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Yamenkou Village #26: 20 years of transformation

konjaku: Village # 26 is Yamenkou, in the Shijingshan district

衙门口南社区 Yamenkou south community

石景山区鲁谷街道 Shijingshan district, Lugu neighborhood

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While many previous villages were transformed beginning in 2010-2011, the Yamenkou project started in 2017. Articles translated below emphasize safeguards in the contract-signing process, and there is no on-line record of any protests. The new residential housing was approved 2019-11 and is still being built.

A West Beijing old village disorder and renovation: in 20 years it has been renovated seven times

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2018-01-02

Source: Bi-weekly talk net

http://www.xinhuanet.com/local/2018-01/02/c_1122197418.htm

“I came here at 6 AM, and there were more than sixty numbers ahead of me. I am getting ready to select a large residential unit in a sixteen story building.”  Mr Wang is a villager from Yamenkou village in Shijingshan. The Yamenkou slum clearance project officially began 12-12 of 2017. The village houses and land has been requisitioned by the government, and Mr Wang and his neighbors have come to this place to sign contracts for new homes. He said, from here on out, everything will change.

The Yamenkou area has been an important transportation hub for Beijing city since ancient times. Now partitioned by several major roads and a railway line, the village site has been split apart and scattered. The partitioning is not so bad, but every time they widen or improve a road land is requisitioned and villagers have to move, said the section chief of the Shijingshan Building Requisition Office, Zhang Baijun. In Yamenkou this has affected 1200 pre-existing household compounds, involving 5000 residents.

Old Mr Ji said that the village has experienced demolition and rebuilding projects seven times, but this slum clearing project, including the building of replacement housing, is the most comprehensive, and it is now his turn to see his house demolished.

Zhang Baijun said a number of villagers and migrant workers were recruited by the nearby Capital Steel and Iron Works in 1996, and now live in state-owned housing in the district. The compensation process for them will be different.

“Of old, Yamenkou was a flourishing village, as goods were transported back and forth along the roads that passed through it. My house looked out on a neighborhood that looked much like Dashilan (a famous shopping street in central Beijing), said villager Li, pointing to the street in front of him. This street, about 300 meters long, was crowded with shops with richly colored signs.  

Many people from elsewhere set up businesses here, and every day many people streamed into this area to also shop at large-scale markets specializing in hardware,  agricultural products, second-hand books, and building materials. But this year Shijingshan started a project to fix urban overcrowding by moving these markets all together to Gaobeidian city in Hebei.

Mr Yu is from Fuyang in Anhui, and runs a wholesale dried fruit stall in the agricultural products market, and he also rents a store in the village. On 12-11 he, on his own initiative,  moved all his inventory to Gaobeidian. Mr Yu has struggled to make a living in Beijing for more than 20 years, and has been at Yamenkou  for some ten years. “Starting in 2005, many people came here from other places, and it became really crowded and busy.” Although he was reluctant to leave, he wasn’t in bad shape. He had saved enough money to buy a house in his native place, so he would always have a residence to go back to. Also,  in the years in Beijing he had raised one son and one daughter, and put them through technology school and university, after which they got jobs. This was something which would never have happened if he stayed all his life in the agricultural village in which he was born.

When there was a great influx of people in 2005, the villager Mr Li found that his neighbors tore down their one story house to build a two-story house, for the purpose of having rooms to rent. He followed the same pattern , building three two-story houses in the village,  with twelve rooms above and twelve below, with six facing the street. In less than half a year the rent from income had paid back the loans he had taken for construction costs.

Mr Li said rents had been steadily rising, from 100 yuan a month, to 300 yuan, then 500, and currently it is 900 yuan for a room, 1600 yuan for a commercial space. Altogether he makes 20,000 yuan a month on rentals.

But starting in 2017 he had some rooms for rent that stayed empty, and in 2017-06 batches of tenants began moving out.

On 12-12, this reporter went to Yamenkou village to observe. Inside the village there were many household compounds which had been rebuilt by the owners, showing evidence of shoddy construction.  The roads were squeezed by the excess building, the infrastructure was outdated,  and the wholesale markets that used to be on the periphery of the village had already been moved away completely.

“The environment here is in poor shape. There are many hidden dangers to safety, and when it rains these dangers increase, and there is little we can do about it,” grumbled a Mr Fan to this reporter. Many houses and buildings along the street had rebuilt entrances raised above the ground. Mr Fan explained that this was to prevent surges of garbage-filled water from flooding into the buildings during torrential rains.

