Local authorities in Beijing are using police and security guards to forcibly demolish an agricultural park and residences in the Changping district, shutting off gas and electricity. The Epoch Times has recently obtained related videos and interviewed some of the property owners who claim they have legal rights to the park and questioned the local government’s motive behind the demolition.
On Nov. 17, the Jiuhua Agricultural Science Demonstration Park in Xiaotangshan town of Changping district in Beijing was broken into and natural gas was cut off by a team of security guards sent by the local authorities.
On Nov. 23, a local government personnel went to the residential, facility and utility areas of the park to post the demolition notice for the second time. It stated that homeowners must demolish their own property by Nov. 28, otherwise the city authorities would step in and have it done for them.
Homeowner Mr. Zhang told The Epoch Times that on the day that the notice was first posted on Nov. 17, about 500 people arrived at the scene and it was chaotic. “We put a roadblock to prevent them [the people sent by the local government] from coming in, but we couldn’t stop them. When a scuffle broke out, they went behind our backs and removed all the gas pipes in the park and cut off our gas supply.”
Mr. Zhang pointed out that on that same day, there was a local CCP committee secretary, surnamed Wang, who showed up at the scene with an official note, which merely stated that they were performing official duties.
Mr. Zhang emphasized that the gas and the facilities were private property—they were purchased and installed by local residents at their own expense.
After the gas pipes were forcibly removed by the security guards, the local authorities claimed that the property owners allegedly hired some people to demolish them. “In fact, they were all wearing black anti-riot suits and helmets, and holding anti-riot shields, how could they be hired by common folks like us?” he said.
Mr. Zhang is concerned that the gas pipes at the park were all taken down. “The gas is cut off. Now many elderly people can’t cook, so they buy some noodles at night and eat it with water. I heard that the electricity will be cut off today, and there will be no hot water for a shower. If gas, water, and electricity are all cut off, I don’t know how these several thousand people will live, and the cold winter is coming soon.”
The local government also demolished houses at a villa complex in Xiaotangshan using security guards and local police on Nov. 17. The Epoch Times have obtained videos of the demolition and clashes between the police and the residents.
The forced demolition of residential houses in Xiaotangshan town of Beijing.
The police and residents clash during the forced demolition of a villa complex in Xiaotangshan town of Beijing.
Mr. Zhang believes the government wants to demolish the properties so they can take the land and sell it to developers for a lot of money. “In fact, there is only one purpose, which is to rip up the contract they signed with us. The department that ordered the demolition is the same department that issued us the land rights certificate and invited us to move in. Because developers continue to build commercial housing, resulting in rising housing prices here, the government is now beginning to rip up the original agreement. They are kicking us out, saying that we violated the ‘small property rights’ regulation.”
In China, under communism, all land is owned by the state. When Chinese citizens buy a home, they only own the building. Over the years, this has resulted in millions of Chinese losing their homes through forced demolitions and forced relocations of villages and even entire towns when local governments decided to reclaim the land for more profitable use.
The Properties at the Agricultural Park Are Legally Owned
Some of the property owners told The Epoch Times that they possessed the legal certificates of land ownership issued by Changping district, Xiaotangshan town, and Changping county governments.
Local resident Ms. Lin said that they have the “Land Management Right Certificate” signed by the Investment Promotion Office of the Xiaotangshan town government and issued by the Changping county government with the seal of the national emblem. The validity period is from 1999 til 2049. In accordance with the requirements of the contract, the property owners invested a lot of money and effort turning the “wasteland” into an orchard; and therefore, they should continue to own the land, buildings, facilities, and crops, she said.
Mr. Zhang said that 20 years ago, they were invited by the local government to invest and grow special vegetables in the park. “All the contracts have the seals of the district government, town government, and county government. The three-level official seals are here. There were land records, and it’s all written in our contracts at that time,” he said.
Mr. Zhang revealed that the CCP’s district government also incited local farmers to put pressure on the property owners. “The authorities told them that if you [farmers] go to court to get these people out of the park, then the government will reward you with money. As a result, many farmers came to pressure us.”
Some farmers later told the property owners in the park that the whole incident was instigated by the government behind the scenes.
Mr. Zhang said, “They [local government] expropriated the land from the farmers and sold it to us to develop the agricultural park. In fact, the government bought the land from the farmers at a low price, which made many farmers unhappy.”
“We are unarmed, and we don’t have any means to protect our home and livelihood, so we are going around calling for help,” Mr. Zhang said.
Chang Chun and Fang Jing contributed to this report.