Zhuzhou Man Lights Self on Fire to Protest Forced Demolition

From NetEase:

58-year-old Zhuzhou resident is seriously injured and in vegetative state following self-immolation over forced eviction from and demolition of home

Chinese man standing on roof with bottle of gasoline as an excavator approaches to tear down his house.

On one side the excavator approaches, on the other side Wang Jiazheng stands on the roof holding gasoline.

Chinese man protests forced eviction and demolition of home with self-immolation.

After Wang Jiazheng ignites himself on fire, there are people below directing the excavator.

Man protesting forced demolition falls from roof after lighting self on fire.

Wang Jiazheng rolls off the roof. The flame on the roof is the bottle of gasoline.

After man who lit self on fire falls from roof, people below rush to put him out.

After Wang Jiazheng falls to the ground, firefighters grab a fire extinguisher and put out the fire.

Nurses place man on a stretcher.

Four white-clothed workers at the scene lift Wang Jiazheng onto a stretcher. (All images taken from the video)

Southern Metropolis Daily. Reporter: Zhan Caiqiang

A scene similar to that of the Jiangxi province Yihuang city forced eviction and demolition self-immolation incident happened against in Zhuzhou of Hunan province. In the morning, the 58-year-old evictee, Wang Jiazheng, stood on the roof of his house and ignited his body. The entire self-immolation was filmed by someone in the crowd at the scene. Currently the man is still at the Zhuzhou City Hospital ICU, however “even if he is saved, he may be in a vegetative state afterwards.”

The video shows the entire self immolation

The incident occurred on April 22nd at 8:30. Located in Hunan Province, Zhuzhou, Yulong Demonstration Zone, Huangshi Village, house number 11. The self-immolation was recorded by a neighbor at the scene, and Southern Metropolis Daily reporters received the video yesterday from the videographer. The video is 2 minutes 35 seconds and recorded the man from igniting himself, being completely burned, rolling of the roof, to having the fire put out and being taken away on a stretcher.

As the video begins the screen shows a two-storied tiled roof house facing demolition at the time of the incident. Below are dozens of people wearing helmets and uniformed law enforcement officers, as well as a group of onlookers. To the left of the building is an excavator extending its arm. At first it digs at the ground more than ten meters away, and then it approaches the house.

At this time, a middle-aged man stood on the left side of the tile roofed two-story house, and on the right side stood a young man. The middle aged man held a white bottle similar to a large soda bottle. After which he used a lighter to ignite the gas that covered his body, immediately becoming a “human torch”, and ultimately fell from the five to six meter high roof to the ground.

Approximately five seconds after the “human torch” fell, a young man rushed forward and frantically used his hands and feet to put out the fire. He was soon followed by a camouflage wearing firefighter who aimed a fire extinguisher at the burning man. The scene momentarily erupted into a cloud of blue mist and white smoke, and the fire that engulfed the burning man’s body was immediately put out.

A stretcher was quickly brought over, and four white-clothed workers on the scene lifted the burning man onto it and quickly took him away. At the end of the video it can be seen, the man’s arms moving while he laid on the stretcher.

A news report with clips of the video on Youku:

Longer unedited video on YouTube:

Can’t see the above video?

Doctor: It’s possible he will be in a vegetative state

Yesterday, Southern Metropolis reporters contacted the burn victim’s daughter Wang Haiyan. She confirmed to reporters that this video is real, and presented details as to what happened during the incident.

Wang Haiyan says the burn victim is her father, 58-year-old Wang Jiazheng, the owner of the house in Huangshi village. The other young man in the video is her younger brother, 31-year-old Wang Hongyu.

She says that at five in the morning on April 22nd, her mother Yan Zhugen and sister-in-law Hu Lingzhi brought her nephew to her house to sleep, that “one to two hundred men from a forced eviction and demolition team broke down the door, forcefully pulled my mother and sister-in-law outside, leaving my nephew who was only 8-months-old on the ground.”

That night the father Wang Jiazheng and younger brother Wang Hongyu were not staying at this residence. After hearing this information they rushed to the scene. The two of them climbed onto the roof, among which the father Wang Jiazheng took out the bottle of gasoline he had already prepared.