The street that was “like Dashilan” in Mr Li’s eyes was overrun with badly constructed buildings taking up much of the space. As this reporter watched, a car tried to go through on the road,  but the rider on the passenger side had to get out and go ahead, ”clearing the road,” pushing bicycles and pedicabs to one side, carrying boxes of goods back to stores or storefronts. One villager said that in 2016 they had called emergency, but the ambulance was not able to get into the village.

As he waited in line, Mr Wang said they had been waiting for an improvement in the village environment for a long time. He was ready to sign a contract for the replacement housing, as soon as possible. 

According to section chief Zhang Baijun, Shijingshan planned to build 28 new residential towers in five complexes,  built out of green-certified pre-fab material, covering over 400,000 square meters. “The old villages of west Beijing will undergo a magnificent transformation, and say farewell completely to their overcrowded, chaotic past.”

The “Chang’an Green Axis” is the name for the new western gateway into the capital, a landscape of connected parkland at the Yamenkou village site, light and spacious, and filled with greenery.

The Yamenkou project also plans to restore and preserve eight historical village homes, to commemorate the old village, and give residents a sense of belonging. The demolished building materials will be recycled, and used to build the new roads in the area.

The Yamenkou site will set a standard for an ecological zone in Shijingshan, with a ratio of 50% green space to developed areas.

konjaku: going back one year

2016-08-24

​​https://www.weibo.com/ttarticle/p/show?id=2309351000154012181199917374

Several days ago, there was a medical emergency and the ambulance could not do get through the streets of Yamenkou, because of many primitively constructed buildings that impinged on both sides of the road. To fix this problem, city management, traffic, and public safety came together on 08-22 to clear the road by demolishing some ten privately constructed buildings, clearing away the odds and ends stacked along the street, and removing unofficial traffic barriers.

Many households have built in the alleys small shacks, which they use to store goods which they sell at stands or from carts. The space these shacks take up narrow the space for vehicles. The shacks are simply put together with planks, iron sheets, or brick and tile. Others are stuffed full with wastepaper and plastic waste, or kerosene and gas pipes. There are still others put up for recreation,  shelters without four walls but equipped with gas, water, and electricity, that function as places where as many as ten people can eat dinner together, or just relax.

Besides these shacks, people pile goods on the side of the road, erect homemade traffic barriers, and park their cars at night in any empty space in the alleys.  Not only is this a critical fire danger, but it’s impossible for vehicles to pass through.

Yamenkou villagers sign contracts

http://www.sohu.com/a/210032727_643447

Yamenkou is the last remaining natural village in an area criss-crossed by traffic arteries. There is an incessant flow of traffic along roads, and railway bridges both high and low. The village itself lies hidden beneath an overpass. Today at 9 AM the Yamenkou slum-clearing and transformation project officially opened for villagers to select homes in the replacement housing, and sign contracts.

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Mr Fan is one of the five thousand villagers who will give up his current home and sign a contract to live in new residential housing. The Yamenkou project is quite large, involving some 1200 households. The plan for replacement housing takes into consideration the need of villagers for  different types and sizes of residential units, as well as traffic patterns. The new replacement housing will occupy 400,000 square meters.

The next step is to turn two roadways into ecological corridors [areas with water and greenery] and reconfigure the Yamenkou site as a “sponge city” [storing and reusing rainwater by planting, wetlands creation, and permeable pavement, for areas liable to flood]. The villagers’ lives will see improvements in education, travel, and recreation. A staff member said the contract-signing period will last 48 days. After that, the new residential complex will be built on the old village site, and will be finished in three years.

 

Yamenkou villagers who have signed contracts to relocate is now at 99%

2018-02-02

http://bj.people.com.cn/n2/2018/0202/c82840-31213169.html

The Yamenkou village slum clearance project has a long history. There have been seven previous stages of demolition and relocation. The situation is complicated: there are 1180 household compounds as part of the village, and a large group of state-owned houses. But during the 48 days set for the signing of contracts, the rate completed now stands at 99 per cent –a real milestone for the project as a whole.

The village dates back to the Song dynasty (960-1279). During the Qing(1644-1911) it was named  Yamenkou (“gate of a government office”), because it was the seat of the first government office of Wanping county (Beijing was previously divided into two counties: Wanping and Daxing). In recent years it has suffered all the ills of the urban village, and has been especially vulnerable to flooding during outbursts of torrential rain. Therefore the renovation project, including the compensation plan once it was announced, has the villagers’ enthusiastic support. Once the sign-up period started, the sign-up rate was 40 percent on the first day, and it ended at 99 percent.

