Opinion / Opinion Line

Whether residents laugh or cry depends on officials' treatment

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-06-19 07:56

A video has been widely spread online that shows a house owner in Fuyang in East China's Anhui province crying as her house is being demolished. The woman complains that the demolition is illegal, while a laughing official simply pushes her away and says, "Do not speak anymore; you can try going to court." Comments:

President Xi Jinping recently said that "an essential standard of judging whether our policy is good or evil is whether ordinary residents laugh or cry". Obviously, the officials in Fuyang have done evil. As someone responsible for accepting the complaints of the residents, the official should have listened to the woman's words instead of turning her away. The fact that he openly failed in his duty must be because he belongs to the same bureaucracy as the officials that demolished the victim's house, and they share the same interests.

Beijing News, June 18

What prompts officials to demolish people's homes? It is because higher levels of governments, although claiming to serve the people, still judge officials' performance by the GDP growth they create, not by whether the people are satisfied with them. When there is a dispute between house owners defending their property and officials trying to ruin them, higher authorities seldom punish the latter. What we need is to deepen the reform and strengthen rule of law so that those violating people's property rights get their deserved penalty., June 18

The bureaucrat said "go to the court"; the problem is, the courts seldom support the interests of residents. In the few cases that the court orders the government to compensate home owners, the compensation is rather low, often not enough to cover court costs. That's why the officials dare ask residents to go to court. The judicial reform should be accelerated so that the judiciary no longer bends to administrative power., June 18

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