Bulldozers plow over decrepit buildings all the time, but how often does a one-million-yuan ($147,156.21) villa get torn down without compensation? Just that is about to happen to 18 houses today in Sanya, Hainan Province.
“I planned to move into the villa this month and spend my retirement days here, but I didn’t known it was going to be torn down without any announcement before hand,” said 60-year-old Peng Bin from Heilongjiang Province.
The demolition is one in a string of cases part of the “Hammer Movement,” an attempt by the city to clear four million square meters of land used illegally by the end of this year.
In China, farmland must first be nationalized with compensation given to farmers by the governments at the county level or above before any commercial development is permitted. Otherwise, all the houses and apartments built there are illegal, only having partial or incomplete property rights and lacking legal protection.
Lin Lan, spokesman for the Comprehensive Law Enforcement Bureau in Sanya, said that construction without approval from the agency in charge of land is illegal, according to Southern Metropolis Daily.
A research report from the government said investors affected by the ‘Hammer’ are mainly from Northeastern China, Beijing, Fujian, Jiangxi, and some local residents.
Peng said that he bought the land after making an agreement with the village, and there was no interruption with construction until a few days ago when a large “demolish” character appeared on his villa.
Sanya has dismantled nearly 300,000 square meters of illegal buildings, and stopped 70 to 80 percent of undergoing construction.
But Peng said there are still new buildings under construction near his villa, and buildings of local residents are not being demolished.