However the demolition did not stop because of this. It wasn’t until around 8:30 that the self-immolation incident occurred. Wang Haiyan says, “It was at the time when the excavator was already digging at the downstairs that my father was compelled to set himself on fire. The video is the best proof.”

After the incident, Wang Jiazheng was immediately taken to Zhuzhou City Hospital ICU Emergency Rescue. According to Wan Haiyan, after being taken to the hospital the government urgently invited five doctors and experts from Changsha Xiangya Hospital to treat her father. The doctors said that her father’s burns cover 70-80% of his body. He received damage to his lungs, liver, and spleen , as well as inhalation damage and several severely broken bones. “The doctor said that my father’s life is still at risk, and is relying on a respirator to stay alive. He also said that even if he is rescued that he could be in a vegetative state.”

“Furthermore, now the hospital isn’t letting us in. Everyday the family stands at the gate of the hospital.” After the incident, Wang Haiyan once went to the hospital’s government officials to inquire about this, “but they didn’t say more than two sentences [didn’t say much] before all leaving.”

Yesterday, this reporter went to Zhuzhou City Hospital for confirmation of what Wang Haiyan said, but was informed by workers that it was “inconvenient to receive interviews.”

Demolition Controversy

The origins of the self-immolation incident, says Wang Haiyan, arose from the forced eviction and demolition [of their home].

She says Huangshi village, where all of the Wang family resides, is in the initial stage of Zhuzhou city’s “Vocation Education and Technology City” construction project. The project area encompasses close to 20,000 Mu [over 133,000 square meters], among which Huangshi village holds 194 farming households. Yesterday, farmer Yan Shunzhao told reporters, “It is mostly farmland that is being taken over. In our eyes this project isn’t really a practical government investment project. They are only using the guise of public benefit to carry out the demolitions.”

According to Wang Haiyan, they had two adjoining two-story houses facing demolition. The area of the building was over 600 square meters (not including the pig pen), “According to reimbursement/compensation standards, each square meter is worth 900 to 1200 yuan. After being relocated we wanted to buy a house, spending perhaps about two or three thousand per square meter, but our local housing prices have already reached over 4000 to 5000 yuan per square meter.”

Wang says a 600 square meter house can only be reimbursed around 320,000 yuan, which according to city prices can only buy an 80 square meter home. “Additionally, we’ll no longer have any land, no more field, all taken. We farmers don’t have pensions either. After this, not only will we not have food to eat, we won’t even have a house to live in.

From the land acquisition announcements issued May 25th 2009, to the demolitions starting December 26th of that year, the “Vocational Education City” project has not gone smoothly. In February 2010, online posts including both Wang Jiazheng and Yan Shunzhao, requested media attention for Hunan Zhuzhou Yunlong demonstration zone’s “violent acquisition incidents.” That following March, Zhuzhou Yunlong Demonstration Zone’s “Vocational Education Park” construction project’s land acquisition and demolition headquarters replied online, saying that Wang Jiazheng and other’s reports “used exaggerated language that was false, and is seriously inconsistent with the truth” and that it is online, “to provide public explanations and ensure correct understanding of the facts.”

The project’s headquarters replied claiming that for the land requisitioned as part of the “Vocational Education City” project “formalities were in place, procedures were legal, and policies were open and transparent.” Up until March of 2010 “Huangshi village held 194 households, and now already 176 households have been compensated followed requisition policies, have already been demolished, accounting for 90.72% of the homes to be requisitioned and demolished. This leaves only 18 households who because of unreasonable requests that remain unsuccessfully requisitioned, who also are are unsupportive and uncooperative with the land acquisition and demolition work, and have not yet been demolished. Among this group there are those who have individual motives, spreading rumors everywhere, exaggerate the truth, create a various conflicts, and interfere and damage the land acquisition and demolition work.”

Furthermore, the August 3rd 2010 issue of Zhuzhou Daily published an article titled “Vocational Education City Removes Demolition Resistance.” The article states the Vocation and Education City demolition has been orderly carried out according to law, all policies have been in place, and procedures have been legal. City officials working on site stress carrying out the land requisition and demolition work lawfully and strongly, also requesting the city’s mid-level courts and Shifeng precinct courts to contact provincial high court as soon as possible to declare “advanced execution” summary procedures.

