Han Han: These dogs are so annoying


Nail household; nail house; stubborn nail: (钉子户) A person or household that refuses to relocate due to compensation disagreements when the land is requisitioned for new construction.

The case of Nail household is a common occurrence in China, however this incident is by far the most escalated conflict between residents and the government demolition team. Ms. Fan attempted to defend her house from the demolition squad by throwing home-made fire bombs…

These dogs are so annoying

by Han Han (韩寒) (2009-11-24 03:57:10)

Today, Ms. Fan’s house in Minghang district was to be forcefully demolished, Ms. Fan standing on the 3rd floor threw home-made fire bombs (at the demolition squad). However home-made fire bombs were made of glass bottles, naturally had technical bottlenecks, fire power was too weak. They were put out by the fire trucks, then the high-pressured water gun aimed at Ms. Fan, eventually she surrendered.

Upon seeing this news, I am pleased that after two decades of development, society has progressed. Sub-machine guns are replaced by high-pressured water gun. Then why would it lead to such brutal resistance? Because of the large-scaled building project of Hongqiao, Ms. Fan had an area 480 square meter home, but the government is only willing to offer the compensation of 670,000 yuan, which is 761 yuan per square meter of housing subsidies and 1,480 yuan for the compensation of the land.

When the city’s average commercial housing is measured by tens of thousands (per square meter), forced eviction’s price is still calculated with the hundreds, this is the reason why residents threw fire-bombs. That is, they were living in a 480 square meter home, you acquired their land for so called construction, that’s also business, your compensation for the family only is enough to buy a 40 square meters home, and then the demolitions team came. I think anyone who had weapons probably could not help themselves but to take them out in this situation.

Of course, this example illustrates a number of problems. First, it made sense why Chinese government banned guns. And I remember when I was a child my family had an air gun for shooting birds. Then suddenly one day the government ordered that all of the air guns and hunting rifles must be turned over. This showed that our government had foresights, they realized more than a decade later, social conflicts will increase, then if ordinary people are equipped with guns, the government demolition department can only be equipped with rocket launchers.

Second is when Chinese government made public ownership of the land was also foresighted, and even Mao Tse-tung who was not financial minded was aware of the government costs of eating, drinking and playing would be huge, only depending on taxes and monopolizing resources and energy would probably not going to be enough, land would be a big income. Later, leaders were worried that if the land gets sold out in their hands, then there will not be any land left for party’s son and party’s grandson to sell, at that time they will become the guilty ones, therefore they added a rule, the time limit for the land-use rights is 70 years, so that their grandsons can sell them again.

Third is certainly a problem the government regrets very much. If they knew the urbanization process is now so profitable, then they would not allow farmers to have homestead and their own houses. This now leads to a lot of demolition and reconstruction problems. Back then when building prisons, should have built farmer’s villages using the prison blue prints, one village one prison, one family one cell. Then use People’s Daily newspaper to indoctrinate ideas, say this is the new socialist countryside, that they no longer need to spend any money on housing, the government directly give houses to everyone, every home is made of cement and concrete, the doors are made of steel. Of course you still need to give the keys to them. This way, there are some initial costs, but later the government no longer needs to worry about the demolition distresses. The second benefit is in case someone is guilty of a crime, just confiscate the key then you are done.

There are a few highlights of this incident. That is some comments made by the leaders at Minhang district. As we all know, leaders of Minhang always accidentally spill the truth, and I think this is worth encouraging, because they frankly reveal the truth, always speak from their heart, much better than those two faced officials. For example Minhang district law enforcement captain made his speech on the “fishing incident” “If it is not driven by benefit, why should I help you”. These bold words only that Zhangzhou government official can match “Will you speak for the Party?  Or will you speak for the people?"

[Key: Two references here, “fishing incident” is a scandal happened this year which law enforcement hires people pretend to be sick to hitchhike a ride. The informant then turns the kind-hearted driver in for using private car to make money by giving rides to strangers. This is illegal because only licensed taxi drivers can do this. 2nd incident was Zhangzhou government official Lu Jun made the above comment when interviewed by China national Radio reporter which triggered public outrage. Bold statement made him “the official who dares the most to speak the truth during 2009”]

This time the Minghang district officials’ truth relay came to Huacao town.

Deputy Mayor of the town Gao Baojing said: You fight against the government, it certainly violated the law, then it must surely have to be dealt with.

In addition, the construction companies of the land was charged by the Government 1.3 million yuan per mu (1 mu = 6.67 acres), the total cost of demolition of the Hongqiao Airport area is up to 14.8 billion yuan. But the government only compensated the farmers 380,000 yuan per mu. So why does the difference in price go to the local government?

Minhang district Shanghai Construction Committee director of transportation, the headquarters of relocation top leader Wu Zhongqiuan had a fresh view. He thinks that Minhang Hongqiao hub of the land‘s value increased after and because of the government reconstruction and extension, so the added value of the land should not be obtained by the people.