This high rate stems from the fact that the process was completely open,  impartial and transparent, with strict self-discipline to avoid corruption. Advanced technology was used to facilitate the sign-up process, and to ensure that  every step of the procedure was subject to rigorous inspection and supervision. To eliminate any irregularities, the teams mounted cameras and videotaped all their interactions with residents as they assisted them in signing contracts, in order that there would be a record left of their activities. The superintendents could monitor the contract-signing in real time.

In addition, to strengthen the supervision  in every possible area, the Party District Committee formed a special team devoted to the administration of justice and legal issues, to make sure the residents fully understood all the legal points and were fully satisfied when signing contracts. They also made sure that the confiscation of  properties was done legally, that all the public information was coordinated, that the posters and government website devoted to the project were accurate and convenient to access. They had an “opening day fair,” in which they invited the people and the media to come and examine every step of the process at the scene.

“Finally, our wait is over.” Villager Uncle Zhai sighed with happiness. Seven times the village had been cut up by construction projects to build roads or rail lines, and each time the villagers hoped that the whole village would be transformed, but that had not happened until now.

The green-certified replacement housing complexes will also include commercial, market-priced housing, high-end tech businesses, a school going up to ninth grade, and integrated underground utilities. The surrounding area will undergo ecologically sensitive development to improve the environment and increase green areas, which will have a positive effect on the villagers’ lives.

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The replacement housing:

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A New Destination for Construction Waste

http://bjrb.bjd.com.cn/html/2019-05/20/content_11884569.htm

There is less and less available space to dispose of the waste materials generated by construction projects in Beijing every year. The steady stream of construction waste, generated both by new construction products, and by the demolition of old buildings, means there is an urgent need to find new disposal sites.

One spring afternoon, next to the Zhaoyang Hospital, this reporter began chatting with an old person sitting in a chair beside the small road next to the hospital, listening to a radio, and enjoying the sun. The old person said he was staying in the hospital for treatment, receiving intravenous infusions three or four hours a day, and he had gotten in the habit if coming outside to lighten his mood. “This small street is newly repaved, everything is neat and tidy, there is trees and grass, only a few cars going by, and there’s a chair to sit in.” Rubbing his hand on the chair rail he said, “It’s well worn, but it’s still strong.”

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This small road was repaved last year. But what is unusual is that the road surface, the enclosing wall on both sides of the road 500 meters long, the wall decorations [see photo] and the sidewalk of permeable brick, are all made from recycled construction waste. And all this waste material comes from the Yamenkou village slum-clearing project, three kilometers down the road.  On 04-25, this reporter visited the test facility where construction waste is recycled into usable material. 

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The Yamenkou slum-clearing and village transformation project took place in 2017.  The buildings demolished covered an area of 251.42 hectares, and the construction waste resulting from the project totalled 2,660,000 tons. What to do with this massive amount of waste? This was the problem facing TTX company, the developer in charge of the project. A company official said that in the past, they looked for a place to dump the waste. The price to excavate a site, transport the waste, and then bury it, was previously set at 60 yuan per square meter, but even at that price the projected total was over 100 million yuan. These days the price is 100 yuan per square meter, or more, and the sites that accept construction waste are increasingly fewer, and farther away.

According to city management statistics,  in 2018 the total construction waste in Beijing was 1.83 billion tons. While 1.1 billion of that was buried in the earth, some 700 million tons is going through a recycling process to be reused.

And what is the cost difference between recycling the waste or simply burying it? The cost in 2018 to recycle waste on site is 45 yuan per ton. A city management environmental issues staff member said that to break down and transport construction to another location for disposal runs to 60 or 70 yuan per ton.  It is obvious which is the better choice.

If the waste from the Yamenkou project was stacked up, it would be a pile three stories high, covering 45 acres. Just to transport this waste to a disposal site uses up fuel and increases air pollution. From the standpoint of environmental protection, recycling on site is preferable.

Recently this paper published an investigation of illegal dumping sites, after which some sites have been closed, and some violators have been punished. However, this practice, which has gone on for many years, is unlikely to disappear completely. While the worst offenders are  targeted, others lay low for a while and then resume their operations as before. Until the root of the problem is tackled, this vicious cycle will continue. 

