About 30 residents protested in front of the China Central Television (CCTV) building yesterday, demanding higher compensation for being forced out of their homes in order for CCTV to create a public green space at its new headquarters.
The residents gathered near the futuristic CCTV building around 8:35 am, putting up posters calling for more compensation and protesting their "forced relocation" by China's largest state broadcaster.
Police officers eventually persuaded the protestors to put away their signs by 9:30 am.
Talks with the community management office stalled at the outset when residents insisted that journalists be present while CCTV objected.
The 15-story, 11-year-old building, adjacent to the burnt-out CCTV structure, used to house at least 100 households.
It was slated for demolition to make way for public green space at CCTV's new headquarters complex, but some residents felt the compensation, at just over 10,000 yuan ($1,462) per sq m, was too low and refused to move out.
They say the market price for real estate in the area, at the heart of Beijing's central business district, is at least twice the compensation offer.
Beijing-based lawyer Zhou Lei said the residents should appeal to the Beijing municipal commission of housing and urban-rural development for more compensation if the two sides cannot agree.
According to law, residents have to move out once the government issues a "permit for relocation", with a maximum period of one and a half years for them to find a new place and negotiate compensation.