Do you think Minhang District is very hateful? Did you wonder why these officials still have such stable positions? If you think this way, you are too tender (naïve) because they are the effective go-getters of the Shanghai Municipal Government. This is like you are a company manager, you want to buy a printer which has a market price of 1,000, so you give your employee 1,000 yuan. In the end your employee only spends 300 and forcefully buys this printer and gives you a receipt for 1,000. He also gives your 400, keeps 300 for himself. Not only that, you do not even have to be responsible for his meals, because when he is hungry he will go fishing on his own. The only problem is that the employee crushes a few dogs to death when driving in a hurry, resulting in your office often have a group of dogs outside barking at you. Say, would you fire that employee? Of course not, you can only think, these dogs are really annoying.

Yes, the unfortunate ones are those dogs, but we are that group of dogs.


CCTV Economic Half an Hour on this incident

  1. What the fk? Is this article sarcastic or for real? I’d like to see what happens when this shit happens to that blogger and if he/she will still hold the same opinion.

  2. I hear there are quite a few Chinese who aren’t very sympathetic to the New Zealand couple and they cite a number of arguments against their specific case. I’m personally in agreement with Han Han (as I usually do) on the basic criticisms he’s making of the “system” but I think translating and presenting some of those criticisms of this couple’s case would be interesting. I personally haven’t looked into it much myself, and I’m actually afraid some sort of nationalistic bias against foreign-nationalized Chinese might be at the root of it. But, I don’t know. How about it, Keyster?

    1. Sure, I haven’t seen these criticisms of the couples. The CCTV verson of the story seems pretty mutual, and the facts are in line with Han Han and other news reports. Show me some links of these arguments? Are there details that are left out from the news reports that we don’t know about?

      1. I’ll have to ask for some links as I myself was hearing this second-hand. I think they were on the KDS forum. I’m sure some of it had to do with some of the stuff mentioned below by xyz.

    1. Thanks xyz for this information, so Ms. Fan’s claim of being protected by personal property law might not hold because of the illegal re-construction of her house. The argument here is she expended the house to be > 400 sq meters when she was only allowed 200 sq meters, the extra area of her house constructed illegally will not be protected by the property law. The news reporter also told that numerous negotiations was done since as early as 2006, they were also given compensation of 1.5 million and the option of buying 3 houses (3 bd, 2bd and 1 bd) total area of 240 sq meters with low price 3,200/sq meters. That means if Ms. Fan have taken this deal they would still have 738,700 yuan left after they purchase the 3 houses. However, after these years of development, houses in Hongqiao area are worth over 10,000/sq meters.

    1. Hey Uln,

      Yeah, and interestingly enough, some Chinese I know are seriously worried he’s been getting too brazen lately.

      1. Yeah, some Chinese I know are dead worried as well, but that is because they are post 80s girls and they are in love with him 🙂

        I don’t know, I have been following the Hanhan blog on and off for more than a year, and I don’t see this post is in essence different to previous ones, he tends to be very harsh with injustice in the local/provincial levels, even with institutions as important as the Shanghai government, it is not the first time it criticizes it. This post is perhaps a bit stronger than average, but from the point of view of the Western media he is still a conformist living in the system, and not challenging Beijing … all very disappointing for the sofa-revolutionaries.

        On the other hand, I don’t think HanHan’s situation is so risky as people like Ai Weiwei, for example. HanHan’s name is very big among the young population and the CPP would not want to risk a conflict if it isn’t absolutely necessary . They may bug him, forbid his magazine or even block his site, but I don’t think they will imprison him like they did with Wei or Xu… after all he is only speaking against corruption, a problem that the CPP openly admits.

  3. Interesting story – even in the West, we have similar problems…


    The basic issue here was that the government was condemning and seizing the land – to resell to a commercial real-estate developer to put in an office park. The argument was that it would help the local people by creating more jobs – thus the benefit to the society would outweigh the cost to the individuals. Because of the details of the case, and the highly commercial nature the outcome was very contentious – and is still largely regarded poorly by the general public. Coupled with the fact that Pfizer closed their office in the park they pushed so hard to have created shows that the local government bent over backwards to serve the interests of a corporation – even over the needs of their local citizens – and everyone still got screwed in the end. Now you’ve got a lot of people who lost their housing – and a big, empty office park and no local jobs to show for it.

  4. It happened in the USA to the Native American people repeatedly. It still happens in modern times. If a town wants to give private property in the USA to a developer “for the greater good of the community,” they offer to buy it out from the owner at a rate severely below market value. If the owner refuses, the property is seized under “Eminent Domain” laws, and the homeowner is evicted with nothing. It probably doesn’t happen on the scale it does in China, because the US is already a developed nation, but it has happened over the course of many decades. Governments almost never seem to fairly compensate citizens when they decide they “need” to take something from them, regardless of where they do it.

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