It is not easy to turn construction waste into reusable material. The TTX company has invested  over 20 million yuan to purchase two assembly lines to process the waste, and brought these to the Yamenkou site.

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The testing ground has a handsome wall composed of half meter squares of recycled extruded steel. That draws peoples’ attention.  There are patches of green plants which are being grown with ground-up aggregate materials for soil, in order to check which plants grow well in these mixtures. There is also a stretch of brightly colored permeable pavement made from a mix of ground-up aggregate materials. This reporter took a glass of water and poured it on the pavement, and within a second the water had all seeped through.

This reporter put on protective clothing and a face-mask to enter the testing ground, but then felt these weren’t really necessary. In fact, the testing ground looks like a small park. There are patches of green plants, and a pond, the whole laid out as a scenic garden. This reporter imagined the air would be filled with dust particles and there would be deafening noise, but this was not the case at all. 

In the waste materials from the demolition of the village, there is quite a bit of garbage that comes from remnants of daily life. In order to make the reusable material as pure as possible, the ground-up end-product passes by an air-blower which blows the lighter bits of plastic and fabric into a fine mesh net, separating them from the rest. In addition, since the demolition site already has hollowed out areas where buildings once stood, the production process for permeable brick is done in these underground areas. reducing the noise and dust escaping into the air.

The assembly lines can process 1700 tons of waste a day, or 480,000 tons a year.  The Yamenkou village transformation project includes 118 hectares of green space with a forest park. In a few years, the recycled products made in these testing facility will be on full display in the construction of the park and green zone.

2019-08-09

Yamenkou village will change into a one hundred hectare park

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https://k.sina.com.cn/article_6440121959_17fdc766700100fdof.html?from=news

Recently, the Shijingshan district announced it would build the Yamenkou Forest Park. At one square kilometer in area, this might be the largest ecological zone in the fifth ring, built as part of the project to change the dirty and chaotic urban-rural mixed zone encircling the city into a belt of green parkland.

The Yamenkou area was always part of the urban-rural mixed zone, therefore its problems were far worse than that of  purely agricultural villages gradually encroached upon by the city. Once the park is built, and all traces of the urban-rural haphazardness is erased, it will turn into a beautiful wonderland.

Since Yamenkou was never agricultural, its residents are mainly Beijing city residents, making it somewhat unique. Under rumors it would be eventually demolished, for years repairs were not made, and it became well-known as one of the most run-down areas of the city, worse than other areas on the margin. Now all that will change.

 

The old Yamenkou village in photos

http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_722472270102xsmq.html

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Village #25, Baipenyao

Village #25 is Baipenyao.

 Baipenyao village白盆窑村

Fengtai district, Huaxiang township 丰台区花乡

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konjaku: According to an article in the South China Morning Post, on November 2018, Beijing city auctioned off 12 land plots. The “ two sites in the Fengtai district” referred to in the article are plots of Baipenyao village land.

https://www.scmp.com/property/hong-kong-china/article/2175201/beijing-scores-us45-b-record-land-sales-after-easing

South China Morning Post

Zheng Yangpeng

Published: 4:32pm, 27 Nov, 2018

The Beijing government’s partial easing of controls on the property market has helped it score record land sales in a single day.

Twelve out of 13 land sites were successfully auctioned off by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Planning and Natural Resources on Monday, earning a total of 31.6 billion yuan (US$4.55 billion) for the city government, and the highest single day record in history.

One of the 12 sites was sold at a 49.3 per cent premium over the starting price, with the remaining lots sold at 26 per cent to zero premium, according to property agent Centaline Beijing. One site failed to draw any interest.

The results come after the city government allowed buyers, for the first time, to pay just one deposit to take part in bidding for all the sites. Authorities also lifted the requirement – for certain plots – in which developers must allocate at least 70 per cent of the floor space for flats that are smaller than 90 square metres to ensure they build more affordable homes.

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Analysts said the city government’s relaxation of curbs on developers helped in closing a number of the deals.

For instance, the price cap for flats to be developed on two sites in Fengtai district, which failed to draw any buyers in January, was raised to 67,702 yuan per sq m, compared with the previous 43,000 yuan to make the homes affordable to middle and lower-income buyers.

The sites were sold at 25 per cent and 26 per cent premiums to two subsidiaries of China Railway Engineering Corporation.

