Government and Policy

House expropriation policy solicit suggestions

Updated: 2010-12-15 21:43


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BEIJING -- After almost one year of discussion and revision, the State Council, or China's cabinet, Wednesday started soliciting public submissions on the second version of the much-discussed draft regulation on expropriation of houses on state-owned land and compensation.

The draft regulation was posted on the website of the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council. Public submissions on the draft will be accepted until December 30.

According to the revised draft, local governments must not force residents to relocate. Instead, they must rely on courts to make decisions after taking into account the residents' and developers' concerns.

The forced demolition of houses is a hot topic in China, where urban development has made relocation of households a common phenomenon. Forced demolitions have sometimes led to violent confrontations.

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On September 10, three people set themselves on fire in eastern China's Jiangxi province to protest the local government's pressuring them to sell their home so that it could be demolished to make way for a bus station.

One of them died and the other two suffered severe burns. As a result of the tragedy, eight officials were removed from their posts or investigated.

Experts believe such violent incidents may be reduced by limiting local government's administrative powers to order demolition, if courts could determine whether it is necessary to demolish by force.

The draft is expected to replace the controversial Regulations on Administration of the Housing Demolition and Relocation in Cities, which took effect in 2001. The regulations allowed local governments to demolish people's homes if they did not agree to vacate the residence by a certain date.

The draft details the conditions, due process and compensation to be paid in cases of expropriation.

It stipulates that compensations should be offered to owners before the expropriation of houses built on state-owned land and should not be less than the market prices of similar houses.

Local governments should ensure public opinion is heard through the holding of hearings or through the adoption of other opinion-soliciting methods, the draft says.

The public can make submissions via letter, e-mail or by visiting


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