Chinese Couple’s Fight Ends

A Chinese couple who have endured a three-year stand-off with a developer who was looking for them to relocate to make way for a new shopping mall, have finally given up their house. The bulldozers moved in moments after the couple, Wu Ping and Yang Wu, moved out of their property. The house has recently cut a lonely figure, stuck on a huge earthen mound in the middle of a 10 metre deep pit where their neighbours’ houses used to stand.

The couple were fighting for a larger compensation offer from the developer than the developer was prepared to offer – the couple were fighting for 5 million yuan and a house of the same size, height and exposure as their old one. In a poor country, 5 million yuan would have been a small fortune. On March 30th, a court ordered the couple to move out or face forcible removal. And so, Wu and Yang have accepted an apartment which is the same size as their old house. There is official word on whether they received any money on top of the new apartment.

Developer and house-owner stand-offs are not uncommon in China where home owners are holding out for better payments and treatments, citing human and property rights arguments. Last week in Beijing, a similar protestor had his house demolished to make way for site of the new China Central Tower. The owner of the house had been told to vacate the premises in November 2005, however he had ignored the order. Law enforcements officials removed all the contents of the house and moved them to a new location before finally demolishing the house.

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