On April 17th 2011, the last remaining farms, including the Wang household, received forced eviction notices issued by the Hetong district court. One was put up on the wall next to the front door of the Wang home.

Wang Haiyan says, “When it came time for the forced demolition, there only remained our house and one household next door who had not yet moved out. There was another group of 10 or so homes that had not moved. The forced demolition of that day came specifically for our house”

Yesterday, in order to make progress in confirming the related events, this Southern Metropolis Daily reporter dialed the mobile of Zhuzhou Tianxin police department’s chief Wang Bo, but Wang Bo said “I’m in the middle of a meeting,” then immediately hung up. Before last night’s publication, this Southern Metropolis Daily reporter once again tried contacting Wang Bo’s mobile. After the call went through, the call rang until the line was automatically disconnected, with no one answering.

This reporter again called the Zhuzhou Committee Propoganda Department telephone, but with yesterday being Saturday, calls repeatedly went unanswered.

Comments from NetEase:


Without death, you cannot stop a forced eviction [for demolition].
With death, you still cannot stop the stop the next forced eviction.


Force evictions and demolitions, “Chinese domestic conditions,”
Self-immolation, “Individual behavior.”
If the media does not expose it then there’s no matter,
When exposed just transfer positions.

[Note: The government officials responsible are often simply reassigned to other posts or positions without suffering any real punishment.]


Demolishing [the property] before the subsidies [compensation] are adequate, the money provided by the government have all been embezzled by them [corrupt government officials].


Hope the the black hands behind forced demolitions are dragged out [for justice]!


Who made him die? You? me? Or him?


There’s really a lot of fenqing. Satisfied with reality but not content with reality. One must be grounded [realistic] before one can make progress. Posting some fenqing comments does not make you impressive, instead it makes people despise you. What I support is China’s current development. It’s hard to avoid going astray [taking detours, losing direction], and everyone must see things properly. You must remember, as a person who is part of society, you yourself not respecting the country shows that you yourself do not respect yourself, so how can you expect others to respect you? Remember, a son never thinks his mother is ugly, a dog never thinks his home is poor, so don’t be worse than a man or dog.

So quick to invoke the name of taxpayers when discussing matters [referring to other comments], may I ask just how many of those of you commenting actually pay taxes completely in accordance with regulations [not cheating/avoiding taxes]? Just how many pay taxes willingly? Just how many pay the full amount? I’ve never paid taxes completely in accordance with regulations, so I’m very ashamed, and I don’t dare consider myself a taxpayer! I just think it is really strange, how everyone can go online and comment, as if everyone has enough experience/knowledge. From this incident it’s easy to see the progress of our country’s legal system and the increase in media supervision! You people only know how to blindly criticize! Talking so righteously, as if you guys are exemplars of nobility and integrity!

[Note: This comment can be found in many online discussions posted under different names.]


[Referring to comment above]…your mother’s pussy.


Actually this person also has responsibility, insisting on staying and not leaving. We must put the big picture of the country’s economic development first, only considering one’s own private interest is not right.

In the English Glorious Revolution, during the Enclosure movement, the circumstances were much worse than this, but did it not also help England complete its primitive accumulation of capital to become the world’s strongest nation? We should look at the big picture. Without the “large house” of the nation, how can we have our own “small houses”!

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  • Cardaver

    This is about the third or fourth time I’ve read about something like this while in China. Do these home demolition protests ever make the news abroad?

    • wondering

      It made the news in the UK. I don’t know about elsewhere.

  • Jones

    Crispy critters

  • Seboji

    It is sad to see these events unfold one after another, I think is is high time the so called officials do things in order, compensate the victim in a satisfactory manner, having in mind the price of houses here in China…..human life is precious no matter what class of a person one belong to!

    • Sunshine

      Keep in mind that this is China we’re speaking of… what you’re suggesting may not happen for another 10 some years.

  • Ray

    What will the family do now losing a man in the house…

    O wait they probably don’t even have a house by now…..

    • wondering

      They tore down the house after he died.

