Woman Sets Self On Fire To Protest Demolition Of Home


From Mop:

A female entrepreneur in Chengdu sets herself on fire on the roof of her building because of demolition

Summary: November 13, early morning, a horrific “eviction and demolition” incident occurred on Tianhuizhen street in Jingniu district of Chengdu city. The female owner tried to use death to fight the go-vern-ment organized demolition crew, eventually “self-immolating” on the building’s roof, burnt beyond recognition, her life hanging by a thread. Whether it is residents being arrested, residents being hurt and hospitalized, the go-vern-ment department determining this to be violent resistance of the law, or the residents being forced to vacate denouncing the go-vern-ment’s violent “eviction and demolition”, but actually who is right or wrong is not important, because the important thing was that a life was ignored here, that the law was trampled upon here, and what should have been a foreseeable “bloody incident” happened under the direction of the go-vern-ment officials present.



At the time of this translation, there are over 37 pages or ~3700 replies to this post on Mop.

Comments from Mop:


Very disappointed in Obama, returning [to America] before liberating us.


Demolition, demolition yet again! How could a family single-handedly go up against the current go-vern-ment? These past two days here where I live, there were over a thousand villagers who also were not able to successfully oppose our go-vern-ment’s demolition crews? All suppressed! A confrontation of several thousand people, yet not a single report in the newspapers or meda! Disappointing…

When I think about our building in the past, all with real estate records and land records, which is to say, our house and the land underneath the house were all our private property. The go-vern-ment took away our house, took away our land too, and only gave us a replacement house, so we indeed only have real estate records but do not have land ownership! Is this not exploitation?  Exploiting away the rural people’s land, the last thing they can rely on to survive, is completed through a single demolition! Ignorant rural people, patting themselves on the back for moving into slightly better apartment buildings, hardly realizing that several decades later, after your building usage period is over, what will you, with no land to call your own, do?

It is said that the accumulation of capital in capitalism is the naked process of exploitation, but just how different is our go-vern-ment’s current methods of eviction and demolition??? To say it is even more bloody, even more cruel, even more disrespectful of human rights and property rights would not be too excessive, right?!


This country is invincible.


A female who overestimated her abilities.
In a China under the leadership of the GCD [共产党 , gong chan dang, Communist Party].
There can actually be such an absurd thing.
Unless she could be a terrorist sent by the Dalai Lama or whoever?


Last time was a Molotov cocktail,
this time self-immolation,
next time…?

On 2008 December 6, government demolition crews gathered outside a house in Minhang district of Shanghai. A woman named Pan Yong tried to protest and stop the demolition of her house without higher compensation from the government. She threw Molotov cocktails at the demolition crew. In the end, she and her family surrendered and their house was demolished.


At least I believe that loving my country and loving the Party has no relation, I deeply love my motherland, but I detest that certain group of people who bully and oppress the ordinary common people!!!


Sigh, the people cannot fight the officials, I trust [if she knew] this saying, this incident wouldn’t have happened, what a pity.


Any person who vainly attempts to fight the go-vern-ment will have nothing good coming to them!!! This is an example…


Should not have burned the gasoline on her own body.


There was a reason for China’s go-vern-ment banning guns in the past. I remember when I was really small, my family had an air gun, used to shot birds, but then one day the go-vern-ment suddenly gave orders saying that all air guns and hunting guns must be handed over. This showed that our go-vern-ment is far-sighted, that they realized that decades later, social conflicts will get worse and if then the ordinary common people were equipped with air guns, the go-vern-ment demolition department would have to be equipped with rocket launchers.


NetEase has already deleted this news, Mop will soon…



[Red text: “Kill all nail-house residents! Long live the Communist Party!” White subtitle: “China’s human rights is the best.”]


Revealing, hope the gover-nment can reflect on this matter! China is the people’s China, not the Party’s China!

2009 December 4 UPDATE: See “The Chengdu Self-Immolation” (EastSouthWestNorth), a long translation of a CCTV news program about this story.

READ  Guizhou Students Protest Inflation, Attack School Cafeteria

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • 250

    What’s with the ‘go-vern-ment’, as if i need to ask?

    Read this story a few days ago, very sad and too extreme. I don’t think anything is worth setting yourself on fire, except maybe doing it after watching that Tuzki video. Forgive me.

