Opinion / Opinion Line

Developers must be made to obey the law when demolishing homes

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-11 07:58

Developers must be made to obey the law when demolishing homes

A villa on top of a 26-story apartment building in Renji Shanzhuang community, Beijing's Haidian district, was ruled illegal by the Beijing construction authority on Monday. It is built of rocks, decorated with trees and bushes, and covers around 800 square meters. The Chinese characters read "a civilized district of China".PHOTO BY WANG JING /CHINA DAILY

A 60-year-old woman in changsha, Central China's Hunan province, was reportedly buried alive when the local authorities forcibly demolished her home. Local officials repeatedly turn a blind eye to the law when it comes to forced demolitions, says Beijing News:

Forced demolitions have been a scourge for more than 10 years, and there have been frequent reports of developers hiring "unidentified people dressed in uniforms" to demolish residents' houses and seize the land. The police never intervene when the residents call for help, and those doing the forced demolitions are seldom punished, even when residents lose their lives in such incidents.

We thought the situation might change when the top leadership vowed to introduce the rule of law, but one case after another has proved that hope to be in vain. For local governments and realty developers, the law that protects citizens' property rights is nothing but a piece of paper.

There should be no need to say that local governments serve the people. This should be self-evident. But some local officials simply serve money.

It is time to ask the local officials that do the evil: Do you know you are acting against the top leadership's call for the rule of law? Do you know you do a disservice to the credit of the local governments where you serve? Do you know you are threatening social stability by arousing public anger?

We are not sure whether the evil-committing local officials care about public opinion, because they do not even care about the law. But we do hope the central leadership can intervene before the local officials totally ruin people's trust in the government.

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