Relocations in China – In Praise of China

Relocations in China

Relocation money not a blessing for everyone in China Skyscrapers under construction behind a condemned building in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, Feb 13. (File photo/CNS) Skyscrapers under construction behind a condemned building in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, Feb 13. (File photo/CNS) China’s push for urbanization has created problems for residents in rural areas, some of whom are unable to cope with the money they are given in the form of compensation for relocation, the Beijing Morning Post reports. The problems have been raised by delegates to the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) currently holding their annual meetings in Beijing, the newspaper said. Many such rural residents are said to end up in poverty once more after they squander the money they receive as compensation for relocation. The delegates the members called for government intervention to ensure a more sustainable lifestyle, according to the newspaper. Under the government relocation scheme, a relocated family usually is often given more than one housing unit and sometimes millions of yuan in compensation, the newspaper said. Wang Juan, an official in Guiyang in the southwestern province of Guizhou who works in the relocation of residents for development purposes, said the first thing that emerges in relocated communities is luxury cars. She added that several relocated residents often do nothing but gamble every day. In March 2014, Guiyang police raided a community and arrested 23 people for gambling. These people can win or lose 100,000 yuan (US$16,000) in a night, according to the paper. Statistics from local authorities show that relocated residents account for a large number of new drug users recorded in recent years, the newspaper added. Not all of the relocated residents have seen a negative impact from their unexpected wealth, the newspaper said. Zhai Yongzhong, who received four housing units and cash compensation for relocation in 2012, still continues working for the Guiyang authorities as a garbage collector with a monthly wage of around 900 yuan (US$145). But nowadays he drives a BMW to work. Among residents in a relocated village in Guiyang, 25% continue working their existing jobs, while 70% live on the compensation money or by renting out their properties, the newspaper said. The story of Chen Qing, who used the housing units his family was given in 2012 to open the largest private care home in the central city of Wuhan, also received great public attention recently. Chen said the 35 housing units his family was given may earn up to 1 million yuan (US$159,000) in rent, but he decided to do something more meaningful. Baolingbao Biology chairman Liu Zhongli, who is also a NPC delegate, said that government-led urbanization will not change the mindset of rural residents if people are just given money so that their land can be used for development. The wealth will not be a blessing for relocated rural residents if the government does not help such people adjust to an urban lifestyle, Liu added. Read more about Relocations in China.

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