“The adjustments in the nature of the property developments and price caps have allowed for better profit prospects for buyers. The future selling prices will be higher, but the eligible buyer pool has also become bigger, so developers are more willing to take on the sites,” said Guo Yi, chief analyst at Beijing-based property marketing firm Heshuo.

Beijing’s sluggish property market to face a glut with planned sale of 66 land sites in the ‘near term’

konjaku: it seems that one of the goals of these land sales is to achieve a record price, no matter what the state of the market. In the case of the Baipenyao village plots, “the price cap for flats to be developed on two sites in Fengtai district, which failed to draw any buyers in January, was raised to 67,702 yuan per sq m, compared with the previous 43,000 yuan to make the homes affordable to middle and lower-income buyers.” In other words, previously potential buyers had to commit to building a certain amount of residential housing for which they could charge no more than 43,000 yuan per square meter, to expand the affordable housing stock. However that restriction was raised to 67,702 yuan to make the site more attractive, as the price a developer could charge for housing would generate higher profits. In the end the China Railway Engineering Corporation, a state-owned company, paid 25% over the initial offering price for the land.

However six years earlier,  in 2012, when demolition of the village began, there was resistance.

Fengtai district Hua township Baipenyao village head Wang Chunyan led a group to forcible demolish homes in violation of the law! The evil strategy behind these actions!

http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-828-464694-1.shtml

2011-11, demolition of Baipenyao village begins –now two years later it continues with this forcible demolition

2012-05 The village head Wang Chunyan and Wang Jinrui led a party of 200 unofficial public security personnel to destroy the house of one 45 year old woman.  They beat her, stripped off her clothes to humiliate her, and beat her children savagely. An old person was thrown to the ground and had his arm cut with a knife, and spent a month in the hospital. Another old person who went to the hospital came back to find his house destroyed, and has no home to go to even today. In our village there are many whose houses have been demolished, and have experienced tragedies!

Though the people meet with disaster and shed tears, neither the state, the township, nor the district government pay any attention. To the village cadres, I would like to ask, is this the harmonious society advocated by Xi Jinping? Whether or not you have old people or children in your family, as village cadres, have you ever thought of doing good deeds without looking for credit? A good watchdog guards the three villages, what about you?

http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-39-1138484-1.shtml

2012-09-12.  at 7 in the morning, the Baipenyao village committee leading a team of several hundred members,  dragged me and my family out of our house, and unlawfully held us in detention for over four hours, during which time they demolished our house. The local police and the city government did nothing. We ask that good-hearted people post here with suggestions as to what we can do.

photo: after the demolition village leaders laugh and relax together

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konjaku: from the same blog page:

http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-39-1138484-1.shtml

Baipenyao village is being savagely demolished by force. The replacement housing is not built yet, instead,  Secretary Wang Chunyan, and village head Yu Liancheng, have stolen huge sums, and are using the people’s money to buy luxury compounds and villas in Hainan for themselves. The demolition process started a year ago, and the displaced residents who have no replacement housing to move into, now number over one hundred families. Besides forcibly demolishing homes and beating up people, they have bribed the Huaxiang courts, so who knows whether we can get justice or not?

Our case so far:  The Huaxiang court dismissed our lawsuit, so we appealed to the Beijing Number Two People’s Court. The village procedures are obviously illegal; the  Huaxing court realized this, but under pressure of the local government they did not render a decision. If the court decided in our favor, it would displease the local authorities. If they made us lose, this would be too obviously an unjustifiable result. In its recent session the central government issued strict injunctions against corruption, therefore the Huaxiang court did not dare to simply heed the local government and reject our suit: that might draw the attention of the central authorities.

Our situation: I married my husband in 2010-01. In 2011-12 we vacated our house in Baipenyao, but my household registration did not transfer over. Nevertheless, our marriage was acknowledged in the settlement. However, now I am not being granted housing, but it is instead going to his former wife that he divorced, because she has a close connection to a higher-up in the demolition and relocation office. Those two have obstructed us at every turn, and in 2012-09 we filed suit, three months later the Huaxiang court refused to accept and hear the case, saying it was not in their jurisdiction. Is it possible we the common people have no means to seek the redress of injustice? The laws are all established by the bureaucrats, and they use those laws to help each other, I only ask for impartiality and fairness.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

konjaku there are several other blogs that come up in a search with similar content, but they have been erased. The following is from a website of a law firm advertising their services, so it is no surprise that here the case ended triumphantly. I have cut out some florid verbiage.

http://www.jingshls.com/htm/news/2014-10-23/676.html

Anchun and Zhangwei (pseudonyms) were granted a divorce in the Fengtai district Peoples’ Court in 2003. During the time they were married they lived in a household compound in Baipenyao village. The house and land were owned by Zhangwei’s father. As part of the settlement, Anchun was allotted ownership of two rooms in the southern building in the compound. 

