News / Asia

Rights Group Notes Dramatic Rise in China's Forced Evictions

Huang Sufang (C) attempts to protect her home as workers move in for demolition orders in Yangji village, Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong province on March 21, 2012.
Huang Sufang (C) attempts to protect her home as workers move in for demolition orders in Yangji village, Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong province on March 21, 2012.
Shannon Sant
Land seizures in China are becoming the greatest source of public dissent spurring social unrest in many parts of the country, according to rights watchdog Amnesty International.

Amnesty International says acceleration in forced evictions and land grabbing is largely due to growing pressure on provincial and city governments to stimulate the economy. 

“Forced evictions are currently the biggest source of public discontent in China today,” said Nicola Duckworth, who authored the Amnesty report.

Stimulus

A report claims China’s efforts to boost its flagging economy have forced local governments to borrow large sums of money from state banks to finance stimulus projects. To pay back their debts the local governments have increasingly turned to land sales, cashing in on China’s real estate boom and forcing half of China’s rural residents to leave their homes.

Changes to China’s tax system in the mid-1990s have also required local governments to give the majority of tax revenue to Beijing and left local officials searching for other sources of money. 

In 2009, the total income from land sales was $223 billion, a 50 percent increase from the year before.

Criticism

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei criticized Amnesty International for its report.

He said Amnesty International has always been prejudiced against China and that its report has no credibility. Hong Lei also pointed out regulations put in place by the State Council on January 19 of last year protecting the rights of landowners in China.
Following several self immolations in protest of land seizures, the China State Council banned the use of violence in home evictions and granted residents increased protections. 

But the rights group says these policy changes only cover urban residents, and leave people in the countryside, the main victims of land seizures, unprotected.

Redress

Lawyer Wang Cailiang, who defends victims of land seizures, says lack of an independent judicial authority also leaves residents with limited opportunities for redress.

Wang says it is a scary situation for many protesting seizures of the land because the judicial branch is a department of the government.

Local officials’ promotions in the Communist Party are often dependent on how effective they are at boosting the local economy. China is expected to unveil more stimulus measures in the months ahead, potentially increasing the problem of land seizures in the countryside. 

 

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid