Eminent domain, China style: Farmers handcuffed, buildings bulldozed

Chinese state police have confiscated a number of parcels of land to build a road.

In the United States, the landowners would be compensated for the value of the land and any related assets.

That’s not necessarily so in China, Bitter Winter reports, where agents detained the farmers, ordered their livestock sold and their sheds demolished.

It happened in the city of Zhangjiakou in the northern province of Hebei.

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A village resident said local government officials had demanded the land to build a road.

They allegedly forced people to sign agreements to demolish the sheds for the farmers’ pigs. Some farmers refused, contending the government’s payment was not enough to cover their losses, the report said.

“Six of the farmers were handcuffed and taken away, and a bulldozer was brought in to demolish all the sheds. The detained farmers were released only after the demolition.”

Without land or sheds for the livestock, “some villagers had to sell the animals immediately at a low price,” the report said.

One said a breeding pig is worth about $ 1,400 on the market, but he had to sell it for $425.

He was forced to sell more than 300 animals.

Another farmer lost more about $141,360, saying, “The government has gone too far.”

Other government actions that were not explained included the destruction of farmers’ trellises, the wooden forms used to support climbing plants such as beans.

“An official who took part in the demolition told Bitter Winter that the trellises negatively affected the city’s image, and higher authorities ordered to destroy them,” the report said.

A resident in one of the villages told Bitter Winter that three elderly men who tried to prevent the removal of trellises were brutally beaten.

“Elderly villagers cannot make money any other way but by growing and selling vegetables,” a villager said. “The CCP is so cruel. It is depriving people of means to sustain their livelihood.”


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