In 2011-12, Baipenyao, which was one of the listed-up villages in Beijing’s urban-rural unification project, entered into the process of demolition and relocation of residents. The relocation was handled by the Baipenyao Real Estate Development Corporation. When the demolition and relocation began, Anchun brought a copy of the divorce settlement to the Corporation office, claiming her status as a relocated person eligible for compensation for her share of the property. However, since they could not reach an agreement, both sides were not able to complete a demolition and relocation compensation agreement.

2011-12-13, the Corporation, pressed to move as quickly as possible,  bypassed Anchun and secretly got a contract agreement with Zhangwei ‘s father, Zhang Zhiguo. Once in hand, they hastily and without further considerations  entirely demolished the house. Zhang Zhiguo.received 6.23 million yuan outright, and passed on 50,000 yuan to Anchun, through a representative of the village committee.

Seeing that almost the entire compensation amount was being monopolized by her former father-in-law, Anchun in 2012-03 engaged the top “defending rights” lawyer Wang Guoxiang, to try and recover for her some of her property rights from disappearing entirely.

2012-03, Wang Guoxiang filed a lawsuit in Fengtai district People’s Court, against Zhang Zhiguo.and Baipenyao Real Estate Development Corporation, asking the court to declare the compensation agreement between these parties null and void. In the court hearing, Wang Guoxiang argued that 1) a compensation agreement which did not include Anchun, a property owner of a part of the site in question, with rights under the law, was illegitimate 2) if the two defendants named in the suit conspired with malice to deprive the plantiff of her rights, that action would render any contract they made with another party null and void, according to contract law. The Baipenyao Real Estate Development Corporation was fully aware of Anchun’s rights, because she presented them in advance a copy of the divorce agreement. Both the Corporation and Zhang Zhiguo willfully ignored Anchun’s rights in signing a contract, which itself is proof of malicious intent.

2012-09-17, the court  found that the rights of the plaintiff Anchun had been ignored, and that the contract signed by the two defendants was not valid. The plaintiff’s arguments carried the day. Not only did Anchun win a favorable judgement, but as a result the Corporation representative reopened negotiations with her, and gave her in negotiation a much higher and more acceptable figure. Her long-awaited goal was coming into reach…

konjaku: the next news of Baipenyao jumps forward five years. At this point, it appears that replacement housing has been built and the demolition and relocation process is finally being completed. From the description, Baipenyao was quite a large village, which must have made everything more complicated. The focus of these two articles is not really the village, but a commercial area south of the village, which is being cleared out to make way for an Exposition Park and a new urban zone.

Fengtai district Baipenyao vicinity –buildings demolished to add 161 square meters to the green zone

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http://interview.qianlong.com/2017/0422/1625861.shtml

2017-04-22.  Baipenyao village is between the fourth and fifth rings in Beijing. In recent years, various types of low-end industries have operated there,  thirty-eight in all, taking up 960 thousand square meters. In conjunction with the effort to relieve congestion in Beijing these are being cleared out. The last of these is a group of warehouses that function as a goods distribution center. Once these are dismantled the disorderliness will disappear, and the area will add 161 square meters to a green zone.

 The warehouses are to the south of Baipenyao village. On the 21st, this reporter went to visit, and found a number of large excavators already noisily a work, tumbling down a row of old storehouses.

The village Party Branch Secretary Yu Liancheng said that the project of demolishing the warehouses began in 2017-02. The buildings occupy an area of 480,000 square meters, and he estimates it will take till the end of the 6th month to finish.

Baipenyao village comprises 401 hectares,  of which residences are 479,000 square meters, non-residences 966,000 square meters.  There are 5271 registered residents, of whom 3984 are in the work force, and close to 30,000 workers from elsewhere who rent. The inverted population ratio is 1:6 (six migrants to every one resident).

