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Henan Couple Takes Compensation for Forcibly Demolished Home

Zhong Hongwei stands upon the ruins of his home in Henan, that was forcibly demolished after he and his wife were abducted in the middle of the night.

Zhong Hongwei stands upon the ruins of his home in Henan, that was forcibly demolished after he and his wife were abducted in the middle of the night.

From NetEase:

Henan Midnight Forced Demolition Couple Changes Tune: Have Wronged The Government

Summary: The forced demolition of residential housing incident in Henan Xinzheng Longhu has had a dramatic development: Zhang Hongwei has expressed in an interview that he has made a mistake and wronged the government. In addition, Zhang Hongwei claims they have already agreed to and signed a compensation agreement with the government, and that the compensation amount is the same as what was offered before the forced demolition. In the face of this outcome, he expressed satisfaction.

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The Mirror report — The forced demolition of residential housing incident in Henan province Xinzheng city has had a dramatic development tonight [August 12]: Zhang Hongwei, who with his wife were abducted and dumped in a cemetery by unknown individuals, expressed during an interview with The Mirror today that his own actions were wrong, and has wronged the government. In addition, Zhang Hongwei claims that has already reached an agreement this afternoon with the local government concerning compensation.

At 6pm this evening, Zhang Hongwei expressed to this Mirror journalist that he spent the entire afternoon negotiating with Longhu town government officials, ultimately agreeing to and signing a compensation agreement. According to his disclosures, the compensation amount in the signed agreement was not increased and remains the same as the compensation amount offered by the village before the forced demolition. However, in the face of this outcome, Zhang Hongwei himself expressed to The Mirror: “I’m satisfied with this kind of result”.

At around 6pm today, Zhang Hongwei came to the ruins of his home accompanied by a relative, took a look, and then hurriedly left.

With behavior that was completely different from his previous media interviews, Zhang Hongwei unexpectedly and repeatedly indicated during an interview with this Mirror reporter that he already recognizes his mistake, and that his previous behavior was “only caring about my own benefit, and did not consider the importance of the major [public works] project.”

According to media reports, in the early morning of August 8, Zhang Hongwei and his wife were sound asleep when unknown individuals broke into their home and forcibly abducted them. They were taken to the public cemetery in town and held there against their will for as long as four hours. By the time the couple had gotten home, their four-story building had been forcibly demolished, having become a pile of rubble, with their valuables buried under the rubble to this day.

As it is understood by The Mirror, in the days after his house was knocked down, Zhang Hongwei and wife had erected a tent on the rubble, guarding the valuables under the rubble.

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After this incident of forced demolition was exposed/reported by the media, it attracted widespread attention from society. The local government successively issued two statements in response. One of the bulletins claimed: After preliminary investigation, in 2008, Zhang Hongwei had privately built a four-story building, totaling 420 square meters, without approval from the relevant government department. 2012 April 12, Longhu town began land requisition work for the 107 National Highway [project], which would affect over a hundred households, with Zhang Hongwei’s building being within the scope of the land to be requisitioned. At the time, only Zhang Hongwei’s household refused to be relocated for the demolition. 2014 January, the Zhengzhou Subway Line 2 Southern Extension project was officially launched, and Zhang Hongwei’s building once again was within the scope of the land to be requisitioned for the key public works project, the solitary residential building in this engineering project. Despite multiple attempts at negotiation, Zhang Hongwei insisted on a sky-high price [for his property], refused to cooperate, caused a halt in construction for over 20 days resulting in serious losses for the construction company, and directly affected the progress of the suburban rail construction project. To ensure that the major project can be smoothly completed, those in charge of directing the land requisition for the engineering project decided to hand the work of requisitioning Zhang Hongwei’s building to the local Xiaoqiao village government.

Afterward, the local government then issued another response saying that what has been reported in the media is basically true, and that it has already established a working group to conduct an investigation.

Zhang Hongwei previously expressed in interviews with reporters that the main reason he did not agree to the demolition and relocation was because he believes the compensation amount was too low. He believed it should be in accordance with the latest nationalized land transfer compensation criteria, where compensation should be given based on market prices. He said that the prices in Longhu town for commercial housing are around 5000 yuan per square meter.

The compensation amount that Zhong Hongwei previously considered too low is: 690 yuan per square meter — this is the local government’s publicized compensation standard.

As is understood by this Mirror journalist, on the afternoon of August 11, a member of the Xinzheng municipal discipline inspection committee approached Zhang Hongwei and his wife to learn about the situation. This morning, the local public security organs also went to the ruins to find them to learn more about the case.

At around 4pm this afternoon, Zhang Hongwei was called to the Longhu government to continue negotiations to resolve this matter. In the end, both sides reached and signed a compensation agreement.

In response to this Mirror reporter questioning if he himself also felt he was a “nail house” that was “asking for a sky-high price”, Zhang Hongwei hesitated before ultimately repeating and emphasizing, “At the time, I myself did not understand that I was wrong”. In response to the question of whether or not he was being pressured, Zhang Hongwei did not respond directly, only expressing that the town government staff had reasoned with him, making him realize that he had previously been mistaken/wrong.

With regards to the compensation agreement signed this afternoon, Zhang Hongwei says it was he himself who signed the agreement with the government, and that although his wife wasn’t present, he had communicated with her on the phone, and that his wife was also in agreement.

After Zhang Hongwei left, his relative helped to take down the tent on the rubble. Zhang Hongwei says he will no longer guard the ruins [of his demolished former home]. As for where his home will be in the future, Zhang Hongwei says: “Don’t know yet.”

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Comments from NetEase:

READ  Rich Chinese Businesswoman Suddenly Removed from CPPCC

网易广东省东莞市网友 ip:119.127.*.*

A house is admittedly important, but one’s life is most important, because without your life, what use is a house?

无翅之徒 [网易北京市丰台区手机网友]:

Have you done right by those who have supported you? Of course, you have your freedom and your lack of choice [reasons compelling him to make the decision he has made].

网易广东省深圳市宝安区网友 ip:219.133.*.*

I shouldn’t come to NetEase to comment, as it is not doing right by the government!

hk1717 [网易河北省邢台市网友]:

People must lower their heads for the eaves!!!

网易上海市手机网友 ip:140.207.*.*

Involuntary, but with the money in hand now, a wise man looks after his own safety! Nowadays, China doesn’t have people who insist on principles.

xbf0126 [网易上海市嘉定区手机网友]:

He has betrayed all the people who have cared for him [been concerned with his case]. But this is also goal of our concern for him [his case].

网易湖南省永州市网友 ip:124.229.*.*

Those who are pitiful must have something about them that is detestable!!

网易贵州省贵阳市网友 ip:1.204.*.*

How many inside stories are in this?

网易广东省广州市手机网友 ip:112.96.*.*

A dramatic development.

sunting070711 [网易天津市网友]:

I choke down a laugh [or “motherfucking hehe”]!!!

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.

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