  • Californian ABC

    Doesn’t this remind you of that vietnamese monk’s self immolation during the vietnam war era, under the corrupt Southern Vietnamese government circa 1980s?

    • Clancy

      That was in 1963.

      • Californian ABC

        Sorry, I meant to type 1960s!


        In any case, This does make me sad… the fact that it will be “Harmonized” and not many will hear about it in china, or even if they do, I don’t think it would really do anything.

    • bert

      The problem in China is that nobody cares if you burn yourself. In Vietnam, at the time, the monks were respected and the students reacted strongly to the monks burning themselves. In China students can only respect what they are told to respect.

      • BigBadBoy

        Maybe they should set money on fire…that might get the respect of the Chinese youth!!

    • Alikese

      Or Mohamed Bouazizi circa late 2010.

      I think that all of these people are trying to do the same thing, bringing consciousness to their problems, but the whole population needs to be motivated if it will be any kind of catalyst.

  • ##BlothaLonely##

    One more bits the dust!!

  • Andao

    It’s almost like a cartoon, with the bulldozer off to the left getting ready to tear down the building, even as there’s a crazy guy jumping around on the roof.

    This really sucks. A lot of Chinese I know say people pull stunts to get more money out of developers before they sell the house, but you don’t suicide for more cash.

    I bet this video gets harmonized before the end of the day.

    • Boris

      I can’t even watch it. The sickest thing was the comment along the lines of ‘if you don’t respect your country then you don’t respect yourself’. -What a wonderful philosophy that gives carte blanche to corrupt officials and property developers. My heart goes out to the man and his family. I pray you recover and get justice.

      • Californian ABC

        that reminds me of Einstein’s quote: “Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.”

        I Think a lot of people, not just in china, could learn from that.

        • Boris

          ‘Patriotism is the belief that your country is better than others because you happen to have been born in it.’ Can’t remember who said it -my memory is buggered! Anyway, I’m all for loving one’s country, as long as loving mankind as a whole is a higher priority.

      • Rick in China

        I don’t think you have to respect officials of your country in order to respect your country. Some people consider their countries foundation ideals, society, culture, and other aspects as “their country” — officials are just those who currently lead in its direction.

        I would say that for some people and circumstance, loving one’s country would mean direct and brutal opposition towards their officials, as is the often instigator of revolutions. Without their intense love for their country, I doubt revolutions would take place at all.

        • Jones

          Sometimes not supporting some of your officials IS respecting your country.

        • anon

          Great comment.

          An interesting thing about that comment is the reminder that fenqing are not necessarily rabid defenders of the Chinese government or synonymous with the 50 cent party. In fact, the origins of the term fenqing stemmed more from “angry youth” who were often quite vocal in their criticisms of the Chinese government. They’re often nationalistic, but there is an important line to be aware of between nation and government.

          That said, the comment itself is definitely a generalized response to off-the-cuff complaints about the state of affairs in modern China. Instead of encouraging more measured and meaningful discussion of solutions to or progress for persistent social problem (rather than random bitching), it comes off as “you can’t say anything if you don’t pay all the taxes you’re meant to pay”. It’s an application of the hypocrite argument, not dissimilar to “you can’t complain if you didn’t vote”. It certainly makes sense, and has a valid point on one level, but it still avoids the original grievance at hand.

          • ” the comment itself is definitely a generalized response to off-the-cuff complaints about the state of affairs in modern China. Instead of encouraging more measured and meaningful discussion of solutions to or progress for persistent social problem (rather than random bitching), it comes off as “you can’t say anything if you don’t pay all the taxes you’re meant to pay”. It’s an application of the hypocrite argument, not dissimilar to “you can’t complain if you didn’t vote”. It certainly makes sense, and has a valid point on one level, but it still avoids the original grievance at hand.”

            No, its much worse than that. As is obvious from it’s multiple re-posting on many different forums under different handles, it is part of a concerted effort by an unidentified group to stop people being angry about this by saying that you can’t criticise unless you pay your taxes. The fact that even those who do pay their taxes in full have no right to complain shows the total vacuousness of this argument.

