Wen warns of forced demolition of villages

Updated: 2011-09-07 14:44

By Lu Yanyu (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao stressed the importance of preservation of ancient villages and warned of adverse consequences of the forced demolition of farmers' houses while attending a symposium in Beijing on Tuesday, cnr.cn reported.

Wen said the preservation of ancient villages is actually preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage as well as cultural traditions in the face of industrialization and urbanization.

Wen pointed out that three problems needed to be solved.

Firstly, forced demolition in some regions breaches farmers' lawful rights and interests and risks losing cultural heritage. Villagers might also lose their land in the forced demolition, which is a very serious issue.

Secondly, pulling down authentic ancient villages and building fake ones is a wasteful cycle.

Thirdly, the construction of many cities is not based on the cultural characteristics of the areas.

Wen made the remarks at the symposium held in honor of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Central Research Institute of Culture and History in Beijing.

Feng Jicai, a famous writer and a counsellor of the State Council, also emphasized the importance of preserving culture heritage at the symposium.

"Ancient villages in China are disappearing at an unprecedented rate. Villagers in some areas are forced to move out of ancient villages under the guise of building a new countryside and modernization for short-sighted economic interests," Feng noted.