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The Hardest ‘Nail House’ in China (Photo)

Posted by Author on March 25, 2007

Xu Zhiqiang, Ohmynews, South Korea, 2007-03-25-

Yang Wu’s house looks like an island, standing 10 meters above and in the middle of a vasthardest nail house in China dug out construction pit. On March 23 the 51-year-old Chongqing resident proudly flew China’s national flag from his house, showing it to the reporters who had come from all over the country.

( Picture from Internet: the hardest nail house in China. )

Almost a month ago a curious netizen photographed Yang’s house, which is in southwest China, and circulated the picture on the Internet. The image soon ignited hot debates and Yang’s house became the most famous house in China overnight.

Netizens called it “the hardest nail house in China.”

The phrase “nail house” is often used by real estate developers to describe the building of an owner who is reluctant to be moved out when his property is slated for demolition.

Yang’s house was scheduled to be removed in 2004. But after a disagreement with the developer, Yang decided that he didn’t want to move out, even after all his 280 neighbors moved and the water and electricity were cut off for more than two years

In China’s former disputes surrounding land seizure and house demolition, the strong developer always seemed to be the winner, and few house dwellers can mount a resistance to such an extent. That’s why Yang and his house have become such a national talking point.

Some speculate that Yang must have backing to support his campaign. The developer claimed that Yang had asked for 20 million Yuan (US$2.5 million) as compensation for demolishing his house.

Yang’s wife, Wu Ping denied this and told the media that their request is in the legal and acceptable sphere. According to the evaluation result from the developer, Yang’s two-floor house is worth 2.47 million Yuan ($319,542). Wu is dissatisfied with the figure and says that what they want is the same location in the new building and proper compensation.

Whether the couple have backers is unclear. Yang Wu was once the first martial art champion in Chongqing’s one competition 22 years ago. In 1993, he built the two-floor house and ran the restaurant business before later renting it out.

To climb up his house to show his not-moving resolution on March 23, Yang said he gave up the chance to compete against the Russian champion in a nearby martial arts competition.

To make Yang relax, some warmhearted reporters provided him with water and food with the aid of a sling and a basket. What is more, many dwellers that face the same situation in Chongqing are going there to learn lessons from Yang and expect to grasp the media’s attention. At the same time, new similar “hardest nail house” pictures in Shanghai, Guangxi and other provinces are emerging in the BBS and Internet forums.

In China, along with the soaring urbanization and construction, conflicts between dwellers and developers and the government have emerged rapidly in recent years.

Farmers and many city dwellers are often hurt at the expropriation of their land for piffling compensation. Yang’s example brings hope to these individuals.

On the other hand, the time of Yang’s exposure pushes him into the national spotlight. In mid-March, on the final sitting of the annual parliament meeting, the National People’s Congress (NPC) passed a new “property law” which is seen as a historic breakthrough to protect private property to an equal degree as public and collective property. This is the first time in modern China that private property has been protected by law.

In The Economist’s article “China’s Next Revolution” issued on March 8, the law was described as “a great symbolic victory for economic reform and the rule of law.” It went on to say:

“Clearer, enforceable property rights are essential if China’s fantastic 30-year boom is to continue and if the tensions it has generated are to be managed without widespread violence.”

The law is planned to be enacted this October but there is still much confusion and debate, especially on how to define the developer and government’s motivation or whether an act is for the public, the collective or the private individual.

At this point, Yang’s appearance provides a live case for all the people to test the new law. Reporters, supporters and experts are all waiting for the next move from Yang, the developer and the local government.

On March 23, the local housing administration bureau in Chongqing received a local court order giving it permission to forcibly demolish Yang’s house. But at the time of writing, Yang is still in the house. He flies the flag from the housetop and hangs out a banner.

“Whoever dares coming up, I will beat you down.” Yang shouts down to the crowd below.

original report from  Ohmynews

2 Responses to “The Hardest ‘Nail House’ in China (Photo)”

  1. […] second is referred to as the ‘hardest nail house‘ because there was a deep pit surrounding the tiny residence. It stood alone on a giant mound […]

  2. […] post from Xu Zhiqiang shows the interest of  the population : To climb up his house to show his not-moving resolution on […]

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