            In its own way, this is as bad as the photograph of Chinese people standing around gawking at a man about to be executed as a spy by the Japanese that prompted the famous author Lu Xun to give up his medical training and return to China because he felt the spiritual poverty displayed in it needed his attention more than the medical needs of his patients. Here we have a fellow human being burning himself alive as his one available form of effective protest at having his only home taken away from him – and what is the response of his countrymen? Either apathy, or apple-polishing toadying to the government that committed this offense against human dignity.

          • Alikese

            I can’t wrap my head around that guy’s statement, and apparently he thought it was important enough to post on several websites.

            If you don’t pay all of your taxes you can’t stop a shady developer from coming by and demolishing your house and stealing your livelihood? You can’t complain about the government unless you have never broken a law in your life? The fact that the farmer felt he had no options, and that nobody was listening is why he set himself on fire.

            That’s why I believe these posts come from 50c-ers, what kind of delusional fantasy land would he be living in to actually believe those things? It’s fine to support your country or your government, but a lot of this blind nationalism seems unnatural.

          • anon

            FOARP, I was discussing the nature of the argument itself and how it would be received, not the implications of it being reposted across the internet.

            (I think the note exposing the comment as being a copy and paste job that will make some people suspect it being a 50 cent piece is great, and one of the reasons I think chinaSMACK is a great resource for learning more about the Chinese internet environment.)

            I don’t quite sympathize with your final comments which I feel are a bit unhelpfully melodramatic. It isn’t that I disagree with the substance, that social apathy is worrisome, but more your tone. It just sounds so cliche to me.

          • Perhaps you would like to suggest what the clued-up, urban hipster way of describing the apathy of others towards a man burning himself alive in protest at having his home and livelihood taken from him would look like?

          • anon

            I’m not sure, urban hipsters have their melodramatic moments too. Reactions to The Cove come to mind.

  • Pingback: Se quema a lo bonzo como protesta por expropiación forzosa en Zuzhou (China - ENG)()

  • Clancy

    It’s amazing what the Chinese will put up with.

  • Californian ABC

    I’d hate for this to happen to my relatives in china!

  • hanyucha

    Huh? Nobody said sofa!
    … oh wait… sofa!

  • Rick in China

    Some people are just ridiculously easy to break.

    To light yourself on fire, you have to feel like every possible option has been exhausted. It doesn’t seem like a ballsy thing to do, but rather a feeble, short-sighted attempt at drawing attention to something you feel futile to change. It’s akin to jumping out of a window because your boyfriend broke up with you. *coughs*.

    I don’t understand people who do this, regardless of what country they’re in. I suppose in China people feel there is no legal or official action they can take to stop the government from doing as they please, but that doesn’t mean they can take up some productive cause to change how that works – rather than burning themselves to death and leaving your family with nothing but a fucking funeral to prepare for.

    • Andao

      Rick, you just said that this is the action of someone with nothing to lose, and of someone who feels that their problems aren’t going to get otherwise resolved. Then you mention they ought to do something productive to fix the overall situation. But, they CANT fix the situation, hence the whole “nothing to lose” thing. You’re contradicting yourself.

      Why would someone do something like this? If you’re poor and some cop comes up and says “we’re going to tear down your house, here’s 30% of the money you need to buy a new apartment,” what are your options? You’re looking at either sleeping outside in the gutter, or doing something crazy, like this. They know the lawyers or officials aren’t going to protect them, and they know that once a developer decides on a per/m rate for compensation, it’s not going to get changed.

      This doesn’t seem like a really emo thing to do. I mean, this guy could probably die. It doesn’t sound like it’s as trivial as you make it sound.

      • Rick in China


        Read my comment again. I never said they have nothing to lose, obviously they do – they’re still alive and COULD be productive in some way. They obviously have other measures, but “feel” futile. It’s a feeling, not a fact. Again, they are short-sighted and don’t recognize the fact they, regardless of government or official support, should probably take another route. Are you implying that if “the powers that be” say they’re going to do something that you disagree with, the solution is to light yourself on fire in protest for the best results? Are you implying that someone who is “poor”, or apparently “has no options”, is unable to do anything to better their life or standing in life….or even their society at large? You, my friend, must share this sort of short-sighted defeatist attitude if you don’t understand what I was saying.

        • Andao

          “Could be productive in some way.” What way? Be specific.

