Many people remember the stories of forced evictions associated with the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai and the outcries from the human rights groups that followed. This history of forced evictions however may change as the Chinese government issued a series of new eviction rules on January 21, 2011. According to an Economist Blog these rules “suggest that homeowners have gained a little ground in this standoff” of property rights in China. The new rules include:
- Governments themselves will have to conduct evictions instead of developers
- Compensation must now be no less than the market price of comparable property, instead of being based loosely on market prices
- All dispute are to be settled by courts instead of by governments
- Cutting off utilities or roads as a method of focusing people out is banned
In theory this will bring and end to long stand offs between the property developers and home owners as in the case of the “nail house” in 2007. But in reality there is still much to be done to ensure firmer property rights for China’s middle class.