As a typical case of urban and rural conglomeration, there are some 1125 buildings which rent out their space for all kinds of purposes. In conjunction with the effort to clear out congested areas in Beijing, the village has repeatedly had talks with the industries and businesses here, and had signed agreements for them to move and demolish the buildings. Starting in 2016, they started the process of shutting down businesses that sell and distribute building materials, automobile parts, hardware, and other sundries. They are clearing out businesses, sealing off the entrances to the area, dispersing the 30,000 migrant workers, and moving the village residents to new residential complexes.

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In the future, Baipenyao village will turn into an ecological green area, but in the midst of this will be high tech industries, innovative, trail-blazing companies, headquartered in the 161 square meter plot. Altogether 7.97 hectares will become a central hub with an underground shopping mall, office buildings, restaurants, and public housing.

http://bj.people.com.cn/n2/2017/1109/c82838-30906500.html

On 2017-11-07, this reporter went to the Baipenyao village site previously occupied by warehouses, which had been cleared out. It was now an open expanse of cleared land, covered with a green tarp. Previously here there was a distribution center of books for Beijing’s major publishers, later it was a place where pharmaceuticals were stockpiled for delivery. Now it is cleared away, and because it is late autumn, it is covered with mats, to keep the wind from blowing up the dust and causing pollution. 

The Fengtai district government earmarked this Baipenyao village set as part of the city-wide effort “to clear out congestion” in Beijing. Since there was 320,000 square meters, it took eight months to complete demolishing the buildings and clearing the area.

“Previously this area was a mess. Around the margins there were many small tradespeople and peddlers. The roads were narrow, the volume of activity in the warehouses very large, making for a perpetual traffic jam. You could make a turn, and unexpectedly come to a complete stop; at peak times in the early morning one could be stuck for two or three hours without moving.” So said villager Ms Yang Guanli. “ Now it is better, with the warehouses all the trucks are also gone,  it is now possible to drive without getting stuck. I don’t have to worry when I want to drive somewhere anymore.”

The Huaxiang township CP committee vice-secretary and township head Peng Songtao said, “We are in the process of constructing the Huaxiang Flowering Plant Historical Exposition Park on the site. This will be an ecological tourism destination, a garden with exhibits on flowering plants from the standpoint of both culture and scientific research. This will be Huaxiang’s contribution to the greening of Beijing!”

According to the Baipenyao general secretary Yu Liancheng, the Huaxiang Flowering Plant Historical Exposition Park  is the result of the 2018-2019 policy to “reserve cleared land while increasing the green space,” and will consolidate 800 years of flower raising culture, a tradition in this area. They will plant 30,000 maples, elms, peony-trees and crepe myrtles, and flowering plants to create a riot of dazzling colors and competing blooms,  such that visitors will lose themselves in their happiness.

This reporter interviewed villager Zhao Hongxi, who was radiant with joy. He said, “I lived in this neighborhood of warehouses, and I could not go for a stroll before, but now I just turn a corner and I’m at a large and handsome park, perfect for strolling. ”

Baipenyao village is a shining example of the effort to clear congestion. This year Huaxiang township will continue its activities to shut down illegal businesses, clear away peddlers and food sellers on roadsides and sidewalks, and get rid of pollution and disorder.  The Huaxiang of the future will be a place the common people can enjoy, like a beautiful spring day  with the fragrance of flowers, and flying bees and butterflies.

Reporter: Trainee Xu Wei

http://www.sohu.com/a/270878183_165258

On 2018-10-13, Party District Secretary Wang Xianyong set out to inspect the greening of Huaxing, which was happening at the residents’ doorsteps.

First he went to Baipenyao village, examining how Baipenyao had planted an extensive garden in the space cleared after the warehouses were removed. Baipenyao is near the southern 4th Ring,  close to the Fengtai Science and Technology Park, the new Tiantan Hospital, and the Beijing-Shanghai high speed rail. In an area of 400 acres they have planted 100,000 plants, covering 70 percent of available space, with a ratio of 309.77 square meters of green space per individual resident.

konjaku: the replacement housing for Baipenyao village is a complex called Baipenyao Tianxingjiayuan. It looks quite large, and has 1507 residential units. The following articles fall into the category of “daily life,” for residents of this complex as they adjust to the urban environment.

Baipenyao Tianxingjiayuan 白盆窑天兴家园     

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http://bj.people.com.cn/n2/2018/0809/c82838-31915472.html

2018-08-09

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Over 50 types of fruits and vegetables! A vending machine in Huaxiang is very popular

You may have seen a vending machine selling drinks, or one selling snacks, but have you ever seen a vending machine selling fruits and vegetables? Recently the Baipenyao Tianxing Jiayuan residential complex has tried this experiment, and it has really “settled in.” Residents no longer have to go to the supermarket,  or farmer’s market, but can buy fruits and vegetables practically at their doorstep, which has led to paeans of praise.