  • Paul

    wow…the things girls do too get laid.

  • drewwang

    The Chinese commenter who mentioned guns hit the nail on the head. The government won’t pull this shit if they’re afraid there’s going to be a massacre that they can’t cover up. The people have done away with reactionary landlords, but they gave up any chance of actually owning any land. By being disarmed you have no chance to fight back, and the government is invincible. If the government knows they can do anything they want to you without a fight, they won’t give a shit what you have to say. Even in America they made it legal (in court, not by legislation) to force you to sell your land to anyone that will create more tax revenue. It’s called ’eminent domain’. Things are rough all over.

    • Joe #2

      You are operating under the assumption that most of the people who will actually use guns to address their grievances are reasonable people, rather than being folks like that child rapist who shot four cops. If gun owners were ever actually planning to use their guns to defend us from anything bad, they’ve missed plenty of opportunities.

      • drewwang

        You are way off. Most people who own guns legally don’t snap and shoot a bunch of people. Equating this rapist cop killer’s intentions with regular gun owners’ is retarded. I’ve never owned a gun but I’m pretty sure most people who own guns probably fantasize about saving the day or protecting themselves and their family with their gun slinging, like shooting robbers or a terrorist. Also, if you’re a child rapist in prison, you are going to be the whole prison’s bitch, but they might lay off if they heard you shot four cops and told people you were going to do it beforehand. But back to my original point: the government needs to be afraid of common people, because the only power that they ultimately have over you is by using force. Gun owners never defended us from anything bad? Look at the American Revolution and rethink that statement.

  • this is specially to that person (jxjazj)your country and your country policy is killing your people like this and still you are in blind.. just open your eyes and see what is going on around you and your country… i feel pretty on people like you .. always in darker side don’t know the reality…..

    • 250

      Do you also feel witty and gay on these people?

      • Fome

        Lol, this made me laugh. It’s too bad your wit was probably lost on him.

        • Ryz




          YA U MADDDDDDD

  • lili

    change has two usual paths…

    1. from the bottom up…. power of the people???
    2. from the top down…. partaaaaay!

    either way, the easiest way to control people is using fear and insecurity. either china has to get a backbone or gvmt officials have to actually stop loving dirty money

  • Teacher in China

    Can someone give some information about how people in the city are dealt with come demolition time? There’s one area in specific in Beijing where a ton of hutong and residential housing were torn down to make way for a whole slew of apartment buildings. I’ve often wondered what the actual law is regarding this: how much notice and money do the people usually get? What if they can’t find a new reasonably priced place to live? Does the ordinary Wen have any say in the matter?
    Just curious.

    • Zuo Ai

      Ordinary Wen? Wen Jiabao? From the stories I’ve read, they are sometimes compensated with a spot in the new shiny complex, or a down-payment on one so that their rent is lower. The law is something like Govt. owns all the land, but can lease it out for some 70 years I think. Anyway, sometimes people get shafted and receive 1950’s prices for “their” land, meaning they get way less than it would be worth on the market.

      • Teacher in China

        Heh, sorry – “ordinary Wen” was a lame attempt at a joke; instead of “ordinary Joe” – a regular, average guy, i.e., the house or hutong owner.
        So if the owner isn’t happy with the price he’s getting is there anything he can do about it? Besides set himself on fire and chuck molotov cocktails that is.

      • bleah

        This land is my land
        this land is my land
        this land is my land
        this land is _my_ land
        this land is my land
        this land is my-y-y land
        This land was made just for me.

    • raab

      The resident is usually paid a symbolic sum based on the square footage of the home being demolished (I say symbolic because this is never an amount that would normally be an acceptable sale price on the market). Keep in mind that this only covers living area, so does not include outdoor space or any additions built (pigeon coops, etc.) The money is just enough for some small apartment in a generic blocky apartment on the outskirts of the city, nowhere near the price he would have to pay to live in the new high-rise being built on top of his courtyard. The notices often go up giving residents a month to two or anywhere as sudden as two weeks notice to find a new place to live. A poster will go up somewhere in the hutong listing the numbers of houses to be demolished along with some information on housing complexes in outlying suburbs that have available apartments. The average Zhou certainly has no say in the process, and although it’s been known for some people to successfully wrangle a higher relocation payment occasionally, this is no doubt the exception to the rule.

