China: Burning Down Illegal Home

Chao Mu blogged a new photo showing a child in a ruin -a place used to be his home and was burned down into ashes by the Shenzhen government because the houses are illegal (zh).


  • Squatters build everywhere in china on land that does not belong to them. Think of the squatters who took over the building in Seattle at the WTO confrences a few years ago…..they were chased out by the police. This is nothing unique to China.

  • burning down and chasing out is very different. there are millions of rural migrants working in cities, they are serving the cities while couldn’t live up to the city standard (no education, no decent living, etc.) i think the gov can do more to help them rather than burning their home.

  • if those houses were not destroyed then the people who have legal right to the land cannot take advantage of their ownership. Migrant workers are given housing..these are the rural people who come to the city without out proper authorization and work witout a registration and no taxes to pay for the services that they use. I have seen whole towns built on land that was not owned by the inhabidents…and what are other countries doing for the homeless…letting them build homes in public they are not…then why should the chinese goverment put up with squatters.

  • yeah, burning their home, let them wander in the street, suffer from street bullies or become criminals, then give them death penalties. that’s the way how the problem should be solved, as chinese gov’t shouldn’t put up with squatters, street wanders and criminals, right? and according to law, these groups of no-taxes-to-pay people deserve to be rid of their citizenship and survival space. mind your logic!

  • clay

    Now your launching into hyperbole, and as to minding my logic..I have lived in China for 5 years and nothing like your are stating is the reality. most of these squatters are doing do to avoid paying rent. There is low cost housing in china available. These people have come to the cities to find better paying work than is offered in their villages and due to the desire to save money they either rent small housing or squat. By the government puts up with squatters and in the Chinese case these folks are afforded more time than they would be in the US or many other western countries. You approach this subject with half truths and misconceptions. The Chinese government doesn’t move to evict squatters unless they receive a compliant so your beef is not with government but with the neighbors who do not like to share living spaces with folks who put up illegal structures without plumbing or running water. This is a health risk for those citizens who have the legal right and have obeyed the code by building structures that are par with health needs…also the development of these areas will house many time the amount that are housed by squatting and with the population as it is..the need for housing is desperate. Try living in a situation before commenting on it.

  • just read the comments in the chinese post, they are written by chinese who have been living in the country since they are born. and by the way i was born in china lived there, conducted reports and researches there as well. i see many many cases when rural villagers were rid of their land in the name of “legal construction project”, and families who tried to escape from one-child policy by self-exile. yes, they are doing “illegal” thing, but do they have a right to decide what is legal or illegal? and now that people are saying they don’t pay tax and shouldn’t let them decide!

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