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China’s Middle-Class Falls Prey to Forced Demolition Amid Pandemic

2020-08-19 18:16
Many middle-class families in Beijing settled in suburban areas in recent years where the land used to be collectively owned by peasants. They built detached homes with big backyards, a dream-life for Chinese people, as most live in high-rise apartments. For this type of house, the property right certificate is issued by the township government, not the state housing authorities. In the past two months, Beijing authorities have been targeting these types of houses by labeling them as illegal constructions. Under this accusation, property owners won’t get any compensation if they lose their homes to forced demolition, while the officials and construction companies involved can make a huge profit by reselling the land or starting a new project. Homeowners suffered heart-wrenching losses. Some of them had ancient-style villas and never thought that even Beijing’s middle-class could fall victim to the notorious forced demolition scheme.