      • Slenth

        My wife says because the leader of her village is very corrupt, her parents will get very little compensation for their home when it is demolished. How does the village leaders corruption determine the value of the home?

  • krdr

    This kind of event was very “popular” in East Europe during transition. There’s a big clash between human rights, legislation and will to generate more cash. Few days ago, in my country, guy treated to burn himself and shop where he was working, ’cause he lost his job. Apparently, he is head of local union of company that owns the shop.

    I think, whenever is crisis, there’s a cases of self burning all ower the world, even in USA or EU

  • I felt like doing this when I got a parking ticket even though the parking meter was broken, fucking fascists

    • J

      Knowing you, you probably parked there on purpose to use the broken meter as an excuse to save money when the police do give you a ticket.

      • raab

        Who doesn’t do that?

  • Zuo Ai

    all I know is these netizens better not get too uppity, else their gettin a tank up the arse

  • Let this serve as a reminder that Chengdu’s reputation as a “laid back” big city is total BS. The hotpot, however, is as good as advertised.

  • Righteous American

    Poor girl. That must hurt a lot.

  • 痴人说梦

    In China people set themselves on fire to protest to govarment while in America people shoot the police. I prefer the latter.

    • Whilst in the UK we just vote them out of power. Funny that.

  • Similar thing happened in Nanjing back in 2003 when they cleared out the area around Xinjiekou to build the fancy new shopping malls they have in that area nowadays. Of course, in those days few people had camera phones and nobody thought to capture the thing on film.

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  • Ranger_lost_in_Mordor

    Welcome to Mordor !

  • fabi

    again no slogan for chinasmack personals :-/
    lemme think…

    “wanna find some burning hot ladies? try chinasmack personals!”


  • LongTian

    Nah, “Want someone to huff and puff and blow your house down? Try Chinasmack personals!”

  • Professor Sillypants

    “How many deaths does it take till you know,
    that too many people have died?”

    China is ripe for something like America’s 60s liberation combined with the Spanish civil war rebels. I will blow up bridges, drink heavily, and die in the arms of my new-found love. Too Hemingway-esque?

    I would fight for China. She deserves it.

    • Goodness

      Gee. Let me think. I’m thinking of a shape. Not a circle, not a triangle, not a rectangle. Something about a tank? Wish I knew how that turned out. Oh well, it was probably just a late night movie I once saw. Speaking of movies. Has anyone seen 2012? Was it any good? ;)

  • Joe #2

    I have just one response to the content of this story and it doesn’t require translation:


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  • bleah

    What’s up with the hyphens in ‘go-vern-ment’?

    • kailing Fan

      probably to avoid the netnanny easy to find hot topics search engine. Some “famous” combinations are “infamous” in the net: Tiann*nmen, 6/c, 198?

  • C.Bratton

    They need to start selling Government Demolition Insurance to homeowners out here. Hope that woman also has some decent life insurance.

  • thetruth

    This is nothing. Under the great leadership of our communist government, all the Chinese are happy.

    • mit104

      This is actually a result of neo-liberal capitalist urbanization policies. China is communist only by name.

  • Leigh

    at least this woman was compensated for the demolitian or with other property, as I know of my relatives in china, whereas in australia things are getting much worse, current incident of a hunger strike by an australian farmer demanding compensation for taking his land for nato agreement(not allowed to cut down trees), our prime minister kevin rudd is doing nothing.the guy has been on hunger strike for more than 43 hours! completely ignored, except media but no authority involvement at all, that’s how horrible the truth is, believe me, I am australian of chinese back ground. i truely hope justice prevails and humanity and kindness lives again.

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  • highlander
  • Pingback: Cannons, English Teacher Seduction, & The June 9th “Jihad” – chinaSMACK()

  • Wang lieu

    Very disappointed in Obama, returning [to America] before liberating us.

    How dare you think it is Americas responsibility to liberate us?
    We are the ones that let this corrupt government still keep power.
    Unless we as a country come together as one and say we are not going to put our heads in the sand any more. We must over throw this illegal government and break free of there mind washing and get out of this fish bowl they have built for us.

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