangzhuang and Tangjialing

Villages #16 and #17 are Liulangzhuang and Tangjialing. These villages received attention from the media as places where recent college graduates in search of tech jobs (the “ant tribe”) came to rent rooms, because of their proximity to Beijing’s silicon valley Zhongguancun. Instead of being part of the story of migrant workers coming to the capital to perform unskilled labor, these two villages were instead part of analysis about the ever-rising housing market in Beijing, and what the future looked like for the brightest of China’s youth as they entered the job market. Nevertheless, when these villages were demolished, it was the original residents, the peasants, who had the most to lose.

Liulangzhuang 六郎庄村

Haidian district, Wanliu area 海淀区万柳地区

photo: http://mapio.net/s/74785851/

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I previously covered Liulangzhuang in a series of posts September–December 2013.

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/liulangzhuang-2009-2013-notes/

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/liulangzhuang-forcible-demolition-notice-2012-01-06/

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/liulangzhuang-as-part-of-the-three-mountains-five-gardens-plan/

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/a-bright-future-in-the-liulangzhuang-new-village/

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/liulangzhuang-voices-1/

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/liulangzhuang-voices-2/

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/liulangzhuang-space-needed-for-development/

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/liulangzhuang-voices-4-do-not-believe-the-hired-thugs/

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/liulangzhuang-2013-11-01-moving-day/

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/liulangzhuang-new-village-opening-ceremony/

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/liulangzhuang-if-a-golf-course-is-built-luxury-villas-will-follow/

Tangjialing 唐家岭村

Haidian district,Xibeiwang town 海淀区西北旺镇

photo:

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-06/02/content_9919814.htm

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photo (waiting for the bus in the morning):

http://blog.onlycollege.com.cn/batch.download.php?aid=15453

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I previously covered Tangjialing in a series of posts in March and April 2013.

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/tangjialing-reborn/

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/tangjialing-the-compensation-amount-kept-changing/

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/tangjialing-ready-to-line-up-all-night/

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/tangjialing-ripple-effects/

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/two-images-of-tangjialing/

https://konjaku.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/tangjialing-voices/