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Eminent Domain, Chinese Style

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Unsurprisingly, the dark side of China’s construction boom is very dark indeed – whilst tenants in the way of new construction projects are at least now notionally able to refuse to sell up (chiefly because rates may be far below market value), what awaits them may not be pleasant.

In this case, in Kunming, the tenant (an 83-year-old woman) refused to sell, and in an effort to force her out developers levelled the plot around her home and dug a 2m deep moat around her dwelling.

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Apparently a more direct eviction method is not out of the question:

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Another famous case involving a holdout left on top of a less than reassuring hill:

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Yet another rather bizarre example, this time from Beijing, showing an old style townhouse which has apparently somehow managed to refuse the overtures of civil planners (although in all fairness most western nations probably would not allow a holdout to impede a public project to this extent):

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Not all are so lucky; in some cases demolitions still proceed without consent or compensation, leaving occupants homeless:

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The style of negotiation on display bears some rather striking parallels to recent Chinese diplomacy – China’s neighbours would likely do well to take note.

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