Bananas, grapes, spinach, young  garlic shoots…in less than a minute, you can buy whatever you need. It has oranges, kiwi, peaches, tomatos, cucumber, and potatoes. There is ginger, garlic, and dried tree ears, altogether fifty types of fruit and vegetables for sale. Best-sellers are seasonal fruits such as grapes, jujubes, and dragonfruit.

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Resident Chen said, “I usually get off work pretty late in the evening, and the markets are closed, so getting fresh fruits and vegetables this way at any time of day or night is very convenient.

At present, there are four vending machines in the residential complex.  Each machine has a payment screen in the center, and one pays with one’s phone, using either Weixin or Alipay. You simple choose the item you want on the screen, press “pay,” and select the payment method. When your payment is received, you open the window and take your item. This reporter bought jujubes for 16.9 yuan. The process took less than a minute, and the jujubes were nice and cold in my hand.

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The vending machine is kept between 0 and 10 degrees celcius inside, and the stock is replenished once or twice a day. The vendor also uses the Weixin app to check on the machines in real time, to make sure the interior temperature is constant, and that there is enough stock. If 70% of the items are sold out, they dispatch a delivery right away.

“If there is something wrong with the product, or if the consumer has any kind of problem, he or she can contact the vendor, and the vendor promises to resolve the problem within an hour. In the future, old people will be able to use their own payment card to purchase, and get a 20 percent discount,” a company representative said. 

In the near  future, The Fengtai District Commerce Committee will do a study tour of the Baipenyao Tianxing Jiayuan residential complex and surrounding neighborhood,  to see if the vending machines as they are now are fully suitable to local conditions, and whether any improvements are necessary.

note: Weixin is the mainland China version of WeChat.

Fengtai Huaxiang: Horticulturist in her spare time, teaches that with “one basin of water”  residents can care for the green areas

 http://bj.people.com.cn/n2/2019/0427/c82838-32885764.html

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The Caoqiaoxinyuan community invited a horticultural specialist to come and lecture on the care of plants. She explained to the residents the scientific method for watering plants. The residents were impatient to use their newly acquired knowledge, and set off to water the plants in their communities. Residents from local communities, including Baipenyao Tianxingjiayuan, organized groups to water, to tidy the grounds, and to post signs saying, “Please do not climb trees to pick the fruits or flowers.” When the community called for volunteers, many enthusiastic older aunts and uncles, many vigorous young people, and many children as well, came forward. Party members and volunteers, the backbone of the community, reported for duty fully prepared, and each with their one basin watered the vegetation to beautify the community.

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Baipenyao Tianxingjiayuan community organizes young woman residents to launch a DIY home manufacture project

http://www.sohu.com/a/289421377_803748

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To enrich the cultural life of residents, enhance connections between neighbors,  popularize science and spread scientific knowledge, and heighten the ability to work with one’s hands, a group of women residents are participating in a DIY lipstick manufacturing project.

At the scene, the teacher introduces the women to the materials and manufacturing process, in order that they can get started in creating their own unique lipsticks. The students listen attentively,  work with seriousness, and in the end  successfully make their own lipsticks, giving them a feeling of achievement.

Through this kind of activity, residents make new friends, and together build a harmonious community.

——–

http://www.beijing.gov.cn/zfxxgk/ftq11GJ20/gzdt53j/2019-04/30/content_8a45a675200d498e9db04be3511e7101.shtml  

On 04-29, Baipenyao Tianxingjiayuan residents came to the open space at the local police station, to start a group project on the lawful and civilized way of raising dogs. At the site, staff members handed out a written proposal on rules for dogs in the community. For the convenience of residents, police were on hand to register pet dogs on the spot. 

This is an example of residents exercising their self-autonomy,  in getting together to recognize the responsibilities involved in raising dogs, and agreeing on the rational methods to raise dogs in a civilized way.

 

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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(the Google satellite photo appears to show a number of tall buildings occupying the Xiaowayao village site, while Wujia village seems not yet developed)

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.

MAIN201601211053000170196279273.jpgcunminzhengyi2015112501362.jpg

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.

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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:

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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

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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