          Obviously it’s a dumbass move to light yourself on fire. But you act like the Chinese folks are just gonna stroll down to city hall and file a petition. He’d probably get beat up by developer-hired thugs on the way there, then be broke and injured.

          People do really stupid stuff when they get frustrated. That doesn’t make it any better, but it would really suck to lose your entire life’s investment and have no way to change that, or even complain about it.

          • Rick in China

            “But it would really suck” — AGREED.

            Do you light yourself on fire every time something shitty happens in your life?

            RE: “Could be productive in some way.” — um. Because the government takes your house doesn’t mean you lose the ability to be a husband if you’re a husband, a father if you’re a father, a friend if you’re a friend, lose your job if you have a job, lose every other aspect of your life if you have any other aspect in your life – are you implying that without owning a house, someone is unable to live? I don’t own a house. I guess I should also light myself on fire.

            “No way to change that” perhaps. You should watch..like..the Goonies. GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE.

          • @Rick – All true, however, a 58-year-old man who has been robbed of both his home and his way of living, with no alternatives available, may not see things that way.

          • Marsvin

            It’s all very easy to sit in front of your computer and judge people, but I still don’t hear you suggest anything specific. Mostly I hear you saying what he _shouldn’t_ do. What “constructive” actions could he have taken?

          • Rick in China

            How can I specifically give him constructive criticism on *exactly what he should do instead* if I don’t know the entirety of his situation? The assumption that there is literally nothing a man who is obviously capable of climbing up on top of a fucking roof can do to survive is ridiculous. He’s being paid 320,000 RMB. That’s probably more than any bumpkin teacher in the PRC has in their bank/investments – or will have in several years time.

            He’s 58. They don’t *need* to buy a house outright. Farmers can still find menial labor jobs. Even if they didn’t want to work, they could rent a reasonable place to live for what..1000/month in their out-of-city community? Many people survive on earning only like 1000 1500 a month in total. He’s old, stretching 320k would allow ’em to live and do absolutely nothing for many, many years.

            “I can’t use the money I’m being paid to buy a new house in the city outright, therefor I will light myself on fire in protest.” *sigh*

          • Suicidal tendency

            @Rick in China:

            What do you do with your life? What’s your lifetime achievement? What makes you get up every morning?

            Consider a 58 old man who’s spent his whole life on his farm, in his home. Suddenly people come to him and say “here’s a bit of money, we wipe out your life!”.

            Yes, he has a family. Will he sustain them? Let me see… Why would he have any more chance to be of any use for his family? A bit old to find a new job anywhere and the money is there already.

            What would you do if you suddently felt like you’re going to be a burden, a handicap for your family rather than the sustainer you’ve always been?

            Some Foxconn employees suicided because they thought their family would get compensated.
            Some Palestinians kamikazes are known to be volunteering in exchange of a compensation for their family.

            Some people just think their relatives will have a better life without them!

            He’s probably not much educated. He probably has a very limited view of this world’s possibilities, and he’s not of the ones who have many opportunities anyway.

            What’s left for him to hang on to?

          • Rick in China

            I suggest we promote self immolation to everyone who feels like a burden.

            You first.

          • Suicidal tendency

            I don’t think we got the definition of “burden” from the same dictionary…

          • Rick in China

            Indeed we did. I guess you could call a burden a “heavy load” – which is precisely what your drivel amasses to be.

    • Boris

      ‘Some people are just ridiculously easy to break.’
      Although people commit suicide for a multitude of reasons, certain groups in society are more likely to than others. The weather can play a role (see Russia, Finland, Seattle). Gender is also a factor (as far as I’m aware more men kill themselves in every country, except China), as is being a poor minority group (blacks in the USA). One’s economic situation and level of education are key elements. Any of these can affect someone’s mental health to the point where suicide appears a viable option. Rick in China -from the insensitivity of your posts I assume you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. You imply that someone would kill themself because they are weak, whereas you wouldn’t because you are stronger. Maybe you’ve just been lucky to be born into a comparatively privileged white, middle-class background, shielded from some of the harsh realities most of the world have to face. Sorry -massive assumption. My advice to you: don’t become a counsellor.

