Forced house demolition in China
DO NOT PUBLISH WITHOUT EXPLICIT WRITTEN APPROVAL FROM JUSTIN JIN
Taxi driver Liu Gaosheng, 30, supplies this photograph of what he says is a government-ordered bulldozer demolishing his farm house against his wish on the outskirts of Chongqing city in southwestern China.
Liu says he shot the photograph clandestinely while he, his father and his child were locked inside a police van parked next to the house.
The house had been marked by the government for demolition to make way for urban development. Liu disagrees with the 300 yuan-per-square-meter compensation and refuses to sign his house and his plot of farmland away.
Chinese authorities have not been reached to verify Liu's account of the demolition.
Photographer Justin Jin visited Liu and this house on May 5, 2013, for the New York Times, while the house was still standing. Jin obtained this photograph on the day of the demolition from Liu by email.
Liu says authorities came in the morning of May 16, 2013 to physically restrain him and his family, which lives from the land. Liu says the house was razed to the ground within one hour, and his mother is injured in the struggle and spent days in hospital with bone fracture.
China is pushing ahead with a dramatic, history-making plan to move 250 million rural residents into towns and cities over the next dozen years — but without a clear idea of how to pay for the gargantuan undertaking or whether the farmers involved want to move.
Moving farmers to urban areas is touted as a way of changing China’s economic structure, with growth based on domestic demand for products instead of exporting them. In theory, new urbanites mean vast new opportunities for construction firms, public transportation, utilities and appliance makers, and a break from the cycle of farmers consuming only what they produce.
Urbanization has already proven to be one of the most wrenching changes in China’s 35 years of economic reforms. Land disputes rising from urbanization
- Justin Jin_Urbanisation 03.jpg
- 2013 by Liu Gaosheng. All rights reserved.
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