  • kissmyass

    Perfect the human bomb, at the least you can bring some of the official basters to die together….
    otherwise they dont f*king care of anything…..

    • JJ

      I think you are right. The developers and officials don’t care if you burn yourself, and this kind of news won’t get enough coverage in China to make people stand up together on the issue.

      • JJ

        BTW couldn’t access Chinasmack yesterday. Was Fauna being ‘harmonized’? (@_@)

  • Anonanon

    1. Why didn’t he just protest with flags and

    2. How come the flame is so red

    • Rick in China

      He burned himself while wrapped, otherwise naked, in several Chinese flags.

  • Song of the Article

    Light My Fire
    -The Doors


    • darkandlovelykissedbythe

      Was thinking of the song “Don’t Give Up” by Peter Gabriel. Really sad to see that someone was driven to such profound despair.

      • Boris

        Seconded. Great song. Great artist. PG, all-in-all super-nice guy. Very sad article. Biko: ‘…and the eyes of the world are watching now.’ Just not sure if enough people care to make a difference.

        • darkandlovelykissedbythe

          Yep, don’t think PG got all the recognition he should have for such great music. Biko was pretty brave to stand up in the face of oppression knowing he’d be killed. Still praying for Wang Jiazheng. I still have faith in humanity despite all that happens in this world.

  • McCurry

    Is it me or does China got Chinasmack by the balls these days. The story seems to get weaker and weaker, are we beating around the bush now?

    • donscarletti

      Fauna in Chinese, if you want to have a conversation with a Chinese person about how bad China is, never be the one making the derisive comments, it just makes them defensive. These comments probably just piss her off and make her not want to post any more negative stuff until we all shut up, myself included.

      Best trick is to keep arguing the opposite: “that’s not so bad, in my country a councilor was sacked after billing $15,000 of personal expenses to a government account”, “that’s not so bad, in my country I have a friend who is forced to raise a child on $300 a week of government support and is so poor she can only afford to rent a two bedroom house and drive a 15 year old car”. That REALLY pisses them off and everything heats right up. “Oh, your country just censored a sex scene out of a computer game, it must be absolutely terrible for you, you sheltered, spoiled, ignorant white arsehole, listen to what China did…”

      Even better, you can feign complete ignorance that not everyone is an expatriate earning ¥40K a month. Talk about how cheap the real estate is and you’ll get a bite that way.

    • Alikese

      This isn’t exactly a shining example of modern life in China.

      You do realize that this guy set himself on fire and jumped off of his house in protest, right?

  • I am afraid that more and more people will resort to terrorism, like a guy from Fuzhou who bombed himself in protest of demolition.


  • Master Huang

    They didn’t check the house well enough before demolishing. The people should be cleared first. The other people are standing around the house, they should be moved far from the area, what if the bricks fell and hit someone there and died? so many things wrong in that video.

  • Jon

    Suicide isn’t cutting it as a form of protest. Perhaps the next poor, disenfranchised farmer will instead consider homicide.

    • anon

      Would that make suicide bombings the ultimate form of protest?

  • dim mak

    People need to be moved for progress, SUCK IT UP

  • I’m sure the parking lot put up here in its place will be very practical. Hell, they may even have a special area of the lot cordoned off so other people can continue to stand around and not give a shit except for the fact that in China where toddlers and substitute-children dogs are considered, every area is shit-capable.

    • Also, have to say: very clean edit from the time he falls on the ground aflame to the time someone puts out the fire with an extinguisher. It’s like a Chinese re-broadcast of a NBA game between the first and second quarters.

  • Laowai

    Clearly the government does not have the right to force a family off their home and land without due compensation that will leave them whole, that is capable of earning a living equal to what they had and a home equal to what they had.

    To do less is theft by the government and the shortage between the settlement and the value is probably in some bureaucrat’s back pocket.

  • These protests are pretty common

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  • MadeInChina

    What’s he smoking?

    • 0311

      I just dont get if your willing to kill yourself over this type of thing why not firebomb the goverment officals trying to force you out. What the fuck do they care if you set your self on fire you just made their job easier. If your willing to go out for it take them with you….. Unless your Hongjian then just let him burn……

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  • al in china